From the first appearance of her watercolours at the Dudley Gallery in 1888, Mildred Anne Butler exhibited regularly for forty years at the Royal Academy, the Old Water-Colour Society, the Royal Hibernian Academy, the Water-Colour Society of Ireland and the Royal Society of Painters in Water-Colour of which she became Associate in 1896 and full member in 1937.
Our knowlege of Butler's life and working methods is based almost entirely on the watercolours themselves and on her diaries, which are preserved for most years between 1892 and 1938. Butler was the daughter of Captain Henry Butler, a grandson of the 11th Viscount Mount Grace, he was himself an amateur artist.
We know of Butler working with three artists, Paul Jacob Naftel and William Frank Calderon taught her in the 1880s and early 1890s. In the summers of 1894-5 she lodged in Newlyn to study under the Limerick-born Norman Garstin and established a friendship with Luke Fildes and Stanhope Forbes. Thereafter she lived and worked in Kilmurry, itself the chief source of inspiration throughout her career.