Glasgow Stencils available at The Hill House

Today I made a delivery of Glasgow Style stencils to the shop of The Hill House, the property that Mackintosh designed at the turn of the century for the publisher Blackie.


The Hill house features beautiful examples of Art Nouveau stencilling designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the early 1900’s. It is run by The National Trust for Scotland and welcomes the public for visits. It also runs exhibitions in Decorative Arts and has a great shop.

9 of our stencils are now available in The Hill House shop.


If you like Mackintosh’s work then make sure to visit. If you can’t make it to the property and would like to buy one of our Glasgow stencils then visit our shop “The Lansdowne House”

If you want to learn to use our stencils we run workshops in stencilling on a regular basis. You can find details about them here

Happy stencilling.

Betty xx


Art is the Flower… Multimedia class for The House for an Art Lover’s 20th anniversary – October 2016

Mackintosh talked about “Art is the flower” many decades ago, and it is true that the Glasgow Rose so loved by turn of the century artists and architects captured the heart of many people. I myself fell in Love with one specific rose which I have used in a few projects. That rose is stencilled on the fire place of the beautiful “House for an Art Lover”.

I want many to enjoy that rose and what it means for time to come. I want that rose to unleash the creativity that many have in themselves. For that very reason I have put together a workshop in four evening classes where I will encourage participants to create multimedia artwork, collage, drawing, mono prints, photographs, etc… with that rose as a starting point. You will also have the option to make greeting cards.

If you would like more information about the class email me at

To book look here

I hope to see you there.

Betty xx

Talk – Demonstration on Mackintosh Stencilling at The Hill House – Helensburgh

Being blessed with the great chance to work with stencils I take great pride and pleasure in sharing my knowledge and I will be doing this during the summer in the lovely  The Hill House National Trust Property in Helensburgh.

That great turn of the century building was once designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for his friend/patron Blackie the Glasgow wealthy publisher. It is a great house, its opened to the public and is ran by The National Trust of Scotland.

I have had many connections with the house over the years and I am glad to say they have agreed to take part in my Big Rose Project later on this October.

When it comes to Mackintosh stencilling, The Hill House is blessed with several great designs and it will be my pleasure to give a small talk about them and then demonstrate how to recreate similar schemes in your own buildings using card stencils. I offer one of those stencils on my Etsy site

This is a free event for the visitors to the house and you should get in touch with them to book yourself on it as space is limited.

This event will run on the 17 and 31 of July and 14 and 28 of August between 11.30 and 3pm with talks at 11.30 and 2pm on all days.

If you want information on my stencilling workshops please check my course page

Hope to see you there to discuss your own stencilling projects.

Betty xx

The Glasgow Art club frieze ! a modern recreation

At the turn of the century a young Glasgow based architect called Charles Rennie Mackintosh was commissioned to design a frieze for the well known “Glasgow Art Club” … Well that is a short version of the story, it would seem there is much discussion about who was commissioned and who got credit for it but it is certain that Mackintosh claimed the recognition and a piece in the period magazine of the time the “Baillie” attributes this work to Mackintosh a young promising artist/architect from Glasgow. The frieze together with detailed wood work, and various elements gave a great Art Nouveau character to the Gallery of the club.

The frieze long gone was to be re-create, and it took a good number of years and a few specialists to plan it carefully, redesign it from scratch and finally re-craft it. Many specialists were involved and yet no stencillers by trade although the painter the club used has great tradition in re-creations and historic ones… responsible for the recent renovation of Stirling castle. Mackintosh specialists were involved in the thinking process. Dr Pamela Robertson, Dr James McCaulay who both have spent a life time researching on Mackintosh. Chris Allan a trained fine art artist was commissioned to put the design together from what was found and from the original elements of the original illustrations as I believe no original detailled sketchs were found.

