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On Leaving the Royal College of Art in 1974 James Horton has pursued a career as a professional Painter. A few years after leaving the RCA he was elected to the Royal Society of British Artists.
The constant theme in his work is working from life, whether portrait, landscape or interiors. Much of what he does centres around travelling and working on location. Anything that is produced on the spot is rarely adjusted back in the studio, preserving the essence of a time and a place. However, very often work made direct from life will provide the basis for producing larger scale paintings done in the studio.
James Horton has always been an active portrait painter but believes like John Singer Sargent that to be a good portrait painter one should produce a variety of work made from life. He works mainly in oil and watercolour but also in pastel, one of his books being ̛̛Pastel Techniques̛̛. Apart from his own books, James Horton has written numerous articles for a variety of magazines and his work is also featured in many other books and articles.
As a teacher he taught part- time in several different art schools until 1990 and now has occasional classes in his studio along the lines of the old atelier system where students can study with a working painter.
In 2002 he accompanied HRH Prince Charles with ̛̛The friends of Mount Athos̛̛ as artist in residence with a special brief to draw and paint the monastery architecture.
Currently he works a great deal in India and since 2000 he has been taking groups to India and also accompanies painting groups to other locations that include Tuscany, Venice, North Africa and Jordan.
Has taught part-time at Sir John Cass, Mary Ward Centre, Anglia Polytechnic University, and has been lecturer and guest tutor at various colleges. Invited regularly by art societies to give talks and demonstrations and runs painting and drawing classes in the UK and painting courses abroad
1964-66 Sir John Cass Art School
1966-70 City & Guilds Art School
1970 Travelling Scholarship to Florence
1971 - 74 Royal College of Art Painting School
1974 Hay Galleries
1975 Fortesque Gallery london
1976 Caldwell Galleries Dublin & Belfast
1980 Trumpington Gallery Cambridge
1981 Collection Gallery Stockholm
1990 Broughton House Gallery Cambridge
2008 Chappel Galleries Essex
Agnews, Anna-Mei Chadwick, Laing Landscape Competition, Mistral Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, New English Art Club, New Grafton Gallery, Opix Gallery, Piccadilly Gallery, Royal Academy(Summer Exhibitions), Royal Portrait Society, Royal Society of British Artists, WH Patterson, and Young Contemporaries
Bircham Gallery, Blackheath Gallery, Broughton House Gallery, Century Gallery, Compton Gallery, D̛̛Arcy Gallery, Fenny Lodge Gallery, Geedon Gallery, John Noot Gallery, Langham Gallery, Nevill Gallery, Northern Young Contemporaries, Ombersley Gallery, Phoenix Gallery, Primavera Cambridge, Sarah Samuels Fine Paintings, Sebastian Pearson Gallery, Thomas Plunkett Fine Art, Whitworth Gallery, Wykeham Gallery, Yarrow Gallery, Chappel Galleries
̛̛Troika̛̛ Suruchi Gallery, New Delhi, British High Commission New Delhi, Vasant Gallery New Delhi
1972 B.E.A. Art Awards
1992 Prize Winner The Discerning Eye
Recent commissions: Brenda Ryman, late mistress of Girton College Cambridge, Lord & Lady Hemingford, Sir Eli Lauterpacht, Jean Gooder and colleagues, Newnham College Cambridge, Professor Thomas Sherwood, Professor of Radiology Addenbrookes Hospital Cambridge
1982 Artist adviser to Winsor & Newton for Paint and Painting at the Tate Gallery
2002 Artist in Residence at Mount Athos (Patron HRH Prince Charles) followed by exhibition at Highgrove
2003 Demonstrator at Art in Action Waterperry House Oxon
Contributor to The Artist since 1976 and also contributed articles to Art & Artists, Artist and Illustrator and leisure Painter.
Learn to Draw the Figure (Collins)
Sketching with James Horton (Collins)
Introduction to Drawing (Dorling Kindersley, in association with the Royal Academy)
Skin Jones (Batsford)
Pastel Techniques (Chrysalis)
Beginner̛̛s Guide to Human Anatomy (New Holland)
Painting Landscapes in Oil (Search Press 2007)