Famous Dartmoor artists and galleries showing their work
Three of the most famous Dartmoor artists passed away last century. R.D. Sherrin, F.J. Widgery, and T Rowden painted stunning watercolours and gouache landscapes. However, Dartmoor’s landscape has continued to inspire contemporary artists. Devon artists, Daniel Shread and Sophie Berger are two artists with works exhibited with Saatchi Art.
These five famous artists of Dartmoor have different styles and ways of depicting the natural landscape. They also clearly love the area and live or once lived on or near this remarkable moor.
Three famous Dartmoor artists from times gone by
Born into a family of painters in 1891, Reginald Daniel Sherrin studied under the famous artist B.W. Leader. In 1953, Sherrin left his home county of Kent and moved to Starcross in Devon.
In Devon, he painted numerous works of Dartmoor including Cosdon, Tavy Cleave, and Yes Tor. During one of these painting excursions, he met another of the famous Dartmoor artists, F.J. Widgery. Widgery was thirty years older than Sherrin and greatly influenced his style.
Both Reginald and Frederick painted in gouache and watercolour, capturing the mood and spirit of the moors. Reginald frequently signed his paintings under one of two pseudonyms, J. Whitely and D.A. Neil. Both Sherrin’s and Widgery’s work can be viewed and purchased at the Elford Fine Art Gallery in the historic town of Tavistock.
Thomas Rowden, another famous Dartmoor artist, harked from Exeter. Born to a carpenter, he learned his father’s trade before joining the Royal Marines in Plymouth. In 1880, Rowden left the marines and became a self-taught artist on Dartmoor.
Rowden’s landscapes typically include stock or the famous Dartmoor ponies. Rowden’s work was exhibited at the Royal Hibernian Academy on two occasions and he was widely respected as an artist who imbued his paintings of Dartmoor with romantic beauty.
Rowden’s paintings sell for anywhere between £300 and £1500. His work can sometimes be viewed at Antique Fine Art in Ivybridge.
Two contemporary Dartmoor artists
Moving back to our century, Sophie Berger and Daniel Shread capture imaginations and hearts with their paintings of Dartmoor’s landscapes.
Berger’s work is partly created outside and she captures the atmospheric mood of the moors in oils. Her work is becoming favoured by collectors of impressionistic works. She creates both small sketches on paper and large oils on canvas.
Residing in Okehampton, Sophie’s newest work can be viewed by dropping in on her studio as part of the Dartmoor Artisan Trail.
Abstract and figurative artist, Dan Shread lives in nearby Torquay. Often painting landscapes of Dartmoor and surrounds, Shread’s work was included in the Devon Open Studios catalogue in 2021. His most recent work is currently being exhibited by Saatchi Art and includes Winter Wood Dartmoor and a pencil drawing named Pierrot’s Pathos.