We could call this exhibition of recent watercolours modest and indeed everything Elizabeth Blackadder makes is in one sense modest. She does not paint to impress her fellow Academicians in London or Edinburgh, she is unaware of her reputation and she does not seek new audiences and plaudits.
Instead she works away, quietly unconscious of anything except the gentle challenge of the next painting. Each is a subtle resolution suggested by the juxtaposition of stems and blooms; or autumn leaves, the firstbrought as a trophy proffered by Toby, the more tractable of her two cats, arranged in perfect conversation across her sheet.
Her familiar irises and tulips are here and then a surprise; roses, ontheir narrow, thorny stems, in dusty pinks, as if picked from a wildhedgerow. From Eddy’s Fish Market or the van that toots its hornin her leafy street come lobsters and mackerel, bought for the table but bounty first for the studio. Two years after her monumental retrospective with the Galley of Modern Art this modest assemblyof new watercolours reminds us that her greatness is undimmed.
Elizabeth Blackadder was born in Falkirk in 1931. She studied at ECA from 1949 until 1954 under Robert Henderson Blyth and William Gillies inter alia and enjoyed travelling scholarships to southern Europe and Italy. In 1956 she married artist and fellow Scottish Gallery exhibitor John Houston and began teaching in Edinburgh. One of Scotland's greatest artists, she is as well known in London. Perhaps best know for her detailed yet lyrical watercolours of flowers, 'table-top' compositions using Oriental objects and her beloved cats. More recent trips to Japan and Venice and a greater emphasis on oil can be seen in landscape and townscape pieces as well as important still life series using decorated tins and boxes arranged with exotic fish, fruit and vegetables. Elizabeth is also an inspired and skillful maker of original prints. We have oils, watercolours and original etchings in stock.