Artist Focus: Fine Artists of the Fenlands
Thanks to the incredibly scenic landscapes offered in the Fenlands, it will come as no surprise that there’s a long-standing tradition of painters that call the area their home.
The wide-flats and varied fauna offer limitless combinations of textures to use as inspiration, not to mention the bustling wildlife that populates the land. Dozens of fine artists, using a range of mediums, make use of the Fens as a base, so we’ve decided to shine a spotlight on a few of them in this post.
Light and the way that it transforms the flooded meadows of the Fens is just one obsession of Cambridgeshire based painter Lizzie Madder. Working mainly in watercolours, Lizzie takes inspiration from the every changing palette that the Fens presents her throughout the seasons, particularly taking notice of how the autumn and winter light creates a feeling of blissful isolation which she tries to communicate in her work. Studying at Loughborough College of Art, she would later go on to study Botanical Art before moving to Cambridgeshire, where her style underwent a significant upheaval to the more impressionistic work she produces today.
Anthony’s work in the Fenland spans an impressive 60 years. Born in 1922, his work is inextricably linked to the vast open landscapes that the Fens encompass. The son of a farmer, Anthony served in the Royal Army Medical Corps before studying at Cambridge School of Art, graduating in 1952. In addition to exhibiting over 80 one-man shows, he has written fourteen books on the local history of the Fens and regularly welcomes visitors into his studio in Wicken in collaboration with Cambridge Open Studios. His work is predominantly in gouache, utilising a subtle palette of colours that perfectly capture the Fens’ natural light.
Known by many as ‘The Fenland Artist’, John Abbot is an artist born and raised in the heart of the Cambridgeshire Fenlands. His work encompasses a wide range of mediums, but he is best known for his watercolour depictions of wildflower and the wetlands that they call home. A self-taught painter, John regularly exhibits in conjunction with the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust and can often be found selling his work (in addition to promoting the arts) throughout the area. Despite not having any formal training, John has also built a reputation as a capable teacher who encourages his students to, above all else, paint for their own satisfaction rather than of others.