Born in 1959 in Cullowhee, North Carolina, David Clayton is an educator, painter, outdoorsman, and authentic son of the Appalachian mountains.  Clayton’s father, an amateur painter himself, exposed Clayton to art at an early age, and, as he grew up a stone’s throw from Western Carolina University, much of his childhood was spent in the university’s art galleries.  The seemingly endless river of artwork that decorated the university’s walls inspired him to travel across the state to East Carolina University to pursue his own artistic aspirations.  There, in 1984, Clayton received his Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Painting and met his wife, Hope.
After receiving his teaching certification from Lenoir-Rhyne University, Clayton began his career as a professional educator in 1989.  He currently teaches high school art in Burke County, North Carolina.  An instructor beyond the walls of the classroom, Clayton finds a way to channel his life-long passion for soccer as a coach at the high school level.  When he’s not in the classroom or on the pitch, you can find him cycling along the Blue Ridge Parkway or walking through the forests of Western North Carolina, home to so many of the creatures that feature prominently in his work.