Altered Muggle Art

With this altered art series, I was inspired by the world of Harry Potter created by by J.K. Rowling. I’ve enjoyed illustrating these ideas from my “muggle” point of view, imagining that through history the magical world might have spilled into ours and artists might have unknowingly capture those moments in their art through our history. By taking real vintage artworks and subtly altering them to include magical places and creatures, I am creating a magical historical fiction.

This series has been so much fun to create, particularly because my kids are into Harry Potter, and they often wandered into my home studio to see what I was painting and giving their suggestions. They even let me borrow their toys and books to help create a magical atmosphere to work in. My youngest insisted I need to wear my witches hat while painting... we settled on I would have Trevor the Toad sit on my desk and supervise. 

Over the last two months I've enjoyed making friends with many muggles while sharing my work along the way through reels and stories on Instagram & TikTok. In case you missed them on social media, I've put a link by each piece to the reel of them being painted so you can watch the transformation happen.

I've shared more details for each paintings below... you can find the originals and reproductions here on the Muggle Art page.   

The Gamekeeper's Hut
OriginalPrints & Downloads
Watch it be painted here

"There's no Hogwarts without you, Hagrid" — Harry Potter

That really says it all… the loveable gamekeeper was truly a gentle giant. I thought it was sweet how in the books the kids would regularly visit Hagrid, who always listened to their problems, looked out for their safety, and cared for them like his own kids. Knowing that someone so caring lives there, when I see Hagrid’s hut it brings a feeling of security, that someone lives there who makes others feel safe and looked out for. 

So with painting this alteration, I wanted to capture that warm and cozy feeling, and feature the gamekeeper’s home. Because it wouldn’t be Hogwarts without Hagrid. 

Did you know that between the 2nd and 3rd Harry Potter films, the location of Hagrid’s hut was moved? I very much prefer the location from the 3rd movie onwards, as it has more of a moody highlands feel to it. Creating the view of the school from the gamekeeper’s hut was a little challenging, as the most famous views are of the castle perched on top of the cliffs, and Hagrid would face the less picturesque backside of the school. I used my creative license to adapt the layout to fit the terrain of the art I was working with. 

The original surface is a print on canvas by Dutch painter Barney Cornelis Koekkoek (1803-1862.) Koekkoek was nicknamed the “Prince of Landscape Painting” and recognized as the founding father of Dutch romantic landscape painting. It was a pleasure to paint on this print and study his work as I added the alterations. 



A Walk With Fang
OriginalPrints & digital downloads

Watch it painted here.

The Forbidden Forest is not usually a place you would go for a walk in the woods… particularly if you are a cowardly mastiff! But with the gentle half-giant groundskeeper at your side, there’s no safer place you could be. From a muggle point of view, these two looked to be going on a typical winter walk in the woods… but who knows what magical creatures they were going to meet! 

The original vintage painting was very nice, but had a creepy person in the woods! It’s human nature to be drawn to look at any people depicted in artwork… and if they happen to be a person lurking in the woods, it immediately casts an ominous feel to a landscape that is otherwise be quite beautiful. By removing the hunched, zombie like lurker, and replacing it with the peaceful groundskeeper and his cowardly dog, my aim was to transform the feel of the painting to something that makes you feel safe and secure. Original vintage painting signed Bernauer, c1978. 



I Can See Them, Too
OriginalPrints & Downloads 

Watch it be painted here.

One of my favourite scenes in “The Order of the Phoenix” was how JK Rowling introduced the thestrals. The moment when Luna Lovegood said to Harry that she could see the thestrals, too, would have been so reassuring to someone who could not believe what creepy monstrosities they were seeing. The way Luna was so gentle and accepting towards them helped change the way Harry saw these misunderstood creatures. So with this altered painting, I wanted to share her view of thestrals, and imagine them in a world where they are perceived as gentle beasts, who love a good run through the grass and to feel the wind through their wings. 

This alteration is on a vintage print of the painting titled “Wild & Free Horses” by American artist Harland Young (1924 - 2015.) This print was produced c1960, and over the years it has slowly lost its vibrant colour due to sun and environmental damage. I spent some time cleaning, touching up, rewiring, and reinstalling the art in the frame. I decided to keep the original faded colours as it worked well with the ethereal feel of the thestrals. 



The Stag
OriginalPrints & digital downloads

Watch it be painted here.

This blue landscape immediately made me think of Harry conjuring his first stag patronus in the Forbidden Forest. I loved that moment when he suddenly realized he had the power within him to conjure magical creature. It was touching that he chose a stag like his father... in a way it was chosen for Harry, having seen himself conjure it while travelling with the time-turner. So with that story in mind, I enjoyed adding this patronus stag to this vintage painting... perhaps he is waiting of the next time Harry calls him. 

The original vintage painting by W. Jones was collected locally. It was very dirty, covered with mysterious spatters, and has been stained yellow likely from nicotine. The frame was a bit brown and dingy, so I repainted the trim to freshen it up a bit. 



Broomsticks & Lollies
OriginalPrints & Downloads 

Watch it be painted here.

