Helen Scourse

“Drawn from Life” –  a review by V. F. Kimber of a newly published book by local artist Helen Scourse.

One of our finest local artists, Helen Scourse of Penallt, has produced a full colour ‘sketch-book’ that you will find yourself reading at one sitting and then dipping into again and again. It contains more than fifty examples of the author’s admirable work as well as her life story. Sketch books are often regarded simply as sources of ideas and little account is taken of them because it is thought that their contents area not ‘finished’, but many of these exquisitely detailed water-colours could be lifted from the pages just as they are and accepted as finished works. The author is well-served by local printer Rhodri Clarke of Clarke Printing, not least when challenged by the brilliant blue of kingfishers.

The accompanying ‘life story’ of Mrs Scourse explains many of the pictures, and details her life during the war; later as a teacher and small farmer, and lastly the satisfaction of running a ‘hospital’ for injured birds and other animals. The tricks she discovered as an artist are explained in detail, but there is nothing like hard work and plenty of practice. This book is for those who know her work, and want to know ‘the how and why’ and for new readers and artists keen to learn from a master at her craft. All profits from the sales will be divided between two local charities, Gwent Hawk Rescue and Hands Around the World

“Drawn from Life – Pages from an Artists Sketch-book” is priced at £15 and obtainable from Stephen’s Bookshop, or via Mrs Scourse (telephone 01600-860458) or Mrs Harper (01600-713528)

Larger versions of the images below may be obtained by clicking them: