I was born in Guangchou, China where my mother was studying painting and my father was an airline pilot. I've been surrounded by art and art materials my whole life,  My grandfather, artist Arvid Skoggard set me up with a little panel and brush and oil paints when I was three.

  I majored in studio art at Bard College, New York. Right after college I got a studiio in Paris a studio at the Cite Internationale des Arts and spend a year and a-half painting large minimal abstractions. My first solo exhibition Ross Skoggard; dessins et peintures recentes at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris was a success. Subsequent shows at A Space and KAA Gallery pursued my interest in making paintings as simple as possible.

I moved to New York in 1975 and began writing freelance art criticism for Art in America, the Village Voice, Canadian Forum and others. I was a staff reviewer at Artforum magazine and later, senior editor of the Print Collector's Newsletter. I began to paint in a figurative style after receiving my first portrait commission from a New York collector and enjoying the challenge.

After moving back to Toronto with my wife and young son I worked as a newspaper editor and columnist at the Toronto Star and won national awards for his art writing. My book on Canadian antiques Collecting the Past was  published by Octopus.

In 2013, I moved with my partner to Midland, Ontario where I show regularly at Quest Art Gallery and serve on the boards of Huronia Players Theatre and the Midland Cultural Centre.