Painter and printmaker Elizabeth Blackadder was born in Falkirk. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art under William Gillies, and lectured at the college from 1962 until her retirement in 1986. In 1956 she married fellow artist John Houston. Blackadder is well known for her delicate paintings of flowers and still life subjects, however, she has also painted landscapes and portraits. She paints with both oils and watercolour, but uses the latter most frequently as it is well suited to conveying her sensitive brushwork. Regular trips abroad, particularly to Japan, helped stimulate her interest in colour and pattern.