Scobie was born in Edinburgh and studied painting at Edinburgh College of Art from 1958-62. He began making sculpture in 1966. At this time the minimalist work of Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and Anthony Caro emerged and obviously influenced the young artist. However, he was conscious that he “found it difficult to make abstract sculpture” and so the work of American sculptor, David Smith, with his utilisation of recognisable objects had a defining impact on Scobie. There is a discernable human presence in much of Scobie’s work, alongside a keen awareness of how the materials he used – steel, copper, wood and glass – interact with each other.