The Art Of Thievery

My dear friends, 

I have been a bit under the weather, but I must write. Oliver and I wanted to say Rabbit Rabbit even though we are a day late!

I have missed writing dreadfully. I made some oregano rosemary tea from the garden, to speed up my recovery. A wee bit of rosemary and oregano's holistic aromatic benefits are that they support the nervous system, calm the body, and increase mental focus. When emotional endurance is needed, make yourself some oregano rosemary tea. However, it sounds quite dreadful with a bit of lemon and honey, it is tolerable, and when drinking it, you know you are healing. 

The title of this post is something I have wanted to write about for quite some time. The book "Steal Like An Artist" was released the year I sucked it up like a sea sponge. It was so inspiring; in fact, I read it four times. Austin Kleon has such a simplistic way of giving permission to artists everywhere. What a wonderful book. I highly recommend these books. They are quick reads. His latest one, "Show Your Work" and the newest one will hit shelves in April of 2019 entitled, " Keep Going." You can find his books {here}
"The Year The Golden Poppy Consumed The Outlands."
I tried a new watercolour paper. Arches 140-pound cold-pressed. I love arches, but I think I will go back to my favourite, which is the Arches cold-pressed 300 pounds. I just truly like how my watercolours flow onto 300 pounds.  It only comes in large sheet sizes, so I hand to tear it myself.

I love this excerpt from Austin Kleon's book Steal Like an Artist most especially. He says nobody is born with a style or a voice. In the beginning, we all learn by pretending to be like our heroes. We learn by copying. We're talking about practice here, not plagarism~plagarism is trying to pass someone else's work off as your own. Copying is about revervse~engineering.

"Austin says our job as artists is to collect good ideas. The more good ideas we collect, the more we can choose from to be influenced by. "

"Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, water bodies, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work {and theft} will be authentic." ~Jim Jarmusch
I thought I would share the numerous particulars that I have learned in doing research about Beatrix Potter. If I want to emulate my hero Beatrix I will learn all there is to possibly know. Study those that are our heroes and then do a bit of genealogy by following and learning all there is to know about those our heroes admired.

I spent my week in bed, and since I was unwell, i put my time to good use by watching 6 hours of victorian watercolour painting techniques. The ways Beatrix would have painted were she alive.

I have shown this previously, however, this post is about copying, so I thought it a special picture to share.

Some more things that I have learned over the years through research of Beatrix:
1. She painted in layers. She did not use much pen and ink and thought that it was always overdone. Less is more. Always pen and ink the detailed figures and a bit, if very little of the background, focus on negative space.
2. She adored Edward Lear's writing and tried to write a bit like him, she loved his limericks.
3. She used sepia ink and never black. She said black ink was too harsh. I also follow this rule. Brown is much softer. 
4. She painted first and then inked. 
5. She didn't enjoy drawing humans and felt she never mastered it. Beatrix tried oils but never thoroughly enjoyed them like watercolours.
6. She was a spiritualist.
7. Most of her journal entries that spoke of religion and spirituality were broken, and excerpts pulled. It was too daring for women in those days to admit they did not believe in religion. Many felt and admonished Beatrix to keep her spiritual preferences to herself, or it would affect her work from selling as well.
8. Most likely, she would have disliked the Peter Rabbit movie.  Before she passed, she was asked by Disney to buy Peter Rabbit and turn it into a movie, and she said no.
9. She very much disliked cutesy type paintings. Once the publishers asked her to paint Peter Rabbit twirling around in a ballerina type pose, she declined. In fact, she refused to paint anything more whimsical than peter wearing a blue jacket. 
10. Her favourite book she ever wrote was "The Tailor Of Gloucester." 
11. Her favourite thing to wear was wool in browns and greys. 
A little doodle as I was testing out another paper. I will turn this into a to-do sheet ready for download to purchase in my Etsy shop. It says, "I hope I didn't forget anything."
 A sweet little merbaby laying in a lilypad.
 Never forget to dream a little dream...
Do you steal from artists that you love?

I shall write again soon.

Most affably yours til my next swim, Raquelxxx


  1. Replies
    1. Nil, Thank you so very much. I truly appreciate it doll. I'm swimming over to read your blog in a few minutes. Muawhhh...

  2. How peculiar ~ I've never really thought of it that way, will have to look into getting the book.
    I also prefer sepia though do often use black as it's easier to find.
    Heal well🌸

    1. Isn't that so interesting? I hadn't either and I felt such a clarity about how I've learned all about painting. I think it all takes times to gather to then become someone will emulate too in the future. It gives permission and that's the best thingI love about his books. Do let me know what you think after you read them. I'm pretty sure you can check them from your local library too. Do you have an online library card? And thank you for the well wishes. Muawhhh....

  3. Sorry you were ill.... Glad you are getting better...

    I love the title! It gives permission to "copy," what you love. When I used oils and pastels, that is all I could do... Was copy. And I stopped. And never felt it was worthwhile doing. Actually felt "bad" about doing it.

    And now, I can change that feeling. I could begin again, and do it again, but do it, to learn.

    How nice, to change my view, of something in my past. How lovely to do so. Thank you!

    This post is beautiful, in many way. Thank you for that, too.

    ✨ ✨ ✨ ✨

    1. Thank you darling angel for the well wishes. It means so much. I am so happy that you too are able to change that feeling. I feel the same way. It made me feel good and to understand it from a different perspective.

      I am so glad that you enjoyed this post. I also enjoyed writing it. It was such fun... much love to you.... doll...


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