It’s not widely known, but Beatrix Potter, famed author of the Peter Rabbit children’s books, was an immensely talented natural history painter. Her private art focused on subjects she found in the English countryside…birds, small mammals, fish, insects and plant life.
While her paintings have a scientific accuracy, what most impresses me is how sensitively she portrayed her subjects. There’s life in her brushstrokes that’s often missing in the works by other artists. You can see this in some field guide art where the paintings feel a bit sterile, almost like the images were machine fabricated. Thankfully, Beatrix Potter’s work is nothing like that, and I think it’s because she had a genuine love and respect for nature that was deeply part of her being. That’s my interpretation anyhow. Here is a small sampling of her nature art that I find really appealing.