Dame Elizabeth BLACKADDER 1931 -
ARSA 1963, ARA 1971, ARSA 1972, RA 1976
Dame Elizabeth Blackadder was born in Falkirk, Scotland. Elizabeth studied at Edinburgh University and Edinburgh College of Art (ECA) where her teachers included Penelope BEATON, Robin PHILIPSON, William MacTAGGART and also William GILLIES, who was to have the greatest influence on her work.
A Carnegie Travelling Scholarship took her to Yugoslavia, Greece and Italy when she returned 1954-5 studying the work of the Quattrocento as well as contemporaries like painter Georgio Morandi. In 1956 she married fellow student John Houston and began to teach part-time at ECA.
Elizabeth Blackadder works primarily in watercolour, painting landscapes, cats, flowers, still life and portraits. Her flowers and still life have broken from the traditional organisation of space to create a carefully composed arrangement of the objects against a flattened background, which is brought parallel to the picture plane. In this way the eye is allowed to concentrate upon the quality of the painting and the details without distraction from three-dimensional backgrounds. The arrangement of the flowers or objects plays a major part in the compositions, and there is always a visual excitement when her three-dimensional objects meet her two-dimensional space.