Ian was born in 1977 into a seafaring family in a small fishing town set in the picturesque Kingdom of Mourne on Ireland’s East Coast. From a young age he would paint pictures of local fishing boats and by his early teens regularly received from commissions by local skippers for portraits of their boats.
His fascination with colour led him to study a Colour Chemistry at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, graduating with an honours degree in 1999. His first job was as a colour technologist with a carpet manufacturer and it was whilst visiting this company’s Durban operation that he met his wife Janelle. After moving to London, he took up the position of Research & Development Chemist with Winsor & Newton. During this time his marine painting career also flourished and was helped in no small way by the valuable insight into artists’ materials he was gaining in the laboratory. During this time he was one of the youngest artists ever to exhibit with the Royal Society of Marine Artists.
His combination of chemistry and painting was subsequently put to full use when he was promoted to the role of “Painting & Technical Advisor” for Winsor & Newton. Much of his time was then spent helping and training artists with technical issues, demonstrating and lecturing around the UK and beyond.
In December 2005, it became clear the London climate was having an adverse effect on his wife’s health due to her congenital heart condition. For this reason they moved to her native Durban almost three years ago where she has enjoyed almost full health ever since. He continues to work for online as an advisor on behalf of Winsor & Newton and to exhibit in marine specialist galleries in the UK, Ireland and USA. Ian works primarily in oils or acrylics and occasionally in water colour.