He was a landscape and figure painter, born in Sterling, Scotland. He painted in both oils and watercolours and was a member of The Royal College of Art, The Royal Society of British Artists, The Royal Institution and The Royal Institute of Oil Painters.
From 1886 he exhibited regularly at The Royal Academy in London. He was also known as an author. In 1896 he founded a successful school of modern art in Beckenham, Kent which he called The Yellow Door School. His paintings show his peculiar skill in the rendering of an atmosphere.
Among the best known are :-
Funeral in Holland in Winter (Gold Medal The Salon Paris 1901)
Too Late - Musee d'Orsay - Paris
The Little White Cross - Manchester Art Gallery
In the Shadow of the Church - Manchester Art Gallery
Vespers, Holland -1906 - Kelvingrove Art Gallery - Glasgow
Grey of the Morn - The Guildhall - London
Grey of the Evening - The Ferens Art Gallery - Hull