Top British artist Paul Horton is in Cumbria this weekend for his first ever public appearance to launch a new collection of work as a self-published painter.
Paul, who will be at Treeby & Bolton Gallery in Keswick on Saturday (OCT 7), has spent the last 18 years working for Birmingham-based Washington Green fine art publishers when he became their most successful artist bar Bob Dylan.
But after an amicable split last year, Paul has gone solo for the first time in his four-decade career and says he feels completely rejuvenated, having produced a dazzling new limited edition autumn series under the banner of Horton Fine Art.
“Washington Green told me that in my final year with them, I was their second-top seller in limited edition unit sales behind Dylan,” said Paul, whose distinctive style, colours and unique collection of characters and street scenes make him hugely popular among collectors.
“Our relationship was great but the time was right and I was ready for a new challenge with my own publishing company and without a big board of directors above. It is liberating and so exciting to have full control of your own destiny.
“You are totally on your own. Some artists need that support and decision-making but I have always led from the front. It is a whole new challenge which I was ready for,” added Worcestershire-based Paul, who will be 60 next summer.
The switch has inspired Paul to paint a new art collection which he will be showing off to visitors at the gallery in Lake Road from 1-4pm. The highlights include a striking harbour scene and a football piece called Match Of The Day. As well as signed limited editions, Paul will also be bringing along several original sketches and oils and a special limited edition for the day, which he is keeping under wraps.
“This will be my first appearance since the end of last year when I did a farewell tour for Washington Green, so it is really exciting. I know the Treeby gallery at Keswick. It is really nice and quirky. I like meeting collectors and the gallery is my stage. I like to express myself and gather feedback,” he said.
The Keswick visit is his only appearance in Cumbria and one of just eight across the UK this autumn. Visitors will be able to meet Paul and talk to him about his work, both past and present, throughout the afternoon. Refreshments will be served at the gallery, which also has a cafe.
Libbie Barton, manager at Treeby & Bolton, said: “I’ve seen Paul’s latest work and it is fantastic. Going solo seems to have given him a new lease of life. We are so proud to be the first gallery to showcase his new collection – and to have Paul here too for his first event as a self-published artist really is such a huge coup for us and for Cumbria. It’s great to be able to give people this special opportunity to meet Paul and have him sign their art.”