When I think of what an Environmental Artist, or Nature Artist should be, I’ll tell you who doesn’t come to mind–Beatrix Potter. However, she definitely fits the description of an artist who was deeply inspired by nature.
Although she is best known for her illustrated children’s books, Beatrix spent a good portion of her childhood outdoors, where she sketched and painted any animals she could find. She also loved to paint mushrooms. She and her brother often collected and caught things, which she would take to her room to sketch and study.
Later in life, Beatrix became widely respected as an expert on fungi and lichens, making many new discoveries about lichens. In addition to her book illustrations, she painted landscapes and over 270 watercolors paintings of mushrooms.
Her work as an artist and naturalist lends itself to numerous lessons in environmental art, creative writing, nature sketching, and environmental education. For example, the creation of her well known “Peter Rabbit” character could inspire a similar art lesson, in which students choose a plant or animal to study through sketching, and then morph into a fictitious character.
Just an idea.. For more on the life of Beatrix Potter, check out this awesome website!