Helen Beatrix Potter was born on 28th July 1866 at 2 Bolton Gardens, in Kensington, London to a wealthy family. Both Beatrix’s parents lived on inheritances from the cotton trade and, though qualified as a barrister, her father, Rupert, focused much of his time on his passion for art and photography. He and his wife, Helen, enjoyed an active social life among a group of writers, artists and politicians and the family included many connoisseurs and practitioners of art. Helen herself was a fine embroiderer and watercolourist and Edmund Potter, Beatrix’s paternal grandfather, was co-founder and president of the Manchester School of Design.
Art lessons were provided but Beatrix found them barely tolerable. She politely rebelled, secretly worried that copying another artist would compromise her own originality, and hoped that she “wouldn’t catch it.” More to her liking were outings with her father, an
sometime amateur photographer, to the great art galleries of London which constituted her real artistic apprenticeship. Her education was limited only by her capacity to observe. Although she experimented with a variety of media, by 19 she had chosen watercolour and was rapidly perfecting her dry-brush technique.
The Beatrix Potter Society~ http://beatrixpottersociety.org.uk/
Beatrix Potter, Mycologist: The Beloved Children’s Book Author’s Little-Known Scientific Studies and Illustrations of Mushrooms~ http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/07/28/beatrix-potter-a-life-in-nature-botany-mycology-fungi/
“Beatrix Potter Artist and Illustrator” exhibition 2005~ http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2005/oct/08/art.booksforchildrenandteenagers