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43 Receding Tide, 24 x 30 inches, oil on linen. transcendental ideals that capture nature’s beauty. The Hudson River soon became his muse and favorite landscape to paint. In 2001, he decided to devote himself whole-heartedly to art. He returned to his Southern roots, moving with his wife to Charleston. His brother opened a gallery in Charleston and Horton wanted to do the same. In 2005, Horton Hayes Fine Art opened its doors. Today, the gal-lery represents 14 artists from all over the country. When they come together, they “all go out and paint, experiment, and try new meth-ods,” Horton says. He frequently ventures into North Carolina, offering workshops on Bald Head Island and along the Cape Fear River. He says the sunset over the water every night is like a light show. The thrill of painting out on location or en plein air is an exciting experiment. The effect of weather on the water is always a new expe-rience, and the canvas is a playground for playing around with fresh www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com WBM techniques. “I never get bored because, to me, every painting has led to the next painting,” Horton explains. “It’s like playing golf. As long as you can get one good shot in, you want to keep going.” Horton has a “stop and smell the roses” approach. He listens to the oystermen, clammers, and fishermen of the Lowcountry in order to understand life at sea. He goes out on the boat with fishermen to gain a sense of their perspective and relationship to the ocean. After returning to shore, he thinks of how he can summarize the essence of four or five hours in one image. He compares it to his work designing movie posters: “I would watch these movies and sum up a two-hour movie in one image.” Painting, he says, is combining a 360-degree scope with an essence of human experience to frame one part of a seascape. The possibility of changing weather can change the perspective of a piece. “Receding Tide” could represent twilight just as the sun is coming down, or the calm before a swelling storm.  “Approaching Storm” is an oil on canvas that could represent “Receding Tide” only moments later.


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