As for the colours It is always difficult, a painted or stencilled frieze is the first thing to go in an historic building, it gets painted or plastered over and it becomes very difficult to access samples of paint and when you do the original colour have been modified by layers and layers of paint. No colour photographs are usually available of turn of the century friezes and no record either. Its a guessing game ! James McCaulay in his presentation of the Art Club frieze last night stated that “this was the best which could be achieved in the circumstances” and that pleased me very much… I have had that discussion many times with clients and specialists demanding justifications on colour schemes…

I was introduced to the scheme last night at the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society AGM and i found it stunning. Very “Art Nouveau” swirl with some Scottish Thistles. But I could not somehow agree with the whole design. And that is my point about the lack of “stencilling” expertise. A stencil is made of elements linked by bridges, in the case of this design, no bridges available in the thistle stems  … is it a mistake? Did the artist miss something or was that design no meant to be applied by stencil? We will never know for sure but the scheme is stunning and should be seen.

The Glasgow Art Club is a private club but it holds painting exhibition in its Gallery on a regular basis… Its located in Glasgow at 185 Bath Street. Worth checking before you make your way in case they are holding functions…

Thats another piece of Mackintosh Heritage available for all to see. Its a great feel to see all the elements appearing one after the other. And for that I am grateful…

I hope you can make it to see it at some point… Off course now it should be around for a while.

Betty xx

The Big Rose project #BIGROSE 2016 – 2017

The Big Rose project is coming back in 2017 and I am excited to take part in a Heritage Walk with the The Maryhill Burgh Hall as part of The West End Festival on the 10th of June between 11am and 1pm. We will walk throughout historic Maryhill and discover  the hidden histories of its industrial past through the art of stencilling. Between bits of history we will stencil enroute designs generated by the heritage of the Maryhill area.

This walk is available for the whole family and its a free event but if you want to book it please email or call 0141 946 5149.


If you want to read about #thebigrose project in 2016 see below:

Thank you to #Cassart for sponsoring our material for the Mackintosh Festival 2016 workshops. Thank you to #Glasgowmackintosh for supporting and promoting the project. Thank you to my volunteers Sula, Leeann, Rachel, for their time, patience and love of the project. Thank you Michael @Ruainach for such a beautiful video and photographic record of the Lighthouse session.

Here are a record of some of the Free events we ran during the Mackintosh Festival 2016. Those events were aimed at a wide public. Adults Mackintosh lovers, visitors to the city, families keen to have family creative time, children who like “hands on” activities…

Saturday 29th October The Lighthouse Mitchell Lane off Buchanan street to read about what happened on the day click Here




Monday 17 th October we were at The House for an Art Lover Belahouston park Glasgow and we stencilled a beautiful carpet of roses in the garden look

STENCILLING MASTERCLASS : The House for an Art Lover week end of the 22/23 October For info and booking click here two day also available for information look here

Tuesday 25th October in conjonction with The Mackintosh Club in Helensburgh the latest discovered Mackintosh venue in town and in conjonction with The Helensburgh Art Club, to read about this inspirational day read  Here

This project is about my love for stencilling and for a stylised Rose designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for The Willow Tea Rooms in 1903 and used in the making of The House for an Art Lover in 1996.

#thebigrose project video

This is about the 20th anniversary of The House for an Art Lover

This is about Scottish Hospitality

This is about spreading good design and engaging with both artists and the public and giving access to all. Sharing crafts skills and heritage technics with both adults and children alike. This is about showing everyone has creativity and can achieve beauty.

This is about creating carpets of large Glasgow style roses at each venues of the Glasgow Mackintosh Heritage using stencils. And engaging the public in participating.

This project has happened in October 2016 during the Mackintosh Festival and I hope many many enjoyed taking part.

The Story:

Once upon a time Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret designed a beautiful banner for one of Miss Cranston’s tea room in Glasgow. It included some stylised roses and a tall beautiful lady. Almost 100 years later I used part of this design in the making of The House for an Art Lover in the Iconic fire place. This building designed by Mackintosh in the 1900’s was only built in Glasgow in 1996. The Iconic fire place of the dining room has been captured again and again by visitors and represents in many the Mackintosh design.

