British painter and printmaker, born in Shrewsbury. She originally studied anthropology, but she was so impressed by a chance visit to an exhibition of Morris Louis's Veil paintings that she took up art, first studying at evening classes and then full-time at St Martin's School of Art, London, 1975–9, and the Royal College of Art, 1980–83. In 1984 she had her first solo show, at Gimpel Fils Gallery, London, and she very quickly established a considerable reputation with her sombre, richly worked abstract or semi-abstract paintings. They are often seen as evoking landscape or architectural forms, and Oulton has even been discussed in terms of the British tradition of landscape painting. The paintings, however, also relate to the invocations of sublime landscape in Abstract Expressionists such as Rothko or later artists such as Per Kirkeby and Anselm Kiefer. Oulton has also produced lithographs and monotypes.