In the Studio with Todd Horton
Artist Todd Horton lives on his boat on the Samish River in Edison, Washington. He works full time at his studio in nearby Blanchard.
“Todd Horton is an inheritor of the Skagit artist-adventurer-poetic-mystic tradition that is so tied to this land and waters. He lives on a boat on the Samish River near Edison and paints in a style he calls “Skagit Gothic” – dark, smart, nuanced; informed by those who came before, yet covering entirely new ground in his constant explorations of the moods of this valley.”
Curator of Exhibitions, Museum of Northwest Art.
Was there a pivotal moment when you decided to follow your path as an artist?
After graduating from university, where I studied Political Science and History, I moved to Japan, while working there, I studied art and learned to paint. When I returned to the states I began making art steadily while working a half time job. In 2008 I decided to go full time as an artist.
What is your creative process like?
Just spending a lot of time in the outdoors observing nature which for me sparks ideas.
How do you know when a piece is complete?
This is a very important question in art making. Basically, I believe once you ask yourself that question….It’s finished. It’s really easy to go to far, muting the fresh vibrancy that was there before being over worked.
What did you have to develop, try, or learn to create your “Animals in Motion” artwork?
To make my animals in motion paintings takes a bit of a risk of destroying what one just painted by dragging a big dry brush across the fresh paint, so being able to let it go is key and not being in total control, letting interesting accidents happen.
What is your connection to the Jansen Art Center?
I’ve been teaching some tiny watercolor classes at the Jansen this past year, but will in the near future also be teaching some painting classes of animals in motion and nocturnal landscapes. I also have shown some of my work there the past couple years. The Jansen is an awesome art center, one of the best around! We are very very fortunate to have it in our area.
Have you ever wondered how artist Todd Horton creates the illusion of motion in his paintings?
View this video to get a peek into his practice!