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John Houston was born Buckhaven, Fife. Painter in oil and watercolour.
Educated at Buckhaven High School and Edinburgh College of Art, 1948-54 under Sir William Gillies. He joined the staff of the college in 1955 after a year travelling to Italy with fellow artist David Michie and rose to Deputy Head of the School of Drawing and Painting in 1983 until retiring in 1989. Married Elizabeth Blackadder in 1956.
Principally a landscape painter, Houston takes his inspiration from the East Coast of Scotland. His style is expressionist, painting landscapes, seascapes, still-life and the human form in oil and watercolour, using strong colours to evoke atmosphere and changing light.
His portrait of Sir Alexander Gibson (1926-95) is in the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Other works can be seen at the Aberdeen Art Gallery, City Art Centre (Edinburgh), Hunterian Gallery (Glasgow), Kirkcaldy Museum and Art Gallery, McManus Gallery (Dundee), National Gallery of Scotland and the Perth Museum and Art Gallery.
He was elected to the RSA in 1972 and awarded the OBE in 1990.
In 2005 a retrospective was held at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.