Born in Australia, a distant cousin of F C B Cadell, she relocated with her family to Edinburgh while very young. She began exhibiting in Edinburgh and Perth in the 1920s, and later came to specialise in sun filled landscapes and market scenes. With her sister Agnes, another painter, she rebuilt Whinmill Brae House by the Water of Leith, redesigned around a large studio. The two sisters subsequently went to live and paint at Crail, a picturesque fishing village in the East Neuk of Fife, by the entrance to the Firth of Forth. She exhibited regularly at the Royal Scottish Academy between 1900 and 1965, one of the few artists whose output increased with age. An oil portrait (1959) by her of her close friend and fellow painter Wendy Wood, is held by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Wood, who trained with Sickert, was a founder member and campaigner of the Scottish Nationalist Party. She and Cadell shared the studio at Whinmill Brae.