John McGhie was a Scottish painter. Born near Lanark, Scotland in 1867, McGhie began his education at the Glasgow School of Art where he remained for one year before receiving a scholarship to study at the Royal Academy Schools. His time at the Royal Academy Schools in London under the tutelage of the late John Everett Millais proved to be both instructional and inspiring. Upon graduating from the RA Schools McGhie travelled to Paris to continue his artistic education at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. Whilst in France, the artist was witness to many vibrant and increasingly changeable artistic movements. The effect of his traditional British education combined with the ambitious, Impressionistic sway of France encouraged McGhie to explore a distinct style of representation upon his return to his native Scotland in 1904. Settling in the fishing village of Pittenweem on the Firth of Forth, McGhie began to represent the sea and landscapes around him. Life in the fishing village proved to be a source of great inspiration to the artist, who later began to capture the people and fishermen of his adopted home in his work.
McGhie was a celebrated seascape artist, and became known as an accomplished portraitist in the early 1910s. His work was widely exhibited in both Glasgow and London, and the artist first participated in a Royal Academy exhibition in 1911. McGhie enjoyed great success throughout his long career. His joy in, and talent for, painting the sea views and industrial people around him en plein air encouraged his artistic approach to develop considerably, his colour palette and swiftness of brushwork inspired by the changeable coastal scenery in which he revelled. The artist died in 1952.