Liz Butler lives in London and works from a studio at the top of her house. She has a roof top view over a park, which has provided her with much of her subject matter. The changing weather and seasons of her familiar scene has enabled her to create a series of paintings of the poplars behind her house. Being brought up in the countryside and her early years of walking and observing nature have influenced her vision of the world.
She has often used other locations abroad as her subject matter, again they are generally about the changing light or atmospheric conditions that change a scene dramatically - the repainting that takes place by weather and nature - occasionally man steps in and manicures the scene - as in the case of gardens, farming the landscape and inhabiting the space.
At school she had a particular interest in geology and botany, which have underpinned her development as an artist.
Recently she has done some paintings from the air - working from her own photographs and memory, she finds the patterns on the surface of the land fascinating and changes that happen following the redistribution of alluvial deposits from rivers. Her compositions are not clinical in their approach, altough veracity is at their heart, they are passionate pieces with much emotion and romanticism.
Lately she has been painting allotments and finds them less intense than the gardens she has painted in the past. They have a quality which is more temporary, more make do and mend - bits of plastic and recycled objects, not normally tolerated in a carefully manicured garden, alongside some amazing plant life.
"I try to start a painting on the spot, on a piece of watercolour paper, wherever possible; often after many visits. I like to know a place really well. I try to bring some of the atmosphere of the place into the paintings. So I will have several small watercolour sketches, and I take photographs.
Back in the studio I stretch my paper with the sketches and using a combination of memory and photographs. I continue working on my sketch, often for several weeks, working it up to a finished piece, so most of the original sketch is lost and absorbed into the final painting. Not all sketches are developed in this way and sometimes I start on a clean piece of paper and use the sketches and photographs as my reference material.
I like my paintings to look as though they have been made by magic, avoiding any visible brush marks. I work purely in water colour, sometimes I draw with a pencil, but I prefer to go straight in with the brush. Like handwriting, the language an artist uses in the making of a painting is very definitely his or her own. Even if the materials and their working methods have much in common with those used by other artists, there is always something in their paintings which defines their identity."