Creating an underpainting with Starch

A fun way to establish an outline image on which to build further layers is by manipulating paint with spray starch.

Take a look of the stages of my Finished painting “Summer Shimmer”:


Here are the stages:


Stage 1:

The canvas was sprayed lightly with spray starch and a variety of paint and pigment was applied (liquid acrylics, air brush colour, acrylic inks and Brusho granules. This was then sprayed with another layer of starch.


Stage 2:

A sheet of polythene was placed over the canvas and left to dry.


Stage 3:

When the polythene was removed, although the colours had faded slightly, the process left a beautiful underpainting with lots of different textures (caused by the reaction of the starch with the different paint mediums) on which to build a painting.


Stage 4:

Collage elements where added to the piece and more paint was added to reveal the flower heads.


Final stage:

More adjustments were carried out on the vase and the background to produce the finished work.


Cropping artwork

More old paintings found that didn’t really work for me, so using my two L-shaped pieces of mountboard I played around to crop them into pleasing compositions and hey presto I now have new artworks to mount and sell:

The chosen format:


The chosen format:



The chosen format:


Mark-Making Nostalgia

Having a clear out today whilst the rain is battering outside (yes, its July, and its the UK). Came across some old experiments with mark-making tools, some of which I’d totally forgotten:

Using all sorts of things from lego, toy train tracks, corks, bottle tops, sequin waste, stencils, toy cog wheels and stamps to name but a few.

And, here are some of them put onto various types of paper with other random marks and formed into collages:

Then using two L-shaped pieces of mountboard, I floated them over the work to see where they could be cropped to create a pleasing piece of art:

Interesting to see how the dynamics of the pieces change, so now all I need to do is to make a decision on which version works the best, and how to crop, mmmmm……..

These are the ones I chose:

I found that I was particularly drawn to a square format with these creations, so now to get them mounted and ready for sale.

Hope you found this an interesting way to re-look at old artwork. More to come…

The Creation of Mac McGuiness

During a wonderful art retreat at EOM (Essence of Mulranny Studios), Co. Mayo, Ireland, we were fortunate enough to visit a thriving goat sanctuary dedicated to saving the endangered, indigenous Irish Goat.

Here are the 4 stages of the creation of Mac McGuiness, in mixed media, collage and encaustic wax.

And here is a cheeky little collaged ‘fella’ that I donated to the Sanctuary:


And, a few shots of the real thing:

They were so adorable, so more goat paintings to come…..

Local Scenes

Have started a series of local scenes around Congleton and Staffs for a forthcoming exhibition at The Foxlowe Gallery Café, Leek in March. Three done and more to go………………………. Its amazing once you start the options that pop into your head. These 3 below depict Bosley Cloud, a well known and well travelled landmark in Congleton, Cheshire.