The SOBA Gallery welcomes Chris Clayton as the featured artist from May 2 through June 5. “Animal Portraits” is a charming collection of paintings depicting the creatures Chris has seen on his extensive travels including China and Thailand, here in the US, including Yellowstone National Park, as well as those closer to home right here in the lowcountry. From the gentle mother elephant with her adorable child, to the regal countenance of the African lion, Chris captures the essence of the beasts with strong strokes of pastel. The red fox looks as though he is emerging from the dark night right into our space – real and vibrant with his bushy coat and bright eyes!
Chris Clayton was born and raised in England, and as an engineer came to America to work on the Space Program in the 1960s. When he retired to Hilton Head he picked up pastels for the first time, finding the medium very adaptive for portraiture. Chris realized animal portraits are similar to those of people, with the necessary attention to detail of features and color. Chris’ background as an engineer is a big factor in his ability to analyze and solve the problems of painting, which he has mastered in a methodical yet inspired way. His technique is always evolving and has become more Impressionistic in the past few years, harking back to a childhood memory of viewing Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings at an exhibition in Manchester England – his first trip to an art gallery.
Chris has been a valuable member of the arts community in Bluffton and Hilton Head, serving as President of the Society of Bluffton Artists and Vice President of the Hilton Head Art League for several years. Also showing his community involvement and love of history Chris is Past President of Beaufort County Science Fairs Judges and Mentors, the Lowcountry Civil War Roundtable, and is historian for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Beaufort.
Please join us to meet Chris, enjoy the “Animal Portraits” exhibit, and the work of over 100 other member artists at an opening reception with refreshments, Sunday, May 8 from 5-7 pm.