Retired dentist Martin Stewart took up painting as a hobby in 2019. Lockdown provided an opportunity to perfect his skills and he has produced some striking canvases of local scenes that he has printed onto greetings cards to raise funds for Norwich charities.
Martin’s paintings depict well-loved Norwich landmarks Elm Hill, Thorns, Joe’s Pets on Norwich market, The Stamp Corner and St Gregory’s Alley.
Martin, who paints the vibrant and realistic sights in a spare room in his Brundall home, said, “If we’re lucky, retirement gives us the chance to do a lot of things that we couldn’t do while working and when a friend said how much she was enjoying an art class at the Costessey Centre, I thought I’d give it a try.”
“It was a great course and I found I got on well with acrylics. Norwich has some fabulous street scenes and when I was part way through the third picture, I thought perhaps I could complete a set and get some cards printed.”
As the paintings show local scenes, Martin decided it would be fitting to donate any proceeds of sales to local charities; St Martins supports people experiencing homelessness in Norwich, while The Matthew Project supports children and adults with drug and alcohol recovery and wellbeing.
Martin’s cards have sparked interest for people supported by The Matthew Project, who are planning to craft wooden display stands for the cards in their Next Steps workshop on Oak Street.
Martin initially ordered a small print run of 100 cards and sold them to friends he plays football with. He said, “I’m delighted with the response and that people like them. It’s interesting to see which scenes people are drawn to. I was amazed how popular they were and that I need to get more printed so soon!”
Martin Stewart’s cards can be bought:
Online at shop.stmartinshousing.org.uk £10 for a pack of 5
£2 each at The Matthew Project at 70-80 Oak Street, Norwich NR3 3AQ