A local artist is beating lockdown blues by brightening up the day for random strangers through an unusual picture postcard lottery.
Co Down artist Leslie Nicholl should have been putting the finishing touches to an exhibition of his work for the Open House Festival in his home town of Bangor this August to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Society.
Instead, he has decided to work on a new "travelling exhibition" creating a series of postcard-size drawings which he plans to post free to a list of random addresses taken from an old phone book.
During May, he has created 14 postcard drawings inspired by his own travels through Europe with his wife Elaine.
He intends to add another 10 to his collection and will post them to addresses, selected using a pin, from a 2010 telephone directory.
He says: "When the Open House Festival exhibition was cancelled I just thought 'I'm not going to be beaten' but I wasn't sure what I was going to do in lockdown.
"I had run out of canvasses and paper for painting but I had some writing paper.
"My wife Elaine and I love travelling and we can't even do that now.
"We would be very old-school and send postcards from our travels, and it was Elaine who suggested doing drawings as gifts for people and I thought I could use the writing paper I have as postcards."
Leslie, who was also an art teacher and head of department in Gransha High School in Bangor for 30 years, is a prolific artist. His work is currently part of collections held in Dublin, London, Poland, America, Japan and South Korea. He also has work on show at the Imperial War Museum.
His postcard drawings will each have a title and explanation on the back and will be simply signed 'Nicholl'.
He explains: "The drawings on the postcards and envelopes are based on places both of us have visited and loved.
"I plan to open an old phone book and stick a pin on the page and wherever it lands, that is the address I will use.
"I can only hope when people receive them that they don't think, 'What is this load of old crap?' and throw them out."
The drawings have been inspired by artwork and places he and Elaine have seen while on their regular travels through the museums of Europe.
He adds: "This is an unimaginable nightmare people are going through and it is the good things people are doing for one another that have moved me so much.
"I don't plan to be the Bangor Banksy which is why I have put my surname on the postcards and who knows, maybe in years to come, when I am long gone, they could be worth something?
"I will be posting them in the next few weeks and if they survive, that's great and if they don't, then that's fine, too. Hopefully some people will appreciate them."
When his 24 cards are complete, Leslie hopes to create a new collection of paintings based on the cards for an exhibition to be held when galleries are finally able to reopen.