WHEN teacher Marie Stacey began drawing nude figures over charity shop landscape paintings she had no idea it would become a new passion.

The secondary school graphics teacher began drawing the classic oversized pin-up illustrations over thrift store finds at the beginning of the year.

Since then, she’s done scores of paintings.

Next weekend, she will throw open the doors to her garage studio for Swindon Open Studios, giving art lovers the first glimpse at her off-beat paintings. Marie’s Tadpole Garden Village garage is one of 53 venues across Swindon where people can see art for free over two weekends this month, starting on Saturday.

“I’m excited, but apprehensive,” said Marie. Despite studying art at university and living in Swindon for almost a decade, this is first time she has taken part in Swindon Open Studios.

Inspired by social media artist Art by Jorg, who paints Star Wars characters onto old paintings and prints, Marie started using ink pens to draw over charity shop finds: “I fell in love with Jorg’s work. I wanted to own one of his pieces.”

Her first piece was a giant sunglasses-wearing pin up girl, doing her make-up while she sat on one of the struts of the Eiffel Tower.

Welsh-born Marie, 41, said: “I put it on Facebook and someone I knew from a couple of years ago said, ‘I want this, will you sell it to me?’”

“I found a few other paintings from charity shops and started painting over them.”

Now, she pops into thrift stores in Swindon and her native Wales to see what she can find: I like the upcycling element to it. It’s about taking something unloved, a piece of art that has been sat in a charity shop gathering dust for a long time.

“It’s something people don’t love anymore and you’re turning it into something new.”

She shares her work over social media site Instagram and people have already asked her for commissions: “I make sure the clients know it’s not going to look exactly like them. I there’s too much pressure It takes away from the thrill of drawing. I’m a teacher, so in the evenings I just want to relax.”

Generally, the girls she paints come from her head, based on classic pin-up or tattoo shop designs. “No girl is ever the same,” Marie said.

See Marie’s work at 23 Selwyn Road on September 29-30. For more, visit her page on Instagram: @miss_doodle_1977.

Swindon Open Studios runs on the weekends of September 22-23 and 29-30.

For more, visit: www.swindonopenstudios.org.