Payne, the son of an Annan mason, was educated alongside W E Lockhart at Annan Academy. He showed his talent at an early age but, as was common practice in the 19th century for young artists, he was apprenticed to a house painter.
However, this profession soon became unnecessary as his skill as an artist allowed him to keep his family of 14 children adequately.
During his lifetime Payne was well known for his 'Trompe L'oeil' (the eye deceived) pictures, but he was also a gifted landscape painter.
This oil painting of a woman collecting stooks of corn is both a warm, summery scene and a (somewhat idealised) record of a lost form of farming.
In the collection of Annan Museum.