A native of Glasgow, Helen Paxton Brown was a student at Glasgow School of Art at the same time as Jessie M. King and the two became lifelong friends. They shared a studio from around 1898 until 1907 and, like King, Paxton Brown was associated with the Glasgow Girls. Paxton Brown excelled at embroidery and taught the subject at GSA for the teachers’ diploma and Saturday classes, from 1904 to 1907. Embroidery had recently emerged as the most important craft taught at GSA and had become recognised internationally. She went on to teach book-binding from 1911 to 1913. Paxton Brown was also a painter and a member of the Glasgow Society of Artists, she was actively involved in the Lady Artists’ Club, exhibiting regularly from the 1920s onwards.