'SHAMROCK WESTWARD, 1932'
'America's Cup, 1937'
Livingstone was born in Lurgan, Ireland in 1956, and spent all his
childhood summers in Donegal, in the thatched cottage of his maternal
grandparents, literally a stone’s throw from the sea. His grandfather was
a lobsterman, and this early contact with the sea left a lasting
impression. Livingstone began his painting career at the tender age of
four, and was enormously encouraged by the reaction of his mother, to his
somewhat immature efforts. This led to Livingstone practicing his
watercolor technique to a degree not usually seen in one so young, with
the aim of astonishing his parents still further. He sold his first
painting at the age of twelve, and immediately spent the money on a set of
His art teacher instilled a solid sense of composition and design, but it
was the renowned landscape artist Cecil Maguire, who guided Livingstone
through his early years as an oil painter, instilling a love of classical
technique. To this day, Livingstone uses only the finest ground pigments,
and the best quality linen canvas, using layers of glazing and scumbling
to develop the luminous depth and richness in his work. Moving to London
at the age of nineteen, Livingstone realized that the art schools of the
day seemed only to encourage work of an abstract nature, and realized he
would have to continue his training alone. He did this by spending hour
after hour in both the National Gallery of London, and in the Tate,
studying the techniques of the old masters. Often with his face only a few
inches from the canvas, he caused the alarm to go off on more than one
occasion. It was in this way that he developed his understanding of the
methods by the old masters over hundreds of years of oil painting.
After five years of this study, supporting himself by various occupations
ranging from publishing to house painting, Livingstone’s talent was
recognized by Christies Contemporary Art and London Contemporary Art, who
went on to publish over sixty of his watercolors over the next ten years,
in a series of limited edition prints which have sold out. His first major
commission was to paint all seven of the marine paintings which hang in
the boardroom of Visa’s European Headquarters in Chester, England. In
recent years he has moved to the southwest of France, where he lives with
his wife and their daughter, in an old stone house close to the port of
Bordeaux. It is here he has created his studio where he paints the marine
paintings for which he is becoming increasingly well-known.
Livingstone has exhibited with Blackman and Harvey Gallery, London; London
Contemporary Art, Chelsea, London; Medici Gallery, Mayfair, London; and
Sir John Campbell Gallery, Belgravia, London, among others.