Dame Elizabeth Blackadder DBE, RA, RSA, RSW, RGI was a prominent Scottish artist, and the first woman to be elected to both the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy. She was born in Falkirk, Scotland in 1931, and studied at Edinburgh College of Art (1949-54) under Robert Henderson Blythe and William Gillies. Whilst there she won scholarships to travel and paint in southern Europe and Italy. In 1956 she married fellow painter John Houston and, from 1962-86, lectured in drawing and painting at Edinburgh College of Art. In 1985, just prior to her retirement, she visited Japan for the first time and imagery and subject matter inspired by that country continues to be present within her work.
Her work includes delicate watercolours of flowers, still lifes, landscapes, and portraits. In 1987 a portrait by her of Mollie Hunter was commissioned by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, and a portrait of Naomi Mitchison was purchased by the National Portrait Gallery, London.
1956 Elected Member of the Society of Scottish Artists
1961 Elected Member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours
1962 Guthrie Award, Royal Scottish Academy
1972 Elected Member of the Royal Scottish Academy
1976 Elected Member of the Royal Academy
1982 Awarded O.B.E
1983 Elected Member of the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts
Pimms Award for Work on Paper, Royal Academy
1988 Watercolour Foundation joint winner Royal Academy
2001 Appointed Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland
2003 Awareded D.B.E