Paul Horton owns the "Keys to the World"

Paul Horton owns the "Keys to the World"

“The passion and the enthusiasm still burn bright,” says the man who is regarded as one of the UK’s most popular living artists. “I’m nearly 60, but I still feel like that little boy!”

Paul recently parted company with his publisher of 18 years’ standing and is forging a special relationship with Cottingham’s Artmarket gallery. It’s a move that inspired the title of his latest collection of six paintings: Keys to the World.

“We parted company perfectly amicably, and I feel very excited about the future and my new relationship with the Artmarket gallery,’ he says. “I’m now completely independent and in full control of my own destiny – it feels like a whole new world. I thought the title Keys to the World reflected that.

Paul Horton artist in his studio

“I wanted the new collection to be a cross-section of my work, a snapshot of who I am now. I’ve now spent 40 years painting, and 20 years working and exhibiting as a full-time artist. I’ve built up my own iconography in that time, and I wanted that to be represented so, for instance, there had to be a harbour scene in there – it’s one of my most popular themes.

“And a house, of course – that’s one of my biggest icons, a place of love, protection and sanctuary.

“And then there just had to be a curve ball: it’s always good to have one of those!”

Paul’s ‘curve ball’ in this new collection is A Gift for Vincent – a loving depiction of van Gogh’s famous chair, his straw hat draped casually on its ladder back, a single sunflower tossed on its straw seat, paintbrushes scattered around – and, leaning against the wall behind it, two of his most famous canvases: The Starry Night and Sunflowers.

“I had a museum show four years ago and included in it a portrait of Vincent at work – it was very popular,” he says. “This new painting is my gift to him – a thank you for his artistic talent.”

Paul Horton a gift for vincent

Keys to the World will be available at the Artmarket gallery as prints, but Paul says he is enjoying working with the team there to build up a very special relationship and is looking forward to making his original paintings available to their clientele.

And the hard-working artist who once visited over 50 galleries within a four-month period (“I’m told I do more personal appearances than any other artist in the UK,” he laughs. “It’s a bit like being a rock band on tour!”) is looking forward to putting in an appearance in Cottingham.

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