Ian Scott Massie is an artist and musician who lives in Masham, North Yorkshire.
He was born during the Great Smog of 1952 and, as a result, developed chronic asthma. At the age of 6 his family moved to Langley near Slough in search of cleaner air to improve his health. At Ryver's Primary School his approach to art was developed and encouraged by his class teacher, the educational philosopher Ralph Dearden,
He grew up in Buckinghamshire close to the childhood home of Paul Nash – an abiding influence in his work – and from an early age sang in public and had singing lessons (initially to improve his asthma), also joining the local church choir. As his singing progressed he was a regular soloist in choral and operatic concerts. He taught himself the guitar at 16 and immediately began writing songs becoming a regular performer on the Thames Valley folk club circuit. His painting was further inspired by the colourful work of his art teacher at Slough Grammar School, Romeo di Girolamo (current President of the Royal Society of British Artists).
After leaving school he worked at the local textile mill, making Ladybird children’s clothing, and, after a year, made the decision that a conventional working life was not for him. Other jobs between school and university included growing carnations in a market garden, being a London delivery driver and picking fruit in the South West of France.
He went to Neviiles Cross College, Durham in 1973 to train as a teacher and continued an already very active career on the folk club scene, performing his own songs.
He began painting professionally while a student. Working first in oils and screen print, his work progressed through pen and ink and acrylic paint before he found widespread success in the medium of watercolour.
His work is concentrates on portraying the personality of the landscape. The major themes of his paintings are the effect of light and weather on landscapes chosen, coloured and textured to reveal their character. The Pennines, the Lake District and the abbeys, castles and ruins of the North of England are his favourite subjects. In many ways his work is a continuation of the themes which underpinned several artists of the British Romantic School of the 1930s – most notably Paul Nash and John Piper.
After university he lived in Durham until 1982, working on short projects for The Manpower Services Commission (running a youth training workshop) and Beamish Museum (as a music researcher) before becoming self employed as a musician and artist. He moved to Berkshire in 1982 but returned to the North, moving to Masham, North Yorkshire, in 1987.
He has specialised for some years in single themed exhibitions which have included Coverdale (Coverham Church, Middleham), The Buildings of York (Blake Gallery, York), Spirit of Place: Fountains Abbey (Fountains Hall, near Ripon) and From William’s Words (Rydal Mount, Ambleside). In addition to this he exhibits regularly at galleries throughout Britain and has work in print with major art publishers. His last major exhibition was Tales of the Dales, staged at Wensley Church (by kind permission of the Churches Conservation Trust) and at Farfield Mill, Cumbria.
His books of painting and poetry include Under a Northern Sky, Spirit of Place, Journeys and Tales of the Dales and he has written for The Artist, Craftsman Magazine, Art Business Today and been business columnist for Artists and Illustrators Magazine.
He is currently working on an exhibition of paintings called Places of Pilgrimage to be held at Southwell Minster, Nottinghamshire in September 2015, before touring to a number of other locations..
Ian Scott Massie holds a B.Ed. and an M.A.. He continues to pursue a parallel career as a musician, teaching guitar and coaching rock bands at Queen Mary’s School, Thirsk and occasionally performing onstage. He has been a member of several bands over the years, most recently: The Wrong Elephant (see http://www.myspace.com/thewrongelephant7)
He continues to write and record songs and music, his latest recording being Time Travelling EP, 2011. His first LP Baby Sunshine (Deram 1301), which he made with Roger McKone and Viv Ellis, has become a collector's item. He also collects and plays unusual musicial instruments from around the world.
He is a founder and events coordinator of the Masham Arts Festival and a founder of Artison arts and arafts teaching studios. He was a semi-finalist in BBC’s Mastermind 2010, answering questions on Paul Nash.
Selected Past Exhibitions:
New Work, Old School Arts Workshop, Middleham, N. Yorks.1993 Paintings, sculpture, poetry and music about the Yorkshire landscape.
Coverdale, Coverham, N.Yorks. 1995 Paintings, sculpture, poetry, and music about Coverdale, attempting to convey the spirit of a dale within a limited exhibition space. Included album of music and sounds recorded as an exhibition soundtrack.
The Ghosts of Swaledale, Swaledale Festival, N.Yorks. 1996 Paintings and music about the changing nature of Swaledale, included concert and album of specially written songs.
Following The Faded Map Old School Arts Workshop, Middleham, N. Yorks.1996 Paintings and poetry about the drove roads, monastic tracks and forgotten places on the moors between the Yorkshire Dales.
Waterfalls, Swaledale Festival, N.Yorks. 1997 Paintings and music about Yorkshire waterfalls including album of specially composed material.
Masham, Black Sheep Brewery, Masham, N.Yorks. 1997 Paintings, poetry and music about Masham, including album of specially composed material.
History in the Stones, Mount Grace Priory, N.Yorks. 1998 Paintings, poetry and music about English Heritage properties in the North of England including album of specially composed material.
Wensleydale, Bolton Castle, North Yorkshire. 1999 Paintings and concert about life and landscape of Wensleydale.
The Light on the Water, Pinfold Gallery, Bowness, 2002 Paintings of Lake District landscapes.
Masham Market Place, St. Mary’s Church, Masham, 2006 Paintings, concert, collected written community history and collected photo archive of the centre of a changing dales community.
Richmond, Phoenix Gallery, Richmond 2007. Paintings of Richmond, Yorkshire
Buildings of York, Blake Gallery, York 2008 Paintings of favourite buildings in a variety of media and accompanying book.
Spirit of Place - Paintings of Fountains Abbey. Fountains Hall, Fountains Abbey 2009 with accompanying book
Local Colour, Bianco Nero Gallery, Stokesley. 2009 Paintings of the North Yorks Moors with accompanying book of poetry
From William’s Words, Rydal Mount, Cumbria 2010 Paintings inspired by the writing of William Wordsworth with accompanying book
Journeys, The Gallery, Masham 2010 Paintings of travels in Yorkshire and Cumbria with accompanying book of poetry
North Yorkshire Open Studios, Masham 2011 Paintings and prints
Magical Landscapes Fountains Hall, Fountains Abbey 2011. Paintings of landscapes at Fountains Abbey, Studley Royal and Hackfall
Tales of the Dales Wensley Church & Farfield Mill 2013. Paintings and prints inspired by stories of the Dales. The event comprised an exhibition, author's evening, concert and the publication of two books.
The High Country Herriot's Gallery, Hawes 2014. Paintings of the high Pennines.