Joe Horton was born in Cincinnati, OH and raised in Lake Worth, FL. While he was attracted at an early age to tubes of color and paint-by-numbers sets, his mother, a musician, chose to introduce him to the piano bench rather than the easel. 

With music the center of his life at that time, Horton went on to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Organ from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. 

"After I got my degree in music, I immediately went into the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa," said Horton, who taught English as a second language 19 hours a week. "I had a lot of free time and wanted to do something creative. For lack of a piano or organ, I started drawing using the Nicolaides book "The Natural Way to Draw" as a guide to learning to draw the human figure. My first art show was held in Dakar, Senegal, in the Spring of 1975. 

"From Senegal, I went to Saudi Arabia for seven years. I was teaching English to Saudi soldiers (during the week), and painting landscape pictures on the weekend. I remember drawing many portraits of my students during class breaks at the military school." By the end of seven years there, Horton was making as much money exhibiting and selling his paintings as he was teaching. 

His heart set on the artist's life, Horton moved to New York City upon his return to America in 1983 and attended the Art Students' League and National Academy School of Fine Art for four years. During that time, he met a Taos couple from New Mexico--fellow art students who invited him out to visit. "I literally fell in love with New Mexico and came out the next year to live and paint professionally in Santa Fe." Since then, Horton has painted adobe gardens and landscapes of New Mexico.  

Since 1987, Horton has maintained a home and studio on the north side of Santa Fe. While the majority of his oil paintings reflect the landscape and culture of the Southwest, he can be eclectic in his choice of subject matter and painting styles. His love of painting both coasts of the United States, producing coloring book style pictures, copying Old Master paintings, rendering photo-realistic images and drawing the human figure attest to his diversity of style and interests in art. 

Horton believes that painting a beautiful picture can transport the viewer into a world of peace and tranquility. Regardless of subject and style, each oil painting is distinctly a Horton oil which will give the owner a lifetime of pleasure and enjoyment.