Quickfire artist paints watercolour a day in lockdown

Nick Chinnery's painting of Pull's Ferry

Nick Chinnery's painting of Pull's Ferry - Credit: Nick Chinnery

A Norfolk artist has been delighting hundreds of followers from across the globe with watercolour paintings of Norwich. 

Nick Chinnery, who lives in Dereham, said that after the “taxing year” of 2020, he felt the need to “push and progress” his art, which he had been practising since spending £3.97 on a paintbrush in Cromer in 2017. 

Nick Chinnery, pictured at work

Nick Chinnery said he was trying to bring out the quirky side of Norwich in his paintings - Credit: Nick Chinnery

Mr Chinnery, 49, has been painting a watercolour of Norwich every day during the current lockdown by using reference photos, but said he was looking forward to coronavirus restrictions easing so he could paint outdoors.

The artist began posting the paintings across social media, including the ‘Secret Norwich’ Facebook group, where they rapidly built up a following of several hundred.

Mr Chinnery's painting of the Norwich skyline

Mr Chinnery's painting of the Norwich skyline - Credit: Nick Chinnery

“It appears my art has lifted several people’s spirits,” said Mr Chinnery, who added that viewers of his paintings had been “daily adding comments and reminiscing about easier times. 


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“I’ve had suggestions of doing wallpaper, beer mats, prints, postcards - you name it. I’ve really hit onto something.”

Mr Chinnery's artistic 'map' of Norwich

Mr Chinnery's artistic 'map' of Norwich - Credit: Nick Chinnery

He has even received messages from Norvicians in Chile and the USA, thanking him for evoking fond memories.

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“I do ensure each person receives a reply. Such a simple gesture can mean so much, and genuinely lift the spirits of those in lockdown,” he said, adding that the project had also helped him appreciate the city’s beauty. 

A close-up of the market as depicted on Mr Chinnery's 'map' of Norwich

A close-up of the market as depicted on Mr Chinnery's 'map' of Norwich - Credit: Nick Chinnery

“I used to go clubbing in Norwich as a young lad, but then you sort of drift away, because I live in Dereham,” said Mr Chinnery. 

“When you go to Norwich, you know where you’re going to go. You go to a car park, park up, go to a restaurant, go to the cinema, go and do whatever you do. 

Mr Chinnery's depiction of Jarrold department store. 

Mr Chinnery's depiction of Jarrold department store. - Credit: Nick Chinnery

“But I’m actually trying to find these little gems in and around Norwich, appreciating the architecture, the quirkiness of them, and that’s what I try to bring out in the finer details.”

Mr Chinnery said he hoped eventually to host an in-person exhibition of the paintings. 

Mr Chinnery's painting of the Norwich quayside

Mr Chinnery's painting of the Norwich quayside - Credit: Nick Chinnery

“I’d like to put names to the faces of those who’ve supported me from day one... That’s the aim, to at some point have them all in one place on display, so that people can see the paintings in the flesh,” he said.

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