Born in South Australia in 1948, Ian’s childhood years were spent on the shores of Hervey Bay. It was here that his deep love of the sea and ships began.. By the age of eight, he was actively painting with watercolours, moving to oils when he was eleven.
Joining the Navy at fifteen, Ian served for twelve years continually painting the ships and scenes he observed on his travels. On leaving the navy, Ian decided to paint full time and eventually settled in Sydney.
Sailing is still an important part of his life and Ian enjoys taking to sea on his yacht Karalee. It is from these trips that he draws his inspiration and great understanding of the sea.
In 2000, the Royal Australian Navy invited Ian to East Timor. He spent time on several of the ships painting scenes of the Navy’s involvement during the crisis. Ian exhibits with the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut USA, the Kendall Gallery on the Isle of Wight and various galleries in Sydney. In January 2002, he was appointed one of Mystic Museum’s “premier artists” – an appointment only given to twenty artists worldwide.
Ian has been an exhibitor with Kevin Hill’s “TOP TEN” Australian Artists since 2002. Ian and his works have been included in the last three editions of Kevin Hill’s “TOP TEN” Australian Artists books.
Ian is a member of the Australian Society of Marine Artists and a Fellow and Council member of the Royal Art Society. In August 2008 he was invited to be a fellow of the Australian Institute of History and Arts for “reaching an extraordinary degree of competence” in his field. He has had several one-man exhibitions and his works hang in Government House in Sydney, Qantas House, the Sydney Stock Exchange, the AMP Building, the National Maritime Museum and in many private collections around the world.
Ian was declared the winner of the “The Thomas Wells Award on Saturday Night the 18th September 2004 in a star studded exhibition of the works of the 140 Marine artists who were the Finalists from around the world in this most prestigious global award. The exhibition, the 25th annual, was held in the maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport, Mystic Connecticut USA. This began a stream of awards including The Thomas Wells in 2008 and 2010, and in 2005 and 2012 Ian won The Award of Excellence at the same exhibition.
In 2013 The Royal Australian Navy invited Ian to be the Official Artist for The International Fleet Review.
Ian is always looking to paint historical correct subjects and is open to do commissions through this site. Call Kevin now to organise a piece of history for your wall.