Tessa Spanton SWA Artist, tutor, writer


Welcome to my blog.
This is where I write about some of the things that inspire my work,
news of exhibitions and works in progress

Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Autumn Leaves

 Autumn Leaves  ( below) is the finished painting from my step by step tutorial published in the Nov issue of Leisure painter.

 The tutorial includes painting in layers glazing with transparent watercolours, use of masking fluid for veins as well as use of spattering, salt and clingfilm to create textures.

 It is inspired by the beautiful Autumn leaves locally.

 TIP They are lovely when freshly collected but soon shrivel up and lose their colour. I use my printer to scan or do a colour photocopy. See below.

Transparent layers of colour over yellow.

Paint splattered using an old toothbrush

masking fluid and layers of colour

The cling film is applied to the wet background wash and removed when dry or just damp.

The magazine is available from newsagents or as a back copy online  here or as a digital version from here
The cover above shows the finished painting from a watercolour landscape tutorial by Gwen Scott

Sunday, 2 September 2018

Orla Kiely at the London Fashion and Textile Museum

The London Fashion and Textile museum in Bermondsey Street seen through the window of the colourful Mary Portas charity shop opposite.

 In the main gallery there are supersized dresses of about 9 ft suspended from the ceiling, while on the walls are miniature versions of the same designs. One of them is called the Tessa dress. They are from the Autumn Winter collection.

 Upstairs there is a large array of handbags, original and creative ideas. Simple graphic motifs handled using different techniques. This collection of handbags was the part I enjoyed seeing most. I prefer pattern in small doses.

I like this fun handbag, a girl with a skipping rope that doubles up as handles. There is another where the daisies are the eyes on a face.

 A swimsuit with a repeat pattern of am image of a swimmer.

I like the pattern at the top derived from cutlery, not too obvious.

 A lovely dress handbag combo.

Misx and match doll.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

The Summer Exhibition Royal Academy 2018 Part 2

 'Aqua Alta ' I liked this painting by Ken Howard of St Marks Venice for its reflections after one of the high tides that flood the square.

It was in gallery three, the one Grayson Perry put together and he says in the video on the RA's website that this gallery is 'the one with a curent affairs political vibe going on' and there was plenty of that mostly in a really subtle way. I didn't have much battery left in my phone so I have only a few photos and the 2 I photograhed that are from that gallery aren't in that category. You can see all 1300 works on the RA website.

'Falmouth on a Windy Day' Philip Sutton RA   £46.000
 I like this painting of Falmouth for the lively sky and the loosely painting buildings on the right. They are almost abstract. It reminds me of my visits to Falmouth when the tall ships visited.

I love this fun and imaginative piece! The curly coat on the head is made from little wire coils or springs of different sizes. The shaved parts look as if wire has been wrapped around. The rest of the poodle is a wild extravaganza of colourful bling. Lots of jewellery findings, even some coins.

Rufus 3rd Timothy Blewitt
(sorry I didn't spot Gnasher by the same artist)

Red Bear Debbie Lawson  £14,500
Another fun piece! An upholstered bear on a rug. On first sight I assumed it was a tiger.

A staggeringly good read!!!

and finally Grayson Perry's enormous 'Selfie with political causes'  £51,600

The summer exhibition is on at The Royal Academy until August 19th details here

Tuesday, 31 July 2018

The Summer Exhibition Royal Academy 2018 Part 1 Royal Valkyries

 This colourful and mighty extravaganza of a sculpture is the first thing I saw as I entered the exhibition. To me it is 'uphostery on steroids', with crochet, knitting and dripping with haberdasher's bling. The sheer size of it is amazing and impossibe to photograph with just my phone. A video might have done it better justice but with so many people milling around not practical. I like it for it's over the top-ness, just right for the space and interesting viewed from all sides and against the windows of the vaulted ceiling.

Carshalton Artists Open Studios 2018

 above 1 week to go and here at Location 1 on the CAOS Map with fellow artists Hana Horack, Tessa Spanton, Jackie Smith and Gavin Mundy, who will be at Stonecourt in Grove Park. Very excited.

 Five artists We shared the space to exhibit outr work. Jackie, Sam and myself ran workshops on different days. Hana set up an instalation for the first weekend and we did live painting. I enjoyed being part of this group and thought we made a great team.

                    I had a range of cards made from some of my paintings.

I ran some drop in silk painting tasters

I did some small demonstrations of silk painting

Top right Jackie ran print making tasters, bottom right Hana's instalation, lovely with the afternoon light filtering through.

Carshalton Ponds, North Street is on the other side of the road from the Grove Park and Stonecourt.

and finally.... its' a wrap!! Here we are at the end of 2 long very hot busy and satisfying weekends.