A Lifetime in Paint

A Lifetime in Paint

A display of paintings by a husband and wife team, who are widely regarded as two of Scotland’s most talented painters, is now on display at the University of Aberdeen’s Marischal Museum.

A Lifetime in Paint exhibition features the work of Edinburgh-based artists Elizabeth Blackadder and John Houston whose talents have earned them some of Scotland’s most coveted arts prizes.

The University of Aberdeen already has a small collection of works by Elizabeth, including two donated by the artist in 2002. She was awarded an honorary degree, LLD, by the University of Aberdeen in 1997, while her husband John was awarded an honorary doctorate in 2005.

The themes that have dominated their careers are all represented in the selection now on show at Marischal Museum that was put together by the Edinburgh City Art Centre from works in their collection and others belonging to the artists.

During a lifetime together, they have established distinguished individual careers, exhibiting throughout Britain, and internationally. A love of travelling has been a constant source of inspiration for them both, and times spent in the Far East, Europe and America have provided motifs and experiences that have informed their work.

Elizabeth’s delicate flower paintings, studies of her pet cats, and the carefully balanced yet intricate still life paintings are shown alongside drawings of Italy from the 1950s, and etchings, lithographs, and screenprints from different periods.

Landscape has been John’s passion, often painted with great boldness and flamboyance. The Bass Rock, just off the East Lothian shore, has been a recurring motif, and its very familiarity has given John the freedom to give full rein to his vigorous painting technique. The display includes two very contrasting paintings of the rock, Winter Sea, North Berwick and Summer Sea.

Budding artists John Houston and Elizabeth Blackadder first met each other while studying at Edinburgh College of Art in the early 1950s. John was a full time art college student, while Elizabeth was studying the combined MA in Fine Art that had recently been set up jointly between the University of Edinburgh and the College. In 1956 they married, and bought a flat in London Street, coincidentally directly above Anne Redpath, one of Scotland’s most distinguished painters of the period.

Elizabeth was the first woman artist to be elected to both the Royal Academy and the Royal Scottish Academy, and holds honorary doctorates from four Scottish Universities. In 2001 she was appointed Her Majesty’s Painter and Limner in Scotland. She was awarded the OBE in 1982 and has been honoured with the title Dame Elizabeth Blackadder in recent years.

Both artists enjoyed long teaching careers at Edinburgh College of Art. John was first appointed as a part time lecturer in 1955, and became full time five years later. In 1983 he was appointed Deputy Head of the School of Drawing and Painting. He retired from the College in 1989. A year later, he was awarded the OBE in recognition of his services.

A Lifetime in Paint will be on display at Marischal Museum until April 14, 2006. Marischal Museum is located in Marischal College in the centre of Aberdeen. The museum is open Monday to Friday, 10am – 5pm and Sunday 2pm – 5pm. Entry to the museum is free.

Search News

Browse by Month

2024

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 2024
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 2024
  9. Sep There are no items to show for September 2024
  10. Oct There are no items to show for October 2024
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2024
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2024

2004

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 2004
  12. Dec

2003

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec There are no items to show for December 2003

1999

  1. Jan There are no items to show for January 1999
  2. Feb There are no items to show for February 1999
  3. Mar
  4. Apr
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul
  8. Aug
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov
  12. Dec

1998

  1. Jan
  2. Feb
  3. Mar
  4. Apr There are no items to show for April 1998
  5. May
  6. Jun
  7. Jul There are no items to show for July 1998
  8. Aug There are no items to show for August 1998
  9. Sep
  10. Oct
  11. Nov There are no items to show for November 1998
  12. Dec