- Original Peter Rabbit and Squirrel Nutkin drawings
- Learning about Beatrix Potter's early life
- Cats and Coffee!
All the Details:
|Original drawings of Peter Rabbit|
We were given some basic information about Beatrix Potter’s life growing up in London and receiving an education. She was very close to her younger brother, who was sent to boarding school while Beatrix was educated at home. Her family spent summers in Scotland, where Beatrix’s love for nature grew. We were able to see one of her earliest sketch books from when she was eight years old. This book shows that her deep interest in both science and art started at a very young age. One of the sketches was of various caterpillars with detailed descriptions on the opposite page. We also saw a drawing, done when Beatrix was eleven, of a dead bird. The attention to detail and anatomy was evident in every piece.
Beatrix received art training in pencil and watercolor, pen and ink, and oil painting. As an unmarried woman, she would have lived at home with her parents and art would have been a skill to learn in order to find a husband. She drew mostly plants and animals and would even kill animals in order to examine their anatomy in details. Ms. Laws showed us a drawing of a bat which corresponded with letters between Beatrix and her brother regarding the poor health of the captive creature. Her brother suggested killing the bat in order to avoid its suffering, and based on the accuracy of the drawing we can assume this is what she did. We also saw some uncharacteristic artwork which included drawings of fungi done with the aid of a microscope and still life works for art school. All of the work we had seen up until this point revealed how Beatrix Potter came to be the illustrator and author that we all know and recognize.
|Original drawings from Squirrel Nutkin|
Later in the afternoon, Megan and I celebrated her last day in London with a trip to a cat café! It was definitely a unique experience! Once we arrived we were taken to our table in the two story café and ordered coffee and cake. The walls of the room were covered with platforms for cats to climb, and there were various types of cat beds, toys, and fun places to explore. We immediately found many cats napping in the sunlight in the café window and one (Wookie) asleep in a hammock! Next we spotted a small black and white kitten named Peter. He was sweet and playful, and even spent some time sitting on people’s laps and tables. Downstairs there was a huge wooden tree that lined the walls and provided a fun place for the cats to climb. There was also a wheel that they could exercise on. Both the cats and the staff were very friendly, and it was fun to pet and play with the cats while enjoying our snacks. It did make me miss my cats at home a lot though.
|Peter the kitten|
|Cat climbing tree|