For a young man like G. J. Pinwell there was a living to be made from art if you had the talent. New techniques in the printing industry meant that everything could be illustrated in the 1860s. The Illustrated London News was a meteoric hit. Periodicals for children and adults were everywhere and the middle class loved illustrated books of all kinds. There was a constant appetite for quality engravings and the artists who did them well were much in demand from printers and publishers and their names were placed on the title pages of books of verse and devotional readings.
Pinwell's talent was such that he was nurtured and encouraged by the engravers and publishers of London; Whymper and the Dalziel Brothers. He painted and drew with considerable skill and had a remarkable knack for including narrative, detail and characterisation in a striking composition. He produced the definitive Victorian images for The Pied Piper of Hamelin, The Vicar of Wakefield and the poems of Jean Ingelow.
He painted and drew almost always from life so his illustrations often depict his wife or his friends as fictional characters and his rural scenes from his times lodging at Halsway Manor with his friend John North show the farmer, the local doctor, his sister, the house, the landscape, Bicknoller Churchyard and the Quantock Hills faithfully as they were.
He died in 1874 at the age of 33