Penelope Beaton was born and died in Edinburgh. She was a painter in both oil and watercolour of landscapes, still lifes and genre subjects. She studied at Edinburgh College of Art, gaining a diploma in 1917 and joining the staff in 1919. During the interval, she taught at Hamilton Academy where she worked with two fellow artists who had considerable influence on her own work, A B Thompson and Donald Moody. Amongst her pupils was Mary Armour whom she persuaded to follow a career in art. She loved to paint still lifes, eastcoast harbours and the island of Iona. She exhibited her work widely, including 102 works at the Royal Scottish Academy, the Glasgow Institute of Fine Art, Royal Scottish Society of painters in Watercolour, and others. She was elected RSW in 1952 and ARSA 1957.