John McNairn was born in Hawick in the Scottish Borders. He studied at the Edinburgh College of Art from 1927 to 1930 where his tutors included both William Gillies and DM Sutherland. McNairn moved to Paris where he joined the Academie Scandanave – an uncommon choice amongst British artists at that time. He is said to have been much interested and to a degree “disturbed” by some of the content of the famous 1933 Surrealists’ exhibition in Paris.
In the 1930s McNairn travelled extensively in Spain where he developed a lifelong love of the work of El Greco. After war service in India, McNairn returned to Scotland settling in Selkirk where he was head of the Art Department at Selkirk High School for many years. His work includes many colourful and broad views of the Ettrick valley, the Eildons and other parts of the south of Scotland.
There is a very full and most insightful description of McNairn’s life and work at:-johnmcnairn.com.