Patrick Heron was born in Leeds. His family moved to Cornwall when he was five years old and he continued to live there and be inspired by the landscape for most of his life. Heron studied at the Slade School of Fine Art. The early influences on Heron’s work were diverse, as a teenager he was a designer for his father’s firm Cresta Silks. In 1944-45 he was an assistant at the Bernard Leach Pottery at St. Ives. Heron was greatly interested in, and influenced by, the work of modern French artists such as Matisse, Bonnard and Braque as evidenced by the flat linear style of his still lifes and interiors. In the 1950s Heron was closely identified with the St. Ives group of painters who’s members included Ben Nicholson and Barbara Hepworth. In the mid 1950s Heron started to paint in an abstract style, often with a bold use of colour.
During the Sixties and Seventies Patrick Heron lectured around the world, culminating in a book, The Shape of Colour in 1978.