After an earlier career as a genre and landscape painter in England, Waite migrated to Melbourne in 1886, and established himself as a portraitist. He was a foundation member of the Victorian Artists’ Society (1888), and an unsuccessful applicant for the post of Director of the NGV in 1891 (when Bernard Hall was chosen).
He also painted a rather wooden posthumous portrait of Alfred Felton, acquired for the NGV in 1905 (not catalogued here).
For Waite, see http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/waite-james-clarke-4782 (biography by J.H.Holmes, published in ADB vol.6, 1974) and Bénézit 14, p.472. For his portrait of Felton see http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/work/3165/