Elizabeth Blackadder

Orchids and Pears (1985)

About this artwork

Paintings of flowers have been a central part of Elizabeth Blackadder’s work since the 1970s. She began painting orchids in 1980, and in 1993 made a portfolio of orchid etchings in conjunction with Glasgow Print studio, to mark the fourteenth World Orchid Conference being held in Glasgow. The intricate shapes of the orchids in this painting are intensely observed, but they retain a sense of life about them. Blackadder began to incorporate exotic fruit in her paintings in the 1980s, and here has included two Chinese pears as well as pieces of patterned material. The resulting painting is a lively and striking combination of colours, textures and shapes. Blackadder is known for her joyful still-life paintings that bring together diverse and curious objects.

  • title: Orchids and Pears
  • accession number: GMA 4684
  • artist: Elizabeth BlackadderScottish (born 1931)
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Work on paper
  • subject: Flowers
  • medium: Watercolour
  • date created: 1985
  • measurements: 42.50 x 53.00 cm
  • credit line: Bequeathed by Miss Michelle Proud 2002
  • copyright: © The Estate of Dame Elizabeth Blackadder. All Rights Reserved 2016/ Bridgeman Images

Elizabeth Blackadder

Elizabeth Blackadder

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.