Zach Claxton is a native Virginian, although since he was a toddler, Atlanta was his home until he entered the Army after graduating from college with a BS in math. During his five years of service he had assignments in Indianapolis, San Francisco, Vietnam and Germany. After leaving the Army, he and his wife, Peggy, returned to Atlanta with their daughter, Jennifer, who was born in Germany. He returned to school where he earned a master' s degree in business information systems and joined SunTrust Bank for what would begin a thirty-five year career. Upon retirement, he and Peggy moved to Highlands to become full-time residents.

As a youth, Mr. Claxton demonstrated a talent for oil painting, and completed a few landscapes that drew attention to his ability. However, the demands of college, military service and a banking career caused him to put aside painting for many years. It was during a visit to Seattle to see his daughter and her family in 2008 that he resumed painting after a forty year hiatus. She, an amateur artist, suggested that he try his hand at a painting. He did, and satisfied with the result, painting with oil became his passion.

Upon returning to Highlands, he was constantly at the easel, completing an average of a painting a week. What started as a hobby soon became a business as neighbors saw his work and offered to buy pieces. In 2009 he began to participate in art shows where his work was also in demand. The following year he began to accept commissions, while continuing to paint for his own enjoyment.

His subject matter is varied. While he still enjoys painting landscapes, he also has been recognized for his waterscapes, still life, architectural and figurative work. His representative style is sometimes combined with strokes of less detail, allowing viewers to complete the work with their imagination. His work continues to evolve as he explores new techniques and subject matter.

Recent recognition and exhibits:

2011 - Selected to exhibit at the Bascom's American Still Life: Then and Now juried exhibition.
2011 - Single artist exhibition, Damariscotta, Maine.
2012 - Featured artist on the cover of the March 2012 Laurel magazine.
2012 - Displayed a piece inspired by Van Gogh at the Performing Arts Center in conjunction with the play "Vincent". The piece was later displayed at the Bascom.
2014 - Selected to exhibit at the Bascom's juried Regional Art Exhibition.

The Art League of Highlands-Cashiers
The Bascom Center for Visual Arts
Associate Member, Oil Painters of America