A COUNTY artist more used to working with clay has created a spud-tacular work of art.

Natasha Phoenix swapped her usual materials for potatoes to come up with smashing versions of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The Gifford-based artist has teamed up with food products company Scotty Brand to launch the firm’s mash art competition, which aims to make family meals fun at a time when there are restrictions on seeing other people and eating out due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mum-of-four Natasha said: “I usually sculpt my work in clay or metal, so it was great fun to get creative with mashed potato.

“It was great to get the kids involved, too, and they loved it.

“Anything that brings families together like this and helps put smiles on people’s faces during these tough times is very welcome.

“I hope other families have as much fun as we did and enter the competition.”

Natasha, 45, previously worked as a teacher in Edinburgh but turned to art full-time about six years ago.

Usually, her work would be centred on clay or metal but, after spotting a post on social media, she teamed up with the Scotty Brand.

Now, after working alongside her nine-year-old twin daughters Hope and Talia Phoenix-Hill to create mash versions of Minnie the Minx from The Beano and a cute little cat, she has encouraged others to take on the a-peeling challenge.

The artist, who has two other children, Reuben and Indie, has work on display at the renowned Saatchi Gallery in London.

Natasha said: “Mashed potato works really well and you can do anything with it.

“If the children are not eating it, they can use paint as well. It is a good competition for kids.”

Throughout November, Scotty Brand is encouraging people of all ages to produce their own fun artistic creations on their plates, with mash as the main ingredient.

Budding mash artists will be encouraged to chip in and share their creations across their social channels using the hashtag #Scottymashart and the best creation will be awarded a £50 voucher for art supplies.

Michael Jarvis, head of marketing at Scotty Brand, said: “This has been a challenging year for everyone and now families are more restricted than ever in terms of going out and seeing people, so they will be eating at home more.

“With our mash art competition, we want to add some fun into family mealtimes and entertain the young and old during such a difficult time.”

There is also an online competition to win £200 worth of art supplies up for grabs at www.scottybrand.com/mash-art, while to see Natasha’s art go to www.natashaphoenixsculpture.com