Ovenclean Blog – The Day Job

Image of Ovenclean LogoThis blog post will deal with my work as an Ovenclean Franchisee. Many customers have asked me for advice and information on various issues regarding their ovens. So, rather than fill your in-box with long mailing list type emails, I will link my emailings to this blog page. Please read on.

In the same way that you should carry out regular checks on your car to ensure that the tyres are correctly pumped up and have sufficient tread etc., you should also check the state of your oven once in a while. Here is how you can check the efficiency of your oven door seal. If you have a problem with your oven then you should email me: Russell Collins   or call me on 07460 238877

Oven Efficiency – The Doors

When I turn up in my Ovenclean T-shirt to clean an oven, one of the things I check is the quality of the door closing mechanism. The oven door needs to close firmly and remain closed so that the door is completely shut. If the door is not completely shut then hot gas will escape from the door to damage the outside of the oven, reduce the efficiency of the oven and possibly also cause you heat injuries from hot air (in excess of 180 degrees) escaping from around the door. It is easy to check the door efficency.

Oven Door Ring

Image of Rubber Door SealAll oven doors should have either a rubber, or steel mesh based door ring around the oven cavity. This allows a gas tight seal to be formed between the oven door and the oven body when the door is shut. Door Rings have a very long life span stretching to years, but they will deteriorate over time. Rubber door rings get hard, split, sag and break, metal door Rings compress and fray. This can allow the release of hot gases that reduces oven efficiency and possibly cause personal injury.

Oven Door Hinges

Image of Oven Door HingeOven door hinges have powerful springs in them that force the door against the rubber seal to form an airtight connection so that hot gases cannot excape from the oven. If the springs have stretched over time (years) then the door does not close properly. This can allow the release of hot gases that reduces oven efficiency and possibly cause personal injury.



Checking the Oven Door Seal.

Checking the seal of the oven door is easy. Simply switch on the oven (assuming a fan oven) and with the door closed, simply listen to the noise of the fan. Give the door handle a gentle push and there should be no change in the oven noise. If there is a change in noise then you have a faulty door seal and remedial work is required.

Check the oven door ring and see if it is hard, cracked or broken. If it is then it needs replacing.

Check the door hinges by opening the oven door about 5 cms and letting go. It should shut with a bang. If it doesn’t then the hinges probably need replacing.

Any concerns either email me Russell Collins or call me on 07460 238877



Bob Ross Painting Northern Lights

Bob Ross Painting Northern Lights

Picture of the Bob Ross Painting Northern Lights

The Bob Ross Painting Northern Lights

One of the most popular paintings taught, is the Bob Ross painting Northern lights. Northern Lights uses a black canvas, and 8 colours to produce a monochrome Arctic night scene. Add in the Northern Lights, and you have a painting that you will be proud to hang on your wall, see the video below to see how it is done, Contact me, Russell Collins if you would like me to take you on a journey from a black canvas to your own masterpiece. I am preparing my painting classes for 2018 and Northern Lights will be one of the first paintings.


Pet and Person Portraits

Pet and Person Portraits by Russell Collins

Pet and Person Portraits

The Happy Wanderer.

Pet and Person portraits in the Impressionist figurative style of Robert Hagan, by Russell Collins

Commissioning pet and person portraits can be a very daunting experience for some people and a lot depends on what it is for. It could be for yourself, it could be a gift or it could be some form of memorial to a pet or person no longer here. It could even be a memory of a special occasion such as a wedding. Despite advances in photography and digital manipulation, there is nothing to beat an original piece of art. For further information on our art visit our shop


Pop Up Art Gallery

Pop-Up Art Gallery

Art Gallery Sign

Art Gallery

One a Wednesday evening, a voice in my head told me to set up my own art gallery in my front garden and sell some paintings. By the end of the following weekend, I realised that the voices are sometimes right, I sold 6 and got 2 commissions. This blog post deals with my experiences regarding setting up a pop-up art gallery at 2 day’s notice. 

I think the whole concept is a good one, and the implementation of the idea went quite well. I made sales and got commissions, and will do it again soon. Read on to find out more about what I did, and what I will do next time to make it more successful. I hope that you, dear reader will learn from my experience and that it will make your art more profitable.

I have started a Facebook Group called Pop-Up Art Galleries. Join it for help and advice on setting up your own pop-up art gallery and shop.


Howe Park Wood – Painting Day

Howe Park Wood – Fantasy Forest

Join us on Sunday 30th April to paint this stunning landscape woodland scene that is inspired by Howe Park Wood. At the end of the day you will take home this Bob Ross style masterpiece to hang on your wall. This is a fantastic painting for any standard of painter from the “never painted before”, to the experienced. Although this is a relatively biggie at 100cm x 40cm, you can do a smaller canvas if you wish.

Howe Park Wood Fantasy Forest

Howe Park Wood – Fantasy Forest Painting Day

We will provide all materials including the canvas, paints and brushes, and other materials. but bring your own painting clothes. The price includes tea, coffee and biscuits, as well as a Subway lunch.

A Painting of hoew Park Wood As The Sun Goes Down

Howe Park Wood at sunset, with a small stream running through the trees.

You should be able to add your own colours in this workshop (within reason) and you can see alternatives below. You can paint it in a range of spring, summer, or autumnal colours as shown below. Bring the children and let them do their own on a smaller canvas for half price. If you are under 18 then your cost will be £40.00.


Small Business SEO Services In Milton Keynes

Small Business SEO Services In Milton Keynes

SEO Services in Milton Keynes Copywriting Training CertificateSite Structre Training CertificateRussell Collins successfully completed the Yoast SEO for WP training course!

Search Engine Optimisation

We provide SEO services in Milton Keynes to small businesses. Many small businesses don’t have the time or knowledge to optimise and update their web site regularly. This means that their web site is not an effective sales tool for them. Having a web site that has good search engine optimisation means that you could rank more highly in the search rankings. This higher ranking means that you should get more visitors to your site who want your services. More customers will make you more profitable, especially if it brings you more high value business. We can help you with this so read on. Although I am can provide SEO services in Milton Keynes, I can provide them to clients anywhere.


Oil Paint Mediums

Introduction to Oil Paint Mediums

Bottle of Oil Paint Mediums

Winsor and Newton Oil Paint Mediums

The oil paint mediums are vegetable oils that are used in oil painting to hold paint pigment together. They can also be used to thin the paint and act as a clear first layer when painting wet-on-wet. This will allow the first paint layer to spread easily.

What other uses do the different oil paint mediums have in the oil painting process? I want to cover the 4 main mediums in this post, and the way they affect the oil painting process. Oil paint mediums also act as drying agents that can change the drying rate of  paint on the canvas. The different oils can also have a different effect on different coloured paints.

Only use artist’s oil paint mediums bought from art stores as your painting medium.


Making More Money From Art-6 – Workshop Strategy

Making More Money From Art-6 – Workshop Strategy

Workshop strategy

A Workshop strategy outline

What is the purpose of a workshop strategy? First of all it should contribute to the overall goal of helping you make more money from your art. Secondly, a workshop strategy should help you focus your mind on the art that you paint. It can also help you focus on getting you new customers, and more customers coming back for additional workshops.


Making More Money From Art-5

Making More Money From Art-5 – A Review of Previous Posts

A Life Saver

A Life Saver

I have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction to my series of posts in numerous art groups about how artists can start to make more money from their art.

This post will review what I have written in the past few weeks. It will also answer a few questions raised by readers, and I hope clear up some misconceptions.

I will then talk about some of the subjects I will cover in future blog posts.