TRIBUTES have poured in for an acclaimed Inverclyde man who became one of Scotland's most prolific and renowned artists.

Portonian James Watt, 90, was inspired by the harbours and shipyards of the Clyde, dedicating his life to recording the river and its industries on canvas.

His works featured in numerous public art collections, as well as the private art collections of the Queen, and his creative abilities took him all over the world.

However, the artist never forgot about his roots and it is his depiction of industrial Greenock in the late 1960s and 70s which he is best known for.

Only last year, ‘The Lost Clyde – the paintings of James Watt’- a dedicated exhibition at Greenock’s Watt Institute - brought some of the James' best work closer to home for his 90th birthday.

Speaking to the Tele then about his childhood, James said that growing up in Port Glasgow had 'shaped his career'.

He said: “All my work stems from my youth in Port Glasgow.

"It has always been with me - it made me what I am.

“As a boy I’d explore the harbours and docks in the Port and I would think nothing of taking a leaky boat out with my friends when the tide was up - two rowing, four baling - and head across the river to Cardross.”

Announcing his passing this week, daughter Alison Watt – herself an acclaimed artist – described the indelible mark her dad left on her and others.

She said: “My wonderful father was a great influence on my life.

“I wouldn’t be an artist without him.

"He taught me to look at the world differently and I will miss him more than words can say.”

James worked on the Clyde paddle steamers during the 1950s but was also a teacher for more than 30 years, notably locally at St Columba's, where he was principal teacher of art.

Martin Brennan, ex-councillor and former Inverclyde Provost, worked with James during his time at the school, describing him as ‘a great colleague and distinguished painter who left a legacy at the school and the area.’

He added: “I will never forget him.

"He was good fun and a real character in the staff room when I was there.

“It’s a sad day for the St Columba’s school community and for Inverclyde.

“The area has lost another talented and absolutely gregarious character.

“His legacy will live on in his paintings, his family, and through his talented daughter Alison and her artwork."

James was married to wife Nancy for over 50 years before she passed away in 2012.

He is survived by daughters Caroline, Pauline and Alison and son Jim.

Alison said that while the family are devastated by their loss, the tributes have been a source of strength and support.

She said: “Thank-you to everyone for the beautiful, kind and supportive messages about my dear dad.

"It has been of great comfort to me and my family to read them.”