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 Richard Porteous Paine  (1917 - 2006)

About: Richard Porteous Paine
 

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Lived/Active: United States      Known for: portrait paintings, illustrations, advertising art

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AskART Artist
"Jean Gabin", 1945
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:

The following is from a fact sheet compiled by the artist for his obituary:

Born to Richard Gantt Paine and Annie Maude Kilmartin in Columbia Hospital, Washington, DC on June 3, 1917.  Childhood home at 6871 North Washington Blvd., East Falls Church, Arlington, Virginia.  Schools attended: Virginia public school system, 1924-1930s; Sidwell Friends School, Washington, D.C., 1931-1937; George Washington University, Washington, D.C. 1937-1944, Bachelor of Arts degree in Art, matriculated in June 1944; Columbia University, New York, 1946-1950, Master of Arts degree in Art History, matriculated in June 1949.

In the 1930s, Mr. Paine’s artistic skills applied primarily to pencil drawings of motion picture actors and actresses.  Many of the drawings were used as advertising art in local newspapers of the time.  The Washington Star and the Washington Times-Herald used Mr. Paine’s drawings depicting stars of current films on a regular basis.  Mr. Paine received several personal tributes from actors – Bing Crosby, Mary Philbin and Lois Moran – for his work.  On one occasion in 1940, Mr. Paine was invited to meet with John Barrymore, the Shakespearean actor who was appearing in “My Dear Children” at the National Theater in Washington, DC.  Mr. Paine spent some time chatting with the actor who had also begun his career as a newspaper artist.  At the end of the visit, Mr. Paine presented Barrymore with a pencil portrait he had completed prior to the interview.

Mr. Paine became interested in photography, especially as an aid to portraiture, while employed as a salesperson in the camera department of Woodward and Lothrup department store from 1940 – 1941.  He would pursue this art field for a generation mainly as a hobby.  In 1941, Mr. Paine worked as a draftsman for the C&P Telephone Company.  In July of 1941, Mr. Paine enlisted in the US Naval Reserve as a Photographer’s Mate Third Class and was immediately placed on active duty with the Office of Naval Intelligence Photographic Laboratory.  Mr. Paine was promoted to Photographer’s Mate First Class and placed in charge of the Photo-Print Facility. 


During his enlistment, Mr. Paine was frequently called upon to do portrait work.  Mr. Paine drew a large portrait of Admiral Ernest King which was presented to the Admiral who requested that thirty photocopies of the original be made.  One of these copies was autographed by the Admiral to Mr. Paine.  In early 1944, the photographic unit was transferred to the Naval Photo Science Laboratory in Anacostia, Washington, DC.

In July 1944, shortly after Mr. Paine completed his college degree by attending night classes, Mr. Paine suffered a complete physical breakdown and was admitted to Bethesda Naval Hospital where his condition was diagnosed as pulmonary tuberculosis.  On August 4, 1944, Mr. Paine was discharged from the naval service with an honorable discharge (medical). Mr. Paine was admitted to the Veterans’ Hospital in Oteen, North Carolina and remained until May 1946.  He was discharged with the diagnosis of “arrested tuberculosis” at that time.

Taking advantage of the Montgomery GI Bill and the Disabled Veterans’ Act, Mr. Paine resumed his art studies at Columbia University in New York.  He received a Master of Arts Degree in Art History and matriculated in June of 1949.  After an additional year of study at Columbia University, Mr. Paine returned to the Washington, DC area and was employed by the United States Department of State, then by the U.S. Information Agency as an illustrator of posters for overseas distribution.

In 1951, Mr. Paine returned to New York City to marry Eileen Matthews Aheron in the Episcopal “Little Church around the Corner”.  As soon as practical, the newlyweds moved to Alexandria, Virginia where they remained until 1954.  When the information program was reduced by the Eisenhower administration in 1953, Mr. Paine became an advertising artist for the Hecht Company.   In 1954, Mr. Paine was employed by the Federal Government as a Supervisory Illustrator at the U.S. Army Engineer School, Fort Belvoir, Virginia.  There he remained throughout the rest of his career, ultimately promoted to the position of Training Aids Service Officer.  As such, Mr. Paine was responsible for the overall supervision of graphic art and 3-D scale models used as training aids and also Post Photographic Support.  Mr. Paine retired from Federal service in 1977 after having received recognition of his performance with several awards.

Mr. Paine resided in Springfield, Virginia 1955-1977.  During these years he continued to draw and paint portraits.  His subject matter was primarily family and close friends, but did include such notables as astronaut John Glenn, actor Dennis King, Admiral Logan Ramsey and Arlington County Treasurer Paul Beeson.  In 1977, Mr. Paine and his family moved to Houston, Texas where he indulged his second interest as a collector of antique cameras.  In 1981, he wrote and published the book Review of Graflex, the All-American Camera.  It sold well and was soon assigned to a commercial distributor for sales and distribution.

In 1984, Mr. Paine and his family returned to Virginia, buying a home in Fredericksburg. 

Update (added by Stuart M. Paine):
Mr. and Mrs. Paine moved to Cottonwood Shores, TX in May 2004 to be looked after by daughter Susan with assistance by daughter Anne.    Eileen M. Paine passed away of cancer August 16, 2004 and Mr. Paine followed her one and a half years later on March 16, 2006. 

Mr. Paine’s final art project was done during the 1980s: a series of tempera-painted family coats-of-arms for which he did considerable research.

Information courtesy of Stuart Paine, the artist's son.


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