I've not been very successful with my "Less" list, but I have made some progress with my "More" list. January was largely devoted to children's books and my desire to illustrate mine. To that end I've been drawing more in preparation for my monthly Beatrix Potter post. . . .
I've spent most of the month reading my collection of books on Beatrix Potter so I can plot out a year's worth of monthly posts. I realized I have to do the research up front so I can include pertinent information with the corresponding character I will be drawing that month. I've already realized there is a wealth of information I could have included with last month's Jemima Puddle-Duck. But since she's my protagonist I will have a chance to slip these tidbits in all year long.
The research has enabled me see connections between Beatrix's stories which has allowed me to assemble an order for our journey through the Lake District. I am also realizing that if I ever do go to the Lake District in England I will know exactly where everything is! I'll know background information and interesting side notes to enrich my time there. I even spent an hour "cruising" down the lanes in and around Near Sawrey via Google's Street View. In short, I'm pretty much becoming a Beatrix Potter scholar! In the past I've only read biographies about Beatrix. This time I've been reading her letters and journals and am coming to understand the private Beatrix Potter as opposed to the Beatrix Potter/Beatrix Heelis she presented. Often when I've endeavored to find out more about a person whose artistic work I admire I've come away disappointed. With Beatrix, however, I've been able to read some first-hand accounts written about her which help to explain the scruff, rude person she's been portrayed as in later years.
So my question this month is: When you find an author or artist you like, do you try to find out everything you can about them? Do you often come away disappointed? Share any stories you have, please, about these people.
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