Paul Horton wanted to be an artist for as long as he could remember. During his childhood it seemed he was always drawing and painting – it became the very fabric of his life. Paul owes his art teacher so much, he made art such an enjoyable subject and Paul spent many happy hours in the art room. The freedom, guidance and encouragement received during his formative years set the foundations for his artistic career.
Paul studied drawing and painting at Bournville School of Art, specialising in life drawing and history of art. He also set out on a career within the printing industry, managing to combine this with an ever-developing style of work in both fine art and illustration, selling and exhibiting his work at regular intervals.
It wasn’t until the autumn of 1997 that he turned professional, dedicating for the first time ever, all of his energy into his art. Paul held a major one-man retrospective exhibition in the summer of 1998 entitled ‘All in a Life’s Work’, which was a personal selection of paintings representing his artistic journey. This innovative exhibition also featured a live concert by rock star Steve Harley, who has enjoyed major success, including the classic No. 1 ‘Make Me Smile (Come up and see me)’. Paul has always found inspiration through words and music and the creativity and poetic quality of Steve Harley’s music has strongly influenced his artistic development. Paul is honoured and delighted that such a talented and inspirational figure such as Steve has supported his work over so many years.
‘The Journeyman’ was the first of his paintings to combine a character within a street scene. This has lead to a new style of subject matter based on street life, whether reflecting everyday happenings or capturing the nostalgia of an industrial age. Paul likes to think there is a poignancy and spirit within these works.
Growing up in Birmingham in the sixties and seventies has given Paul so many memories to draw upon; it has given him his identity and working class ethic. The working man in his industrial street scenes is an iconic figure reflecting the industrial age, but it could be in any city or any town.
Paul travelled extensively throughout the U.K. for the majority of 2002. His ‘Homes & Hearts’ tour launched his work to many galleries across the country, it was an absolute pleasure for him to meet so many wonderful people, who have become a great source of inspiration to him.
Paul is constantly pushing himself in new and exciting directions. As well as drawing and painting, he also lectures art to special needs students based within the community. This is a challenging and rewarding addition to his busy life and a chance for him to give something back.