Patrick Downie was born in Greenock in 1854. Downie always wanted to be an artist but the early death of his father meant he had to take various employments (van driver, postman) before he could take his ambition further. Eventually he was able to train as an artist, including studying in Paris, and from then devoted his life to his art.
Downie’s works have been exhibited in many galleries such as the Royal Academy, the Royal Scottish Academy, the Royal Glasgow Institute and the Royal Scottish Watercolour Society. He also showed at exhibitions in Paris, Venice and elsewhere on the continent, being elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colour in 1905. In 1901 he was awarded a gold medal at the Paris Salon.