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Dame Elizabeth Blackadder

about blackadderDame Elizabeth Blackadder was born in Falkirk in 1931 . She studied at Edinburgh University and in 1954 she was awarded a Carnegie Travelling Scholarship by the Royal Scottish Academy and travelled through southern Europe. These travels inspired her early landscapes and influenced the way she saw the world around her. Initially her artwork was more experimental, influenced by the American artists Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. It was during her travels to France that she became more aware of the painter Henri Matisse and her palette became more colourful.

She makes no secret that some of her arrangements of forms and colours have been greatly influenced by Japanese aesthetics and she is a regular visitor to Japan. Typical compositions are arranged through a process of setting out groups of miscellaneous objects on her studio table and depicting them from above.

As a printmaker for over four decades she has experimented with a range of printing media including lithography, etching, aquatint, dry point, woodcut and screen print. She held her first solo exhibition in 1959 and since then her work has been shown extensively in exhibitions in Britain, USA, Japan, Australia, Brazil and Russia.

Elizabeth Blackadder is the first woman to be elected to be a member of the Royal Scottish Academy and the Royal Academy. She is the first woman in the 300 year history to be made Her Majesty's painter and limner in Scotland. She was awarded an OBE in 1982 and lives and work in Edinburgh.