Behind the Scenes!

In my last update, I promised to share some photos of the build up to my article in Illusion magazine so here goes!

The first shoot involved my friend Sophie travelling up from Somerset with her daughter Ellie Mae as they were my original clown models at my first professional party and my plan was to recreate the same designs 4 years on!

They are ideal models for facepainting as they both perform regularly on stage for local dance and drama companies so having layers of paint/make up applied to their faces is a regular occurrence. Still like statues whilst being painted followed by nutty posers in front of the camera – PERFECTION!!!!

We started with some relatively sensible shots ….

and then the giggles started and it all went pear shaped!!!

The second shoot was a different league (photographically speaking) – my fabulous friend, Fran, of Francoise Stevens Photography agreed to spare me some precious studio time as well as loaning me her beautiful identical twin daughters as models along side my own gorgeous little girl!

It was a brilliant experience painting the twins – and a little surreal having the same face presented to me twice! (Gave me a small insight into what it might be like being the Wolfe Brothers!)

Then, following much bribery and corruption, I persuaded my little one to be painted as my interpretation of Pierrot. For those of you who have read the article in Illusion, this will all make sense!!

Fran worked her magic with the camera and the three girls smiled and pouted their way through the shoot beautifully! Here are a few more of my favourites!

We’re always looking for willing victims, models, to practice new ideas on so do get in touch if you’re keen to volunteer!

Dreams Really Do Come True!

Just over 4 years ago when I first set up Fascinating Faces, I was introduced to a fabulous and very glossy magazine called “Illusion”. It was crammed full of vibrant photos of some incredible artwork by amazingly talented face and body painters from all over the world. I couldn’t help but subscribe to the magazine and am now the proud owner of every edition except the illusive first issue!

Julie Oliver and Claire Pick work tirelessly to produce each issue; scouring the globe for inspirational photos to publish; conventions and festivals to report on and endless step-by-step tutorials by some of the best artists in the world.

I have always believed in aiming for the stars with everything I face in life and my painting is no exception. I have had many a day dream that one day, just one day, I may create something worthy of Julie and Claire’s attention and have a photo published in Illusion. Long term dreams and goals are great for motivation and inspiration.

But perhaps not such long term after all …. towards the latter end of 2011 Julie contacted me to ask me if I would consider providing a step-by-step tutorial for their Spring magazine. My heart was in my throat and I had more butterflies careering around my stomach than I could ever paint in a lifetime!!!

The step-by-step led to me writing a story of how I have become somewhat known for my fascination (excuse the pun) with clowns.

Two manic painting sprees and photo shoots followed – one photographed by me and the second professionally shot by my wonderful photographer friend, Francoise Stevens plus beautifully modelled by my daughter and Fran’s identical twin daughters!

Shortly after I submitted the editorial together with numerous photos and waited with bated breath …. until this week!!!

There was a huge thud on my doormat yesterday as an envelope filled with three gloriously glossy copies of Issue 17 of Illusion Magazine landed! I raced to rip open the envelope and promptly sobbed my eyes out with pride as I cast my eyes over the 3 page (YES THREE PAGE!!) article in front of me. I was completely blown away to see the other amazing artists featured in the magazine and am totally humbled to be sharing pages with them.

So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you Julie and Claire for really making a dream come true.


Watch this space – I’ll be loading up some wonderful shots of the photo sessions that led to the article pics soon.


I think our little “secret” is out! Relish restaurant was buzzing this afternoon with lots of new faces and several of our “Radisson Regulars”. Week by week it’s getting busier and busier so if you fancy coming to join us then it’s always safer to book in advance, but please don’t let that stop you popping in if you’re just passing; I’m sure everything will be done to squeeze you in!

I couldn’t resist taking a few snaps of the wonderful spread of food to share with you – so much choice; deliciously cooked; and frequently replaced during the afternoon to ensure everyone receives fresh, piping hot food.

Relish Restaurant

Relish Restaurant

Relish Restaurant

Succulent roast chicken was also on the menu and can you believe I forgot to photograph the dessert table! Will leave that for you to discover for yourselves!!!

Don’t forget – children under 12 eat free (one per accompanying adult) and we provide the complimentary facepainting!

Call Relish Restaurant on 01483 792305 to book and don’t forget Afternoon Tea is also available with donations from each tea during March going towards Shooting Star Chase charity.


We were humbled, as always, to work with Shooting Star Chase yesterday at their Mad Hatter’s Tea Party laid on by the Radisson Edwardian, Guildford.

9 families currently benefiting from the support of Shooting Star Chase Christopher’s hospice just outside Guildford visited Relish Restaurant at the hotel for a fabulous tea party hosted by Alice, the Mad Hatter, a wonderful White Rabbit otherwise known as Guiseppe (!) and of course the Queen of Hearts. There were finger sandwiches and fairy cakes galore, balloons everywhere, magic tricks and of course facepainting!!!

The event was supported by Max Clifford, Donal MacIntyre and the Harlequins RFC. All of the guys from the Harlequins were brilliant sports and left with their faces painted as a tiger, Batman, Spiderman, a monster and ….. a geisha complete with pink lipstick!!!

The tea party marked the launch of the Radisson’s 12-month partnership with the Shooting Stars Chase charity. They will be providing hotel rooms for parents visiting children at the charity’s Guildford-based hospice and will make a donation for every Queen of Hearts afternoon tea sold.


Waking up to the beautiful snow covered scenes from my window this morning did cast some doubt as to whether I’d make it to Guildford today but thanks to hubby spending an hour clearing the driveway I was able to set off tentatively with my boot loaded with shovel, blanket, snow boots, jumpers and a flask of coffee!!!

45 minutes later I pulled up in the car park with some relief and skidded my way into the wonderfully warm hotel!

I knew it was to be a great afternoon when whilst setting up I was greeted by a school friend from many years ago who had brought her large extended family with her to celebrate her birthday. Whilst we have met up a couple of times in recent years, it was the first time I’d met her Mum and brother in over 30 years!!! So lovely to see them all again and to meet the rest of the family.

My favourite waitress, Sarah, has a new request each week as to what she’d like painted on her face. Last week was Avatar; this week was lillies!!!

The restaurant was full of many other lovely guests today including the very charming Donal MacIntyre who was lunching with his beautiful family. After transforming both of his adorable daughters into sparkling flower princesses I had the great pleasure of painting Mr MacIntyre himself as Spidey!!!! What a sport!!!!