Homer Ransford Watson was born in Doon, Ontario in 1855. He was mostly self-taught, he moved to Toronto in 1874, where he spent time in the Toronto Normal School and the Notman-Fraser photography studio. The rest of his "training" was accomplished through travels. He was influenced by the Hudson River school after a trip made to New York. In France, Watson was influenced by the Barbizon painters.
In 1907, Watson became a founding member and president of the Canadian Art Club. He served as president of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts from 1918 to 1922.
His works capture the landscape and pioneer life of Doon, Ontario.
He died in Doon, Ontario in 1936.