Don’t teach art – Beatrix Potter

Here’s another interesting lesson. I fondly remember this from a good many years ago – 2010 in fact. Like the story of Sr Mary Bailey (see post below), whose father opposed her being taught to draw as it would snuff out her innate talent, the comments of Beatrix Potter in a similar vein are worth noting.

In one of two letters brought up at auction at Bonhams, Beatrix Potter refers to a sketch sent to her by a young fan:

That was a charming letter, with the naive plan of a child’s garden; a garden very suitable for Benjamin Bunny. It’s curious how graphic children can be, up to a certain age, and then they lose it, or it is wiped out by teaching. A shepherd’s child about 5 years old showed me a remarkable crayon scribble of two lambs – remarkable capering lambs kicking up the heels. I asked for another specimen. Now six months later she gives me a “picture” done at school; outline traced from an elaborate scene in Kate Greenaway style, little boy & girl, cottage etc all carefully coloured; and consigned to the fire by me.

Details of the letters can be found here

Further Information
Visit Hilltop Farm and the Beatrix Potter Museum
Read about Beatrix Potter

Picture credit: WikiCommons

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