Born in Greenock in 1854, Patrick Downie started his working life as a van man and later a postman, before devoting himself and his life to art, embarking on a period of intense study first in this country and then in Paris.
Despite early setbacks in his artistic career, Downie was an early contributor to the principal art exhibitions, including those of 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 . The first man from his home town to have a painting exhibited in the Royal Academy, Downie went on to win a gold medal at the Paris Salon in 1901. He exhibited 16 works at the Royal Academy, 54 at the Royal Scottish Academy, 126 at the Royal Scottish Society of Artists in Water Colour, 133 at the Glasgow Institute and elsewhere.
He died in 1945 aged 91 years.