Painting by numbers: Artist's daily works 'an escape from the gloom'
- Credit: Viv Rainsbury
It's day 306 and artist Viv Rainsbury has been forced to issue a global appeal for copies of her works.
After her daily posts gained an unexpected following the 73-year-old has had to reach beyond her own archives to track down copies of paintings she completed decades ago.
It all started when, through a friend who works in the NHS, she became aware of the trauma being suffered by hospital staff.
"It was right at the beginning of the pandemic," she said.
"I have a friend who works in one of the Covid wards at the James Paget University Hospital and she posted a picture of herself saying 'this is what we have to contend with.'
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"So I thought 'what can I do for them?'"
In the beginning she spent an hour a day doing a little painting, posting it on Facebook, and inviting offers.
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They all sold, raising £920, allowing nurses to buy themselves a freezer for the staff room.
"It took off from there," she said.
"People were just saying how much they liked seeing the art work every day.
"It was something that wasn't Covid.
"It was something that was a bit more cheerful - an escape from the gloom."
However, when she got to 300 there was a concern about supply if she was going to carry on for a full year.
And although she had photographs of a lot of her works, many were out there in the world on their own.
Now, people she painted for decades ago are sending images of pictures they have hanging in their homes 50 years on, delighting Mrs Rainsbury who has been a painter all her life and lives near the seafront in Great Yarmouth.
"Art is a fantastic escape," she said.
She added that the success of her daily posts had taken her by surprise.
"It was as much for me as for anyone else," she said.
"I have had so many lovely messages from people saying they really do look forward to seeing my pictures and it brightens their day."
Mrs Rainsbury studied graphic design at Great Yarmouth Art College when she was in her 30s and went on to teach there.
She is a widow and mother to one son who died aged 27.
Visit her Facebook page here.