If you are a muggle who lives in Canada, you’ll know that not all winters are sprinkled with white fluffy snow! Some days are downright dreary, with the white snow turned to brown slush, the skies grey, and the trees spindly and bare. On those days, you want to stay indoors, turn on the fireplace, and get cozy with a good book… like “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!”

The students of Hogwarts enjoy a magical wintertime, with the charming Hogsmeade village nearby to visit over winter holidays. Sitting in my dark office, I love the idea of popping out to Honeydukes for warm cauldron cakes, or over to The Three Broomsticks for a butterbeer. I imagine that there were days that winter wasn’t so pleasant in Hogsmeade village, and perhaps sometimes it was a little more like the winters I experience.

So with this altered painting, I was inspired to share my muggle view of a not-so-magical winter in Hogsmeade. I enjoyed adding wonky chimneys and rooftops, street lights, and of course the local pub and candy shop for the locals to visit to for a treat. I added wisps of smoke from the wonky chimneys to help imagine that the town is full of people, cozy in their homes on this miserable winters morning. 

This alteration is on a vintage painting signed Luigi Matti.  This art was in rough shape, with food splatters, lots of cracking, dents, battered frame. I spent some time cleaning, touching up, rewiring, and reinstalling the art in a new better quality vintage frame. 



Helga's Cup
OriginalPrints & Downloads

Watch it be painted here 

Years ago (in the olden days when the Harry Potter books first came out) I took the test to see which house I would be sorted into at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft & Wizardry. At first I was a little disappointed that I was placed in Hufflepuff, as somehow from reading the books I got the impression that Hufflepuff is where all the “leftover” students went! 

But then I learned about Helga Hufflepuff. 

She was a Welsh witch and one of the four founders of Hogwarts. While the heads of other houses chose students with unique qualities, Helga accepted all students regardless of their skills or abilities… she only required they were loyal and hard-working. I thought that warm acceptance of being “ordinary” was really lovely, as that’s all anyone wants, is to be accepted for who you are. 

So I am rather fond of being in Hufflepuff! 

With this painting I wanted to celebrate Helga Hufflepuff. I wanted to paint her cup from a time before it became infamous for being turned into a horcrux by He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. I loved the idea of the moving portraits in the halls at Hogwarts school. I imagined that perhaps Helga left her cup at the breakfast table in her own painting to go visit her friends in the another portrait.  

The original painting on canvas by unknown artist, c.1980.  The frame and canvas are in excellent condition. Wired and ready for wall display.    


Bowtruckle Bed & Breakfast
Original, Prints & Downloads 

Watch it be painted here - Reel coming soon!

There are six bowtruckles hiding in this painting, can you spot them all? Bowtruckles are incredibly shy magical creatures who live in trees and eat insects. Did you know that a family of bowtruckles its called a branch? Too cute!  

This branch of six individuals have been travelling with Newt Scamander in his suitcase full of endangered magical beasts. One of the bowtruckles, Pickett, had attachment issues so was frequently out with Newt on adventures. But I think the rest of them were well deserving of a little holiday after all that drama in North America! So I imagined what sort of place a bowtruckle would like to visit, and thought that a beautiful smelling bouquet of flowers would be the bowtruckle equivalent of a fancy B&B! 

I was conscious to make this alteration very subtle to not detract from the pretty bouquet of flowers. So when you step back you can appreciate the glamorous bouquet and frame… and it’s not till you look more closely that you can spot the magical creatures hidden among the flowers.

The original vintage painting was by Maguire and collected in Toronto. In itself it is a beautiful and dramatic example of high realism, with gorgeous luminos flowers. In different lighting you can see the depth of colour as the light shines through the layers of paint. The canvas has some aging and fine cracking in the paint. The frame is in excellent condition, very large and very heavy. 


Muggle Sketch Book
Along the way I enjoyed studying the magical world with watercolour paintings and pencil sketches. I had this vintage album with rough parchment like paper which I enjoyed painting on with watercolour and acrylic to study and practice the subject matter before painting the final pieces on vintage paintings. I'm not sure how old the album is, perhaps c1960... but it is old enough to have that old book smell so I felt like I was painting on something from Hogwarts library! In the end I had painted 16 original watercolour illustrations along the way, some of which I'm very fond of as illustrations in their own right.  

Album Available at Art Drop Feb 29th
Prints and Downloads available


Muggle Memory Book

I handmade three albums containing prints and handwritten notes of the sketches, watercolour studies, and altered paintings from my Altered Muggle Art collection. I've taken time-lapse reels while painting these, the reels are up on Instagram and TikTok which are fun to watch. It is a lovely representation of the creative process and a whimsical keepsake of the collection. 

Available to collect at Feb 29th Art Drop


Honestly I could keep going creating more and more pieces inspired by HP, I have so many ideas… but I know from experience that stopping and working on something completely different (like sci-fi!) is best for creativity, and when I return to do more muggle studies, they will be even better for it. 

Warmest thanks for following my muggle artist journey, 



Back to blog