Oil painter and watercolourist Ernest Taylor was born at Greenock and studied at Glasgow School of Art. Influenced by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, he worked as an interior designer before joining a firm of cabinet-makers; he also taught furniture design at Glasgow School of Art. In 1908 Taylor married illustrator and designer Jessie King. The couple moved first to Manchester, where Taylor worked as a designer of stained glass, and then to Paris where they concentrated on art and ran an atelier. Returning to Scotland in 1914, the Taylors settled at Kirkcudbright and ran summer schools both there and on the Isle of Arran. Having absorbed the influences of contemporary French painting and the Ballets Russes while in Paris, back at home Taylor's work became more like that of the Colourists.