For the twenty years’ anniversary of The House for an Art Lover I have decided to take that rose from the fire place and use it to create carpets of hospitality at all the Mackintosh venues in October 2016 for welcoming the visitors of the Mackintosh Festival.

The venues and the project:

The venues for the project are part of the Mackintosh network. They were all designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and welcome the public on a regular basis.

The process:

Hand cut stencils of large roses  stencils in the Mackintosh style and emulsion paint in shades of pink and red will be used with large stencilling brushes to create carpets of welcoming roses.

Taking part:

Phase 1 is now over, it was a great success. I am now working on Phase 2 of the project, this will involve schools, local groups if you are interested to take part get in touch @

#thebigrose project is ©of Elisabeth Viguie Culshaw/The Lansdowne House of Stencils 2016 none or part of this project can be duplicated without the approval of the owner

#BIGROSEPROJECT 2016 participants:

  • The Hill House NTS, Helensburgh
  • Queens’ cross church, Glasgow
  • The Lighthouse, Glasgow
  • The House for an Art Lover, Glasgow
  • The Mackintosh Club, Helensburgh
  • St Enoch center, Glasgow
  • Camstraden Primary school, Glasgow
  • Hillhead Primary School, Glasgow

#BIGROSEPROJECT 2016  was promoted by Glasgow Mackintosh in their 2016 Festival and was featured by the press:

  • The Herald Newspaper
  • Glasgow Live
  • The Advertiser – Helensburgh
  • Websites of The Lighthouse, Visit Scotland, Art Magazine scotland, Glasgow Mackintosh
  • Many posts on social media (Twitter, Instagram, FB) search #thebigrose





Would George have been proud ? For historic re-creation we all rely on the first owner’s vanity !!!

“There is a great deal to be learned from the craftsman who intelligently executes one’s own designs… he is as much as a necessity in producing a beautiful piece of work as the designer himself.”

George Walton, Lecture to The Philosophical Society, Glasgow 1900

I have described recently in an article I wrote for The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society Journal (Nr 100) the complicated but enjoyable process of the refurbishment of Ault Wharrie. You can get a copy of the Journal from the Society directly, they are based in Glasgow in the most stunning and only church that Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed… Queen’s Cross Church. In the Maryhill area of Glasgow its a great place to visit. The stylish red sandstone building with its deep blue stained glass stands on the corner of Maryhill and Garscube roads like the tower of a chess game. If you cant make it there, you can order it online from the website of the society or you could just become a member and get it free

The Number 100 journal from CRM Society is just out

The Mackintosh Society is a charity and it looks after the Mackintosh Heritage. It has members all over the world and organises events as well as look after buildings and heritage. I had the pleasure of working for them when I first moved in Glasgow many decades ago.

Queens Cross Church the only church Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed is in Glasgow

Recently I was asked to recreate stencilled schemes as part of the restoration of Ault Wharrie an A-listed property built between 1899-1901 in Dunblane, Perthshire. The house was designed by architects Fred Rowntree, and George Walton – a direct contemporary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Walton design a good deal of stencilled schemes for Ault Wharrie, some of them could be conserved but for some others I had to recreate them from scratch. Left unoccupied for many years, Ault Wharrie was in need of both substantial structural and interior repair work before it could become a home for its new owners.

Bill Carman and Celia Atkins purchased Ault Wharrie in March 2013, and immediately began researching its history. With endless determination and resources, they have been reinstating the house to its original state using the best makers and crafts people around to recreate the schemes. The lack of surviving archival material made things difficult.

I have described the process of the refurbishment In a previous post It was a great experience but all along we had this recurring question : “What would have George thought” ? would he have been happy with our approach? Would he have liked this shade of green? this shape of leaf? Would he have come up the scaffold himself as he was known to do to correct a detail?

