"The process of creation, whether through sculpture, drawing, painting, photography or any other medium that you could place in my hand, was never something that I just “picked up” along the way. It has been a central part of me and has made me who I am since I was strong enough to pick up a pencil. It is the talent and blessing that came with me into this life.
Another influence that is central in my life is my love of the outdoors. Unlike my talent to create, this is something that I believe was taught to me. Throughout the course of yearly hunting trips with my father and brother, family campouts, fishing trips, etc., my desire to be outside exploring and connecting with something greater began to consume my life. It only seems natural that these two loves collided at an early age.
Some of the earliest drawings that I have are scenes of mule deer and eagles playing in fields and on mountain tops. Thanks to my father’s influence, these are the things that I found made me happy. Then my grandfather and uncle did their part to instill a love of fly fishing in me. Dancing trout and foggy streams became a central topic in my work. Today, you will find the same subject matter in my scenes. Trout, ducks, pheasant, streams… these are the things that still make me happy. If I can’t be out enjoying them with my eyes, I try to recreate onto canvas the impressions they’ve made on my mind.The majority of my works are oil on hardboard. I find the possibilities and challenges of this medium always exciting. But when I find myself becoming stagnant or stiff, I break out the watercolors. The unforgiving, stubborn nature of this medium teaches me again to let go and enjoy the process of watching the creation, not just the creating. They contain an appreciated beauty that cannot be replicated by any other medium. As I continue my studies of the old masters alongside the works of contemporary artists, my style and techniques are constantly being molded. I have drawn and painted for close to 30 years now, I earned a Bachelors in Fine Art and am finishing up a Masters in art education - and I find that I am still constantly changing and exploring. I suppose I always will be. These are my talents. These are my blessings."
Clayton currently resides in Henderson, Nevada with his wife Staci.