Facebook: Norwich painting-a-day artist 'overwhelmed' by praise

Published
image copyrightNick Chinnery
image captionA view of Norwich cathedral and riverside by Nick Chinnery, who set up a studio at home during the lockdown

An artist who has been sharing a painting every day on social media said the "overwhelming" response was like an "arm around him" while shielding.

Nick Chinnery has painted a watercolour of a Norwich landmark and posted it on Facebook every day since the new year.

He said he had received hundreds of emails thanking him.

"If you can put a smile on people's faces through your own city I'd say it's something to be proud of," he said.

image copyrightNick Chinnery
image captionMany of Mr Chinnery's paintings feature independent, quirky shops
image copyrightNick Chinnery
image captionAll paintings were based on Google searches, with Mr Chinnery keen to visit each location once lockdown is over

The 49-year-old began painting in 2017 after spending less than £4 on brushes and paints during a rainy holiday in Cromer.

After a difficult 2020, he set up his easel again during the current lockdown and searched online for "Norwich historic buildings" for inspiration.

He lives nearby in Dereham but is currently shielding due to low immunity.

"I've painted some of the most iconic buildings that you can think of," said Mr Chinnery, who has completed more than 60 works to date.

"I put my heart and soul into everything, it lifts me and I get that sense of achievement."

image copyrightNick Chinnery
image captionNick Chinnery said he hadn't painted for about 16 months before returning to his hobby at the beginning of this year
image copyrightNick Chinnery
image captionPraise for Mr Chinnery's work came as far as the US and Chile

Not only was his hobby lifting his own spirits, but he soon found his creativity was a tonic for others, too.

He decided to start posting the pictures on the community Facebook page Secret Norwich, which has more than 43,000 members.

"I've had so many comments from people thanking me - they've said 'we are shielding, you are bringing Norwich to life', what a lovely city it is," he said.

"It must be in the hundreds of emails thanking me for the pictures, and I've heard from people in the US and Chile.

"It's all been very positive, it's overwhelming really.

"It's like putting an arm around me, a pat on the back, and it's nice to feel appreciated."

image copyrightNick Chinnery
image captionPaintings of Norwich pubs have whetted the appetite for the end of lockdown

Interest has been so keen that Mr Chinnery hopes to organise a post-lockdown exhibition, by which time he will have 80 to 90 pieces.

And when he can return to the streets of Norwich, will he look at it differently?

"One hundred percent - I've certainly taken it for granted," he said.

"As soon as lockdown is finished, I want to visit the places I have painted and possibly paint them again, in situ."

Find BBC News: East of England on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you have a story suggestion email eastofenglandnews@bbc.co.uk

More on this story