Elizabeth Blackadder was born in Falkirk, Scotland and studied at Edinburgh College of Art. In 1954 she was awarded a Carnegie Travelling Scholarship and travelled round Southern Europe; another award the following year enabled a prolonged visit to Italy. She had her first solo exhibition at 57 Gallery, Edinburgh in 1959. She was elected an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1971, and a full member in 1976. In 2001 she was appointed Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland. Although she has worked in stain glass, lithography and tapestries, she is best known for her delicately wrought watercolours of flowers, cats and domestic objects.