Calligrapher extraordinary

Miss Sheila Hutchinson –

calligrapher, artist, naturalist, political worker and occasional journalist, born in Weare Giffard in 1906 and educated at West Bank School, Bideford – now lives in Tower House, Orchard Hill, using as a studio the turret of the fine old home.


Calligrapher extraordinaryMiss Hutchinson inherited artistic gifts from both her parents. Her father was a professional soldier and a talented watercolour painter, but expected her to stay at home and be a domesticated daughter of the house. She was eventually allowed to attend classes at Bideford Art School, under the direction of Mr Percy Heard. She subsequently went to London to study at the Hammersmith College of Art and Central School of Arts and Crafts giving her a thorough grounding in the history of art as well as design and lettering.

As well as her calligraphy, Miss Hutchinson is a skilled watercolour painter with a total understanding of the contour and ambience of North Devon. She has actually walked or bicycled the entire course of the River Torridge from source to estuary stopping to paint as the spirit moved her and thus producing a series of pictures.

Miss Hutchinson’s incredible versatility and appetite for life are reflected in her remarkable record of activities including membership of Bideford and Westward Ho! Art society, Bideford Ladies Rowing Club, Devon Bird Watching and Preservation Society, Exmore Society, and vice-president of North Devon Division Liberal Association and present of Bideford (town) Liberals.

Gazette article 26 April 1974

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