Pau Horton dreamed to be an artist from an early age, constantly drawing and painting it became the very fabric of his life. Encouraged and guided by his art teacher who made the subject so enjoyable, Paul would spend many hours in the art room enjoying the freedom and encouragement he received during his formative years which would later make the foundations his artistic career.
Paul Horton graduated from the Bourneville School of Art, specialising in life drawing and history of art. Initially setting off for a career in the printing industry, he also managed to combine his developing style of work in fine art and illustration, selling and exhibiting his work on a regular basis.
In the Autumn of 1997 when Paul Horton became a professional artist, he held a major retrospective exhibition in the Summer of 1998 entitled ‘All in a Life’s Work’ which was an interpretation of the artistic journey Paul had taken until then. This was also accompanied by a live performance by Steve Harley who developed into a successful rockstar with No. 1 ‘Make Me Smile (Come up and see)’. Music and words have always been a source of inspiration for Paul who’s been honoured to be supported by such an inspirational figure such as Steve.
The first piece by Paul Horton to feature a character within a street scene was untitled ‘The Journeyman’ which led him to a new style of subject matter based on the nostagia age of industry and reflecting everyday happenings. Growing up in Birmingham in the sixties and seventies has given Paul plenty of memories to work from, reflecting the working class ethic and identity which can be in any city or town. Travelling around the UK in 2002, Paul Horton launched his tour ‘Homes & Hearts’ which enabled his to exhibit his work in galleries all over the country. During this, Paul also got opportunities to meet people and use them as inspiration for his next paintings.
Paul Horton considers his artistic career as a crusade to create new and exciting images. Influenced and inspired by the Pre-Raphaelites, Paul first paintings were figurative studies. Enjoying the challenges of drawing and painting people, Paul considers life as a mosaic of different memories full of emotions of joy and sorrow. Painting these emotions enables Paul Horton to appeal to popular imagination, creating strong compositions full of colour and influenced by artists such as Degas, Chagall and De Lempicka. Paul Horton’s characters are also an important feature in his work inspired from illustrations, story books and theatre creating a narrative and letting the viewers to make their own interpretations on the story behind the paintings.
With constant images and ideas flowing into his mind, Paul Horton sketches his initial images accompanied by some notes for future reference. This can include costume designs, character detail or background scenes. The painting can also be inspired from Shakespearian themes or even based on Paul’s own poetry.
With very little preparation, Paul throws himself into his painting straight away using his imagination at its full potential as well as adding enthusiasm. After choosing the subject matter, Paul will produce a rough sketch and select a colour scheme in order to give him an impression on the final outcome of the painting. Working on grey pastel paper mounted onto board, allows him to have full control of the tonal values. By blending and drawing on the surface of the paper, this creates a vibrancy of colours and an atmosphere in his work.
Reassessing on a regular basis, Paul Horton always aims to achieve perfection on every piece he paints, giving every painting its own merit. The ability to create something from nothing from a world of imagination gives Paul Horton a great sense of achievement.
Paul Horton can be found in his studio early, usually around 6:30 assessing his work from the previous day. Adjusting to the new day with a cup of strong coffee, Paul gets himself into the right frame of mind in order to begin his days work. Along side his career as an artist, Paul Horton gives valuable time to teach art to students with special needs which he finds very rewarding. A normal studio day will include long hours with regular breaks whenever he feels the need. This usually depends on how absorbed he has become in his painting. Depending on the atmosphere he’s looking for, Paul plays music in the background, changing the genres in order to meet the right environment for his imagination. Keeping to strict deadlines, Paul usually works until around 7pm, but has on occasion pushed himself until later on in the evening in order to achieve a target.
Paul Horton also enjoys quality time with his teenager son Mark who shares his excitement to see the paintings in their final stage. In the evening, Paul enjoys a glass of red wine and imagines new ideas and inspirations for paintings to come.