Douglas Swan was born to Scottish parents in Connecticut, United States of America, but moved to Carnoustie on the east coast of Scotland with his family in 1936 at the age of six. After completing his National Service he studied at the Dundee College of Art from 1943 - 1953 where his teachers included the landscape painter James MacKintosh Patrick and Hugh Adam Crawford. Swan took a brief residency at Patrick Allan Fraser's Hospitalfield House, Arbroath, where he studied under Ian Fleming and received a Post Graduate Diploma. He also studied at Trinity College of Music in London.
He began exhibiting at the Royal Scottish Academy, and was awarded the RSA scholarship in London in 1954. It was here that he met and formed a lasting friendship with the artist William Scott (1913-1989) with whom he painted together in Somerset and then in Cornwall. In 1958 he was awarded a British Council Scholarship for study in Italy and while on scholarship in Milan, Swan enjoyed the vibrant contemporary art scene of the time provided by Lucio Fontana, Enrico Castellani and Roberto Crippa.
During the late 1960's Swan moved to Switzerland with his wife Barbara (nee Kückels) and became an important and established 20th century abstract painter. In the mid 1970's they moved to Bonn and in 1986 he was awarded the Kunststipendium des Stadt, a major award given annually by the city of Bonn.
During his career, Swan showed at the RSA (Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh), Young Contemporaries, London Group, Gimpel Fils, AIA (Artists International Association), and had a series of one man shows in Italy, Germany and Switzerland. His time spent in Carnoustie, to where he often returned to draw inspiration and paint, resulted in a series of solo exhibitions in the UK, most significantly with the Stone Gallery in 1964. His works are held in public and private galleries/collections in the UK, Brazil, Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands.
Douglas Swan died in Germany on 7th June 2000, a result of a traffic accident.
biography from askart