It is a great relief for historian when the first owner of a grand house showed signs of vanity by publishing many articles about their new beautiful property in well known magazines of the time. I remember the magic of “discovering” hidden elements during the refurbishment of a turn of the century Glasgow mansion. We had access to a 100 years old published article describing the set of “hand painted tiles” or the “marble fire place” and it was like taking part in a grown up treasure hunt trying to find as many as possible of the elements described in the Journal.

But in the case of Ault Wharrie … nothing… no memories, nor write up. Just a lot of guess work and a very few black and white photos in some old books.

So we have for the almost the past two years worked hard, questioned one another and put together as much as we could of Ault Wharrie and we do think at the end of the day … Walton would be proud of our common effort and enthusiasm.

The house is close to completion and I hope the new owners will open it to the public from time to time. Its a marvelous space and in the refurbishment we have managed to capture the “Arts and Crafts” feel of the original scheme. I will be stencilling my last piece in it next week. A “rug” in the dining to tie in the stain glass door panels recently recreated by Linda Cannon with my stencilled frieze above the wood paneling and the luscious curtains made by The Glasgow Guild .

A sample tracing of the floor stencil for Ault Wharrie dining room due for completion May 2016

Re creation of stained glass panel in Ault Wharrie by Linda Cannon

The Glasgow Guild were commissioned to design luscious curtains for the dining room

The Square borders were recreated from scratch in Ault Wharrie dining room 

But I am looking forward to completing this task to see the house in its complete state. Its been long coming and the new owners are well due a resting time by the fire contemplating their achievement.







Recycle ! Turn old news prints in beautiful objects – Papier Mache week end in Glasgow 21-22 May  

If like me you still read newspapers you probably have regularly a trip to the recycling bin with a bundle of very good quality paper and it seems such a shame to drop it in the bin but then again what to do with it ???

The week End work shop I will run at the House for an Art Lover will Adress just how to transform this waste into lovely objects for you and your dear ones using pva glue and some corrugated cardboard! Or balloons !!! How to make bowls ! Frames ! Mirrors or any other objects and decorate them … Using more paper more glue and some paint …

It’s a burst of creativity for the strictest beginner but also the most experienced participant and over two days you will be amazed on how much you learn and achieve…

I am just back from a trip to Hong Kong and I picked up on my way some papers in Cantonese and Arabic which should create great effects on your finished pieces…

Creating while recycling is just a great way to spend a week end! In good company at The Art Park the Art complex of The House for an Art Lover in Glasgow ! Why not join me there ?

Booking deals here


Betty X

Stencils online



Recently I delivered some of my hand cut stencils to The House for an Art Lover’s shop. This is a great property built in the 1990’s after Mackintosh’s design from the turn of the century. Located in the Belahouston Park in Glasgow South Side it has a good number of rooms recreated from the original drawings by a team of crafts people and artists.

I was commissioned to recreate the stencilling and out of the designs I used I have designed some stencils which are hand cut and offered to “stencillers to be” to help them recreating their own Mackintosh interior.

If you can visit the property its a great experience… but if you can’t you can now purchase them online from The House for an Art Lover’s online shop They come will full instructions and if you are still unsure of what to do… you can always join one of my courses I will be delighted to show you the art of stencilling… the next one is with The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Society on the 16th of June.

Happy stencilling.


Betty xx

“Stencilling Mackintosh”, Glasgow roses in the Mackintosh church for the West end Festival

It was over 20 years ago that I discovered my two loves… Stencilling and a Rose but not any rose … This one comes from Glasgow and was designed at the turn of the 20th century by a talented man and his young wife. Charles and Margaret both young artists, both so talented.

Have you ever had that feeling that you have all this creativity inside you … but you can’t draw to save your life ? But then you suddenly find your technique and it’s like opening the magic door ? Suddenly everyone looks at your work and claps and you feel so immensely proud and in love with your own work ! You want to stencil this rose over the whole world … Creating a huge carpet of delicat scented stylised roses in the style of Mackintosh!

That was the 80’s and I had arrived in Glasgow from France. I found my first job with The Charles Rennie Mackintosh society in the church Mackintosh designed. I have never looked back.

