William Irvine was born in Scotland in a small coastal town. He took up painting when he was about twelve years old. By the time he was fourteen he knew that painting would be his life’s pursuit. He graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in drawing and painting then did his compulsory service in a Scottish regiment before settling in London for the next ten years. There he painted, exhibited and did odd jobs for the occasional plate of spaghetti. Having married an American girl while in London, he moved with his wife to Maine in the late 60s, first to Washington county, then Blue Hill and now Brooklin.