Figure, landscape but essentially visionary painter in oil, pastel, watercolour and gouache. He was also a printmaker and draughtsman. He was born in Plymouth. While at the Plymouth School of Art, he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in 1927. He married the artist Elizabeth Ramsden who was an important influence on his work, appearing in his pictures throughout his career. Collins had his first one-man show at the Bloomsbury Gallery in 1935 and took part in the International Surrealist Exhibition in 1936. From 1951, he taught at the Central School of Arts and Crafts for many years, where his influence was outstanding. In 1947, Collins published 'The Vision of the Fool' being a recurrent image in his pictures.He held many one-man exhibitions including a major retrospective at the Tate Gallery in 1989 and a commemorative exhibition in 1995. His work is held at the tate gallery and other important public collections.