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Wrestling with a Pencil: The Life of a Freelance Artist [Hardcover]

Norman Thelwell
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Methuen Publishing Ltd; 1st edition (22 Sep 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0413593207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0413593207
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 19 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 79,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Entertaining and well-illustrated autobiography by celebrated illustrator. 192 pages, illustrations (some colour).

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Norman Thelwell was the Van Gogh of his day 4 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Norman Thelwell did in fact sell many of his paintings in his lifetime, but his brilliant artistic talent was not widely known or appreciated. Luckily, he became famous as a cartoonist, so that his income from newspapers, magazines and eventually books, gave him a comfortable lifestyle. He was such a modest man. But to him, drawing came easily. He said "I just draw what's in front of me" and could not understand why his friends were so impressed, and did not have the same ability. From a very young age, he carried a notebook and pencil, and could scarcely stop himself from drawing everything he saw. At the age of about ten, he asked his mother what he could draw, having already done a house, a boat and a car: busy with other things, she said "Oh, go and draw yourself, then!" which was a novel idea to the young boy, who went and did just that. The self-portait of his ten-year old self, is marked (probably by his teacher) as V Good indeed.

This lovely book is packed with many examples of the exquisite drawings and watercolour paintings that he produced throughout his life. As a young man of about 19, he did a black and white pen and ink drawing of the interior of a church: the detail is extraordinary, and this before he'd had any art training at all. After serving in the First World War, he took the opportunity of attending art college as a relatively mature student; then a few years later became a teacher of art. Although he had a lively sense of humour, and his ideas for cartoons came easily to him, he says that his main interest and love throughout his life was the natural world. His depictions of landscapes, trees, flowers and animals are delightful, and they all make this book hugely enjoyable.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is Thelwell's autobiography, and a brilliant book too. A wonderful 'Escape to the Country' long before the TV program was ever envisaged. 40 years ago when we moved from Kent to a village 8 miles North of Basingstoke few souls wanted to live in such a 'remote' place. Thelwell found similar joy in the Test Valley. How the world, (or Hampshire even), has changed!
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5.0 out of 5 stars thelwell, an unacknowledged genius 4 Oct 2013
A modern Hogarth, perhaps. His writing is as good as his drawing, absolutely brilliant.
A "must buy" and must read if ever there was one.

And if you come from a working class background, then I would say it is essential reading.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for fans of Thelwell 25 Sep 2010
By loves_nature - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Though, I was born and raised in the USA I am deeply moved and inspired by this man from England! We need to get back to the things he sought out to draw and bring to life and remind us how we are all connected.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book for anyone who loves Thelwell - so much ... 15 Aug 2014
By Murphy - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book for anyone who loves Thelwell - so much information you never new. Great pictures/illustrations to go with the story.
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