Elizabeth Blackadder has had a love of flowers since her childhood but they did not appear significantly in her work until the mid 1970's, when she moved to Fountain Hall Road , which had a large garden . Prior to that period she was however, experimenting in her style and mediums and flowers were a topic that seems to recur.
In 1963 John and Elizabeth moved from their flat into a house in Queens Crescent, on the South side of Edinburgh. They then had for the first time, a small garden which gave her access to a constant supply of flowers and it is in that period that we begin to see them feature in her work. In 1966 she produced a large pen and ink drawing of Lilies which is depicted on page 51 of Duncan Macmillan's book about Elizabeth Blackadder, which has some similarities to the work we, here at Blondes Fine Art, have recently acquired. The work shown below is signed but undated depicts a still life of Lillies in a vase and is I believe from the same mid 1960's period. Interestingly the period, gold, glazed, box frame appears to have been 'borrowed from her husband as it bears his name and the title of one of his works to the back.
During the early 1960's Blackadder lived near Anne Redpath and it was she that helped Blackadder to see the possibilities of still life and as a result she began to experiment in a way that shows a direct link to those still-life flowers of Redpath's. It is also clear that Elizabeth was concentrating on still life in oil and produced a body of work that have a very similar palette to the work shown above. Two such examples are 'Summer' an oil from 1963 and 'Still-Life with Grey Tabletop' an oil from 1965 both of which use the same loose style in greys and yellows. During this period she experimented with approaches and appears to be looking to find a new way of working and her own distinct artistic voice. She did , as we are all well aware, hone her skills in the painting of flowers later in her career but this work offered here , 'Still-life Lilies' in oil, circa 1965 is one of the first serious paintings of this subject matter.
Early oils of flowers by Elizabeth Blackadder are a rare find and this one is delicately painted and of a size that will fit into any home . please contact us if you would like further details or arrange to view the work