BUTTERWORTH, Elizabeth (born 1949)
Original watercolour. Artist's inscription on the lower margin. Sheet size: (23 x 9 5/16 inches).
A fine work by one of the most exceptional living practitioner of avian artistry
Elizabeth Butterworth, a British artist of exceptional talent, has ventured into the realm of artistic excellence with her exquisite portrayal of Macaws' resplendent plumage. While she follows in the footsteps of acclaimed artists like Edward Lear, Butterworth undeniably stands out as one of the foremost artistic geniuses of our time. Her success can be attributed to her keen observation and an encyclopedic knowledge of her subject matter. From breeding and caring for Macaws to attentively witnessing their lively antics from daybreak to dusk, she has immersed herself in their world. Whether sketching these captivating creatures in the privacy of her own lush garden or capturing their natural beauty in the rainforests of South America, Butterworth's artistic journey has been nothing short of enchanting. Her passion for perfection has led her to meticulously study preserved bird skins in prestigious natural history museums, where she can confidently recount the precise number of feathers in a tail or the exact measurements of a beak down to the millimeter. It is this unwavering attention to detail, coupled with her exceptional powers of observation, that elevates Butterworth's prints, watercolors, and drawings from mere illustrations to exquisite works of art. Although she proudly belongs to a lineage of esteemed ornithological artists, such as John Gould and Archibald Thorburn, her artistry resonates more closely with that of the watercolorist Edward Lear. Like Lear, Butterworth's work possesses an otherworldly, almost surreal quality that transcends conventional realism. This distinctive aesthetic has caught the discerning eyes of critics and curators on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as in Australia, leading to prestigious exhibitions alongside other contemporary artists. Notably, her work has graced the walls of the renowned Museum of Modern Art in New York as part of a celebrated survey of contemporary art in 1984. Born in the charming town of Rochdale, Elizabeth Butterworth embarked on her artistic odyssey by pursuing her studies at the local art school. Seeking to refine her craft, she continued her training at the Royal College of Art, where her talent flourished. In 1975, she unveiled her artistry to the world with a highly anticipated debut exhibition curated by Angela Flowers, a renowned London dealer renowned for her keen eye for emerging talents. Subsequently, Butterworth's captivating creations found a home at Fischer Fine Art, while her artistic journey led her to exhibit her work at prestigious venues including the Metropolitan Museum in New York. In 1990, she received a coveted invitation to showcase her art at the esteemed Adelaide Arts Festival, an accolade that solidified her position as an exceptional artist. In addition to her captivating watercolors, Elizabeth Butterworth has demonstrated her dedication to the art of printmaking. Her skillfully crafted prints have graced the pages of three highly regarded publications: "Parrots and Cockatoos" (1978), "Amazon Parrots" (1983), and "Macaws" (1993), capturing the hearts of art enthusiasts and connoisseurs alike.