You can admire local artist Lizzie Butler’s sky-filled landscapes and more thanks to a mixed show at the Russell Gallery in Putney until Saturday, 26th January.
Lizzie’s background in figurative landscape oil painting and life drawing has informed her current work, which is expressive and semi-abstract in style. She trained at London Fine Art Studios and begins her landscape pieces, which are always inspired by land sea and sky, “en plein air”, in the form of sketches, photographs or paintings. She works primarily in oil, with some etchings.
“My love of painting comes from my father who was an architect,” says Lizzie “who etched at every opportunity he had, and my mother who was a fashion designer and colourist. I have always been drawn to landscapes and wide open spaces – big skies, the likes of which you find in Lincolnshire, where I spent all my childhood summers.
“I often begin my paintings ‘en plain air’ in Richmond Park, taking care to avoid marauding stags and hiding my lunch from enquiring dogs. If I am working from a photograph I’ve taken, this will be developed in my studio, in London, where many layers of oil paint are built up over several days, to create a depth and texture that achieve a different outcome to paintings created in a single day sitting in the open air.
“I was lucky enough to be included in a group exhibition entitled The Craft of Drawing and Painting, at the bewitching Leighton House Museum, in Kensington. Also, what has turned out to have become a pivotal moment for me, my work was hung in a joint exhibition with a friend, where we exhibited a series of sky paintings in Berkeley Street, London.”
Since then, Lizzie is in demand as a painter of skies whether they be in Lincolnshire or Cambridgeshire, “where the flat landscape lends itself to enormous, awe-inspiring skies. In my studio at the moment, I am working to complete a huge metre-square piece of a London sky!”
Trips to other parts of England are always an inspiration, too. The misty rolling hills of the Sussex Downs is another favourite location that has given rise to a series of paintings and etchings based just on this region.