Born in Edinburgh where she studied at the College of Art under William Gillies. Beaton worked briefly as a school mistress at Hamilton Academy where she greatly encouraged the young Glasgow Girl, Mary Nicol Neill Armour. She joined the staff of the Edinburgh College of Art in 1919 and remained until her retirement as senior lecturer and head of the junior department. John Maxwell was her assistant during her tenure. Her paintings were exhibited widely throughout her life and are held in the collections of the Royal Scottish Academy and Edinburgh University.