I have stencilled houses and churches … Played my part in exhibitions with many museums I even stencilled my loved roses on the fire place of The House for an Art Lover in Glasgow.

Since then I have tried as much as I can to get people to share this great feeling of achievement through stencilling … You take a brush and via a template you apply a pattern on say your wall and create the most beautiful design wether you can draw or not… (Well after a few tries anyway) but off course you can go further and design your own if you are very hooked but you can also decide to only use it to decorate one room or some cards really the world is your play place once you have mastered the technique.

I am very emotional this month as I will be going back to The Mackintosh church during the West end Festival to welcome a few people who have gathered enough courage to have a go. I have no worries though I know they will achieve much after the first initial try. It will be fun and very creative. We will enjoy this great venue and we will be stencilling many roses.

If you want to have a try we have a new workshop on the 16th of June 2017 with the West End Festival. For details please click Here  !

I am hoping to find there a mix of Mackintosh enthousiast and just stencilling enthousiast. But whoever turns up we will take a good look at The Glasgow Rose that the great man and his wife Margaret favoured so much in their schemes. We will stencil it on several backgrounds using all sorts of paint. My aim for the day transforming complete novices in great specialists of the stylised rose.

I have recently come across a piece of canvas stencilled for Miss Cranston’s tea rooms at the turn of the century Glasgow one of Mackintosh design … I was completely shocked by the colours ! So bright and that what we will be using …

If you are interested to come, please book here but hurry, only 10 spaces… so see you there !


Betty xx

ps: this will run from 10am to 4pm, see the Evenbrite posting for detail on price.

Stencilling Mackintosh – a craft masterclass !

20 years after stencilling the “Iconic” fireplace in The House of an Art Lover in Glasgow I was back there this week end to run a stencilling masterclass. A group of ladies participants from all background from nursing to social working had booked up to learn to master the techniques of stencilling on wall, fabric, paper etc… some with and some without any previous experience. But beside the technical side of things they were also looking for some “magic” in the form of the venue and I wanted to make sure I would not disappoint them.

You see the world is such a small place, you meet total strangers and when you start talking to them in a friendly way you realise you have connexions with them in way you never imagined… So turns out that one of them had purchased stencils from me probably at the time The House for an Art Lover was built… One had got married at The House and was still under the magic spell, etc etc… when you start with those rapports you could go on and on. We are all related at the end…

So we started by walking in The House straight to the Music Room to have a look at the stencilling I did there many moons ago, and then the Dining Room, such a beautiful room with its blue fire place. That very image which you see again and again probably with a happy couple seating in front of it. I still remember the smell of the fresh paint when I was there stencilling it. We discussed designs, techniques, and gossip. We all think others have a more interesting life and stories to tell…

 But then back to The Art Park we started the long process of learning to dry one’s brush ! that is a two days straight of stencilling the same design on various backgrounds with different paints to get the hang of it. “Pull on your brush, dry your brush, too much paint etc. I always feel that if I say it once more someone will get up and leave in a temper” yet… its the key to success.

My participants left exhausted last night … would they come back today? 

But yes and full of expectations, it seems that a good evening relaxing had done them good because oblivious of their not so successful earlier tests which I had attached to the wall all over the room they were more than determined to succeed… and they did !

So we traced and cut and applied on a freshly emulsioned background wall and the same design came out in a variety of colours and finishes … Some liked the delicate shading and some preferred bold colours some even went the blue way…

But all turned out a beautiful and immensely satisfying result !!!

And they left with their roll of achievement under their arm ready to show it off home.

Stencilling is a great skill to have, so versatile … it opens the door to so many projects. I have no doubts that my participants today are “bushed” having worked so hard but so happy to have proven to themselves they could achieve greatness.
For myself, I am waiting for my next workshop, It’s a great feeling to bring someone by the hand all the way to this kind of achievement. Next I will be running a day workshop in the beautiful Mackintosh Queens Cross church on the Thursday 16th of June. If you want to come and learn… email me @

Betty xx