Sails on sails- my next big thing?

Well here we go. Something incredibly exciting is happening. You can now purchase my sail paintings on genuine recycled sails. Who knew they could make such a perfect canvas?!

The sails

The “canvas” is essentially a used sail stretched over a really sturdy aluminium frame. Each one is totally unique with variations in stitching, folds and slight creases which tell the story of an exciting past. As soon as it arrived and I saw the canvas in the flesh, I knew that whatever I was going to do, I had to keep those raw textures on display.

The painting

To tackle the background, I experimented with a variety of tools. I started with my trusty palette knife. While being a master at laying on thick colour, I just didn’t feel it was quite right for this. I then moved onto a bit of brushwork which helped to really embed the thin layer of paint into the canvas, keeping all the beautiful texture. It did, however, leave a few too many brush strokes for my liking. I had a quick scout around the studio and settled on some old foam wrapping. I folded it up and began to rub the paint into the sail. Perfect. 

In the end, I used a mixture of all three techniques; foam wrap for working the paint into the canvas, a brush for creating some interesting marks and the palette knife for scraping away the paint where I wanted it to be a little more translucent.

It really gave me a good feel for how the paint was going to work on this material. Before getting started, I had been a bit worried about it bleeding through or not sticking or just looking very very wrong so while it took a minute to get used to, this was a massive result!

It was then time to add the yachts. Scary. It’s scary enough adding the boats onto a freshly prepared canvas background, this was a million times more pressure. I had such a vision and was desperate for it to go right. Long story short, it was definitely different, definitely a strange material to work with but the result was so much better than I had even imagined. Safe to say I did a little dance around the studio when I finished. I’m honestly so excited to keep working with this material and to really get to grips with what I can get away with. As I had hoped, this is game-changing.

The vision

My ideas for this collection won’t stop flowing. Imagine it with part of a number in the background. Wow. SO cool. Perhaps I could get people to send me their old sails and I could commission a painting using their very own sail. I can only do all this, however, if I have your support and your feedback. Please let me know what you think and if you have any crazy ideas, get in touch! If you’d like to purchase one (the ultimate encouragement) just send me an email.

I hope you love them!


Massive thank you to Resail Group for the sails. If you don’t know them already, have a look at their stuff. They make amazing things from recycled sails.

View their website here.