Elizabeth Blackadder was born in Falkirk in 1931. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art from 1949 until 1954 under Robert Henderson Blyth and William Gillies, and enjoyed travelling scholarships to southern Europe and Italy. In 1956 she married fellow artist John Houston and began teaching in Edinburgh. One of Scotland's greatest artists, she is as well known in London. During her travels, which have included extensive visits to the Far East and regular trips to Europe, she has brought back a cornucopia of objects, which appear in her compositions. Blackadder is also an inspired and skilful maker of original prints.