Born in 1940, Mortimer Payne lives in the home in which he was born, above the steamboat wharf in Sharps. Growing up in that rural area influenced his awareness of the many faces of nature, which in turn nurtured his respect for living a simple life. His education took him from Farnham High School to Old Dominion College where he received a BA in Modern American History. His inquisitive mind compelled him to continue his education over the years, taking graduate courses in literature and history at the University of Richmond, University of Virginia and the University of Wyoming. At the present time, he is renewing his skills at the keyboard, having taken years of lessons from his mother, a music teacher. Payne is also an art lover and recently discovered that “he can draw” with the help of classes.
“TAG [Tappahannock Artist Guild] has been offering classes in drawing and such with instructors from The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts,” Payne said. “TAG has become an important place for artists to gather. I’m really enjoying uncovering skills that have laid dormant from lack of initiative.”
His love of the written word runs deep. He was inspired by the writings of T.S. Eliot while writing “Chesapeake April.” Payne has recently written and published three books about his life, by revealing his keen observations of life in the Northern Neck, and its inhabitants, both wild and tame. His gentle style of telling a story engages his readers to pause and reflect on his words about hunting and fishing, the struggles of local watermen. Payne often writes in the first person, for snippets and clarity of his daily life.
For the full article, pick up the latest Northern Neck News 8/21/19