Much unlike my last artistic inspriration, Chris Riddell this lady is a far more recognized artist. Of course she has some years on him though.
Beatrix Potters work has always been present in my life. I had two box sets of her books, that I can remember being read to me from a very early age. I must admit I never remembered the words clearly, other than she wrote about lots of naughty little animals that usually got their comeuppance. Tom Kitten being put into pastry for roly poly pudding, Peter losing his blue jacket and being frightened by Mr McGregor after being told not to go into the garden by his mother, Squirrel Nutkin having his tail bitten off by the owl after he spent day’s teasing and baiting him to name a few.
But the illustrations, how I have always loved them. Not only the subject matter but her skill. The Tailor of Gloucester I believe is one of her story books where her talent for anthropomorphism and story telling through illustrations is so wonderfully shown.
This little mouse, for example. Who has always been my absolute favorite character, in all her ruffles and lace. But the details on the fabric of the garment she is standing on, the mouse who is peeping through at the back and her tiny little fingers.
Or even just this very simple line and wash illustration of the the cat crossing the street. Are all just divine.
But it’s not really her story books, or anthropomorphics that I want to share here, or even that I have been most influenced by.
It’s her beautiful biological and botanical illustrations.
Her mycology illustrations are still used today for identification, and her work in the scientific field of fungus is well recognized, despite at the time a male associate put her theory and work forward as she was dismissed due to being a woman.
Her soft, yet sharp and detailed watercolours are something I have always aspired too.
More and more of Potters works are being released as her diaries, journals and sketch books are displayed and removed from the collections she left them too. Hopefully her work will continue to persevere, as she is is one of Britains most wonderful illustrators.