The Scottish painter Jenny Matthews is paying tribute to her "inspirational teacher", Dame Elizabeth Blackadder, as both enjoy major solo exhibitions in Edinburgh this summer.

Dame Elizabeth is the subject of a major exhibition at the Scottish Gallery marking her 85th birthday, while Jenny Matthews’ show, Sapphire Skies, opens on Saturday at the Union Gallery in the city's Drumsheugh Place.

Edinburgh-based Matthews, known for her watercolour paintings of flowers, was inspired by Blackadder, who also taught her flower painting at the Edinburgh College of Art.

Dame Elizabeth's show at the Scottish Gallery has been billed as perhaps the last show by her as a working artist, due to ill health.

Ms Matthews said: “I was already interested in flowers and plants, and an admirer of Elizabeth Blackadder’s work which I had seen in exhibitions at the Royal Scottish Academy, my school-girl haunt. So the course in Botanical Illustration which she created immediately appealed to me as my elective subject.

"I was so fortunate to be taught by such a renowned artist who has created a career for herself which any artist would aspire to.

"Her quiet, self-deprecating manner and deep knowledge and skill make her a very special person.”

The artist said that Blackadder inspired her to work as a professional artist in watercolour.

“She showed me how to balance watercolour’s free spirit with its use as a representational vehicle, and how to achieve really deep colour whilst still using lots of water. I continue to use techniques which I learned from her in my work today,” she said.

Matthews' work has been selected for an international competition, the 4th Biennial Marche d’Acqua in Fabriano, Italy, and for a watercolour festival, the Salon International de l’Aquarelle, in Saint-Yrieix-La-Perche in France.

She is organiser of the Scottish branch of the International Watercolour Society.

Dame Elizabeth Blackadder's exhibition, Decades, is the largest survey of her work since her retrospective at the National Galleries of Scotland in 2011.