Irby Brown began his career in the most straight forward manner possible growing up in Paris, Texas, northeast of Dallas. He was commisioned to paint his first landscape by a local shop owner when he was thirteen years old. After this experience, a career of painting was set in stone. After graduating from high school, Irby served in the Army, and then studied with Olin Travis for three and one-half years at the Art Institute in Dallas.
From the very beginning, Brown was influenced by the Impressionists, which he experienced first hand in the Dallas Museum of Art. It was the colors juxtaposed together, the warm with the cool colors. What an impact, and the fact that they painted outdoors was not lost on Irby. He still paints outdoors much of the time.
Brown sold his work in Dallas galleries and taught art classes in his studio. It was a relationship with a collector he befriended that would impact his painting career forever. Al Wadle, a stockbroker from Florida bought two pieces of Irby’s from a gallery in Ruidoso, New Mexico. After they moved to Dallas, Al’s wife Alice took a class from Irby and not soon after they purchased a gallery in Santa Fe and asked Brown if he would be interested in exhibiting with him. Brown’s work found a ready audience among the collectors who formed a relationship with the new gallery which enabled Irby to have a successful full-time career painting. That exclusive arrangement to exhibit with the gallery has lasted over 30 years until recently when it closed.
Irby Brown and his wife Patricia moved to Santa Fe in 1984 where they live today. They immediately fell in love with the beauty and breathtaking vistas of New Mexico. Although Irby is particularly well known for his snow scenes, he loves all the season’s and paints year round. “I’d rather paint here than anywhere in the world” he says. “The reward of a painter is the gratification and joy you get from working outdoors and completing a successful painting.”