Walter McAdam was a Glasgow landscape and coastal painter and watercolourist. He trained in Glasgow where he lived most of his life. He had a studio in Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, and mainly painted highland and west coast scenes in subdued tonalities. After 1918 he carried out a number of sketches on Majorca. He was closely associated with the musical world.
McAdam was an active exhibitor, showing in London at the Royal Academy, Royal Watercolour Society and Grosvenor Gallery. He also exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy, Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours and Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, as well as overseas. In 1894 he was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolours. He was later appointed Vice-President of the RGI.