Mark Kelvin Horton was born and raised in rural North Carolina. After graduating from East Carolina University School of Art in 1983, Horton moved to New York City to begin a career in advertising and design. He carried with him the dream of someday becoming a painter.
Eighteen years of living in New York were spent working as a creative director in various advertising agencies and eventually founding his own design company. Those years also provided an invaluable opportunity for Horton to view firsthand the seemingly endless number of masterworks of art in the city’s museums and galleries. Horton was captivated by the works of George Inness, Herman Herzog, Frederick Church and the tonalist photographer, Edward Steichen. He also admired and studied the realism of John Singer Sargent and Winslow Homer as well as the romantic landscapes of the Hudson River School painters. The experience had a profound effect on his artistic development.
During his years working as an artistic director and designer, Horton continued to nurture his “fine art side”, drawing, sketching and painting whenever he had the opportunity. In early 2001 Horton made the decision to devote himself to painting full-time. He left New York City and returned to his Southern roots, moving to Charleston, South Carolina.
Horton is particularly fascinated with the effects of light and weather upon the landscape. He paints beyond a literal interpretation of a scene to portray nature in a way that reflects his own ideas and sensibilities while capturing the spirit, color and changing light of a place.