Lilian Neilson

1938 - 1998

Born in Kirkcaldy in 1938, Lil Neilson studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art from 1956- 60 where she was taught by Hugh Crawford and Alberto Morrocco. She was awarded a travelling scholarship to France and Italy in 1961-62 and on her return she joined Joan Eardley in Catterline: they had become friends in 1960 at Hospitalfield House and Eardley invited Lil to paint in the studio she and Annette Stephen shared in Catterline. Lil Neilson bought a cottage at No. 2 Southside after Joan Eardley died in August 1963. Her work is texturally rich, low in tone and always true to the place. She liked to work on rough boards or wooden fragments found on the beach. Neilson's best work is arguably of the salmon nets, cottages and stormy coast which result in part from her inspirational friendship with Joan Eardley but also from the deep connection she had with Catterline and the North East.