Pat Douthwaite, born in Ayrshire and raised in Paisley, began to seriously pursue art in the mid to late-1950s, having previously painted occasionally and focused more on dance and theatre. She studied mime and modern dance with Margaret Morris, whose husband, J. D. Fergusson, encouraged her to paint. This influence apart, she was self-taught.
At this time she moved from Paisley to Essex, having previously met the painter William Crozier. In Essex and at exhibitions in London she acquainted herself with a number of artists who would influence both her life and artistic practice, including Robert Colquhoun, Robert MacBryde, and Paul Hogarth, whom she would marry in 1963.
During her lifetime, she exhibited with Richard Demarco, at the Talbot Rice Gallery, the Royal College of Art, Third Eye Centre and at the Scottish Gallery, who also held a memorial exhibition in 2005.
William Fettes Douglas had little formal training as an artist, having initially worked at the Commercial Bank, Edinburgh. He took some classes at both the Trustees Academy and the Royal Academy Schools, however, and also travelled with Alexander Fraser. Douglas's paintings reflected his interest in historical and literary themes, showing pre-raphaelite influences, and included antiquarian objects, of which he was a collector. His travels in Europe and Italy in the 1860s also influenced his work.
Douglas was a curator of the National Gallery of Scotland for five years before becoming president of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1882. He was knighted in the same year.