Ian Scott Massie is an artist and musician who lives in Masham, North Yorkshire.
He was born in London in 1952 and, aged 6, his family moved to Langley near Slough. At Ryver's Primary School his interest in art was developed and encouraged by his class teacher, the educational philosopher Ralph Dearden,
He grew up close to the childhood home of Paul Nash – an abiding influence in his work – and from an early age sang in public and joined 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 local 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, but made the decision to gain the qualifications to train to become a teacher. He went to Neviiles Cross College, Durham in 1973 and also continued performing regularly on the folk and working mens' club circuit.
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, then as now, focused on portraying the personality of the landscape. His major themes 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 for The Manpower Services Commission and Beamish Museum before becoming a self-employed 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. In addition to this he exhibits regularly at galleries throughout Britain and has work in print with major art publishers. The Masham Gallery in Masham, Wensleydale is the principal outlet for his work.
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.
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.
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 crafts teaching studios. He was a semi-finalist in BBC’s Mastermind 2010, answering questions on Paul Nash.