From Game of Thrones to Pennywise from It - the amazing Halloween creations of Sunderland pumpkin painter Carma Conroy Brown

A Sunderland artist is creating some real magic this Halloween by painting pumpkins.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Thursday, 24th October 2019, 6:51 pm

Instead of carving the seasonal fruits, Carma Conroy Brown paints them with characters from fantasy and horror films – and they’re selling like hot cakes.

Her creative designs have caught the eye of businesses and families in Sunderland who’ve inundated her with requests. So much so, her kitchen in Fulwell has become a makeshift pumpkin studio and she’s had to stop taking orders so she has time to paint them all in time for the big day next week.

It can take up to three hours to hand paint each pumpkin, with everything from the Night King from Game of Thrones to Freddy Krueger from Nightmare of Elm Street and Pennywise the clown from It featuring in her designs.

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Pennywise from It
Pennywise from It

And it isn’t just ghosts, ghouls and mythical creatures that have proved popular. Businesses have been snapping up personalised pumpkins for their reception counters, with people also choosing floral-covered pretty pumpkins to brighten up their porch.

Carma’s day job is as a face painter for private and corporate events with her business, The Face Paint Saint, and she says she never expected this sideline to take off in the way it has.

Explaining how it came about, she said: “I was at a Halloween event last year painting faces and in the quiet periods, to keep busy, I started painting some of the pumpkins.

“People started asking how much they were, thinking they were for sale. So this year, a few weeks ago I put a post on Facebook asking if anyone wanted any pumpkins painted. I thought I’d only get one or two orders, but I got a hundred in a day and I had to stop taking them.”

A scene from It

At that point pumpkins weren’t readily available so she had to travel to a farm near York to get some of the first harvests of the fruit.

To keep up with demand she’s also been a regular at her local supermarket this week on the hunt for pumpkins.

“They call me the ‘crazy pumpkin lady’ in there now as I’m always in the pumpkin basket looking for ones with a slightly flat side as they’re better for painting. If only you could harvest pumpkins in July I might be able to keep up with the orders,“ explained Carma, who is mum to Molly, 16; Tommy, 14 and Jerry, three.

Carma, who charges £10-£20 for the pumpkins, added: “I never like to do the same design twice so each one is unique and they can last for around eight weeks before they start to soften and deflate.”

Carma at work in her kitchen

*If you’re looking for some family-friendly events to do with your little monsters this half-term and Halloween read our guide to the best things to do here.


It can take up to three hours to paint each pumpkin
Face painting artist Carma Conroy painting pumpkins ahead of Halloween
A scene from Nightmare on Elm Street