Regarding Edgar Payne here's an interesting story. Buff met Edgar Payne and worked for him in 1917. Payne was asked by the Congress Hotel in Chicago to provide murals for all eleven floors of their new hotel. To get the job done, he and his artist wife Elsie Payne hired other artists, Jack Wilkerson Smith, Peter Nielsen, and Grayson Sayer. They rented a warehouse in the town of Tropico (now Glendale) near Eagle Rock, California. In Eagle Rock, a young artist named Conrad Buff heard of the project and applied for an assistant's position at $3.50 per day. Buff would stretch the canvases. Payne would then sketch out the painting. Buff would paint the sky and clouds, Payne and Smith would paint the foreground, Neilsen painted garlands and garlands of flowers, and Sayer and Payne would finish the foreground. By the end of the job, Buff was making $5.00 a day, eleven hundred square yards of muslin were used, and ten thousand pounds of white lead paint.
By the age of forty, Conrad Buff had established himself as a notable artist of strikingly-constructed mountain and desert landscapes of the Southwest, with special attention given to minimal design elements. Today his paintings hang in the Los Angeles County Art Museum, the Oakland Museum, the San Diego Art Museum and others.
Sources: Libby Buff and George Stern, The Art and Life of Conrad Buff, 2005 conversation with Libby Meador, 2005; Askart