TV producer Ben Kendall rediscovered his love of painting during the lockdowns – and after being admitted to hospital with Covid early on in the pandemic. Ahead of an exhibition in Cromer, he explains how the Norfolk coastline and countryside is a constant inspiration
Norfolk painter Ben Kendall rediscovered a love of art during the lockdowns of 2020. The 42-year-old a father-of-two from Sprowston had enjoyed painted all his life, but with work and family taking up much of his time, he rarely found the time to work on his art. After being admitted to hospital with Covid early in the pandemic then joining the rest of the nation in lockdown, he decided to make time to develop his craft.
Now a hobby has become a second career. He recently took part in his first exhibition at Merlina Arts in Earsham, Norfolk, and his work will soon be on show at the Art House Cafe, Cromer, in a two-month display. He has further exhibitions booked for the New Year and has also begun selling online, as well as at physical exhibitions, under the name BenPaintsLandscapes.
Ben, who works as a TV producer, says: ‘I wouldn’t say lockdowns gave me more time – I still had two young children and a full-time job to concentrate on – but like many people it made me focus on what was important to me.
‘I had always regretted letting my love of art slip so made a conscious effort to set aside time every day to practise, develop my skills and find my own style.
‘At first it was a struggle, but I gradually started to like my own work and, when I found the confidence to share it with others, I was surprised by how much they also enjoyed my paintings.’
Ben’s work focuses on the Norfolk coastline and countryside, and he seeks to capture its beauty and charm in a semi-abstract, contemporary style which is influenced by the post-impressionist movement.
He adds: ‘Like many artists I started by emulating my heroes, but as I grew in experience and confidence, I found myself developing my own voice and people seem to appreciate my unique way of seeing the world.’