Manson Blair was born near Ballyclare, Co. Antrim in 1947. From a young age he developed an interest in art and drawing, taking up study at Stranmillis College from 1965-68. Afterwards, he embarked on a career in education, teaching for a number of years in Ballyclare Primary School, NRC (Northern Regional College) and for various groups holding leisure art classes and workshop activities.
Manson began to paint seriously in the early seventies and displayed a liking for the traditional Irish landscape, particularly the rugged mountain, coastal and lake views of the west of Ireland, as well as more local scenes of the Antrim Coast and the Mournes in Co. Down.
He has been elected a member of the Ulster Watercolour Society and the Arts Society of Ulster, being presented with a Landscape Prize in 2015 at the UWS exhibition.