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Diss man gives his art away for free to bring joy and raise money for charity




A man is blending creativity with generosity to help him tackle post-traumatic stress disorder.

Joseph Darin, 34, who lives in Diss, took up oil painting at the start of October, and has already painted eight landscape scenes from his imagination and given most of them away.

Mr Darin hopes his paintings will bring some happiness to others during the current crisis, and finds that painting helps him to deal with the PTSD issues he suffers with due to military service – the details of which cannot be made public.

Diss, Norfolk, 18/11/2020..Joseph Russell has taken up oil painting to help him get through PTSD and has been giving his paintings away with requests for each one, thata donation be made to a charity...Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
Diss, Norfolk, 18/11/2020..Joseph Russell has taken up oil painting to help him get through PTSD and has been giving his paintings away with requests for each one, thata donation be made to a charity...Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

He said: “I grew up watching Bob Ross on television with my dad, but I didn’t start painting until very recently.

“The process of putting a painting together helps me unwind and I figured that if I got joy out of painting then someone might find joy in looking at them and owning them.

“I wanted to provide them for free to anyone who wants them, but if they really want to pay something for them, I simply ask that they donate what they think the painting is worth to a charity of their choice.”

Diss, Norfolk, 18/11/2020..Joseph Russell has taken up oil painting to help him get through PTSD and has been giving his paintings away with requests for each one, thata donation be made to a charity...Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.
Diss, Norfolk, 18/11/2020..Joseph Russell has taken up oil painting to help him get through PTSD and has been giving his paintings away with requests for each one, thata donation be made to a charity...Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography.

Mr Darin explained that the creative process has a positive effect on his mental wellbeing, adding: “For me, painting aids my mindfulness. It helps me be in the moment and not worry about what I can’t control.

“In my paintings, I have total control and am able to let my creative side flow. There are no mistakes – just happy accidents.

“It’s strange, but in other parts of my life, having templates to work from has always been really helpful, but if I try to paint from a template or photo, it always turns out to be rubbish.

“Painting from my own imagination makes the end product better and makes me more at ease with what’s on the canvas. I’ll keep giving them away at least until 2021.”

Mr Darin, whose paintings have already resulted in a donation being made to a mental health charity, spends between 90 minutes and three hours on each painting, conjuring up colourful landscapes before giving the creations away on the Diss Community Facebook page.

He credits Captain Tom Moore’s efforts for the NHS with sparking his own desire to fundraise, describing the 100-year-old as a “selfless inspiration”.



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