Ian was born in Scotland and received his definative art education at The Glasgow School of Art, The Academie Colarossi Paris and The Royal College of Art in London. His first job was as the painting master at the Southport Art School. He was elected as a member of the Liverpool Academy and showed work at The Royal Scottish Academy, The Royal Academy in London and The Manchester Academy of Fine Art.
In 1937 he moved to Manchester to work at The Manchester School of Art. In 1945 he was elected as a member of The Manchester Acaemy of Fine Art where in 1988 he became a Vice President.
During his lifetime Ian exhibited his work at many galleries throughout the country including both The Manchester City Art Gallery and Salford Art Gallery.