Born 1949, George studied at Glasgow School of Art from 1967-71. He taught art until 1985 and now is a full-time painter and lecturer. He has had many one-man shows where his work, which he describes as The Scottish landscape in a celebration of light and colour, is always in demand.
Birrell doesn't paint directly on the spot or from photographs, but improvises the essential memory of a place within the comfort of his studio. Aspects that attract him are harbours and their bric-a-brac, as well as mills and castles. Typical Birell paintings show clear and well-constructed composition with contrasting colours creating areas of light and shade, drawing the eyes into thescene.