George Houston, RSA (1869 - 1947) was born in Dalry in and educated at Saltcoats Public School and Glasgow School of Art. He lived most of his life in Dalry painting his native Ayrshire but he also maintained a studio in Glasgow and spent time painting in the Inner Hebrides and around Loch Fyne. Houston became an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1909 and then an Academician in 1925.
Houston served his time as a lithographic artist in Glasgow, and was subsequently illustrator with the Glasgow Citizen newspaper. He travelled widely, visiting Japan in 1911.
His finest work has a unity – visual, technical and emotional- which in the words of his obituary, ‘places it among the finest landscapes produced in Scotland’.
He enjoyed wide expanses of loch or moorland painted against a backcloth of distant hills. He used a bright palette in which strong blues, greens and yellows were dominant, and was notably successful in his depiction of snow.
In later life he moved back to Dalry and lived at West Lynn until his death on 5 October 1947.
Houston married Anne Kerr Crawford in 1889 and the couple had ten children together.
One of his paintings, An Ayrshire Landscape is in the Glasgow Museums collection. Houston was a friend of the writer Neil Munro and illustrated Munro's book Ayrshire Idylls (A&C Black, 1912). Munro also provided commentary on Burns' Country, a series of 12 etchings made by Houston published in 1915. These etchings are now in the possession of the North Ayrshire Council Museums Service.