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, 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.

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Silk Scarf Painting at The Watts Gallery

 Earlier I write a post about a workshop I was going to tutor at the Watts Gallery Artists' Villlage.
We had a light, spacious and well equiped studio to work in which is attached to Limnerslease house which was the Wattses' home. It is surrounded by woods and approached through a well kept garden area.
We started with a an informative tour of the Helen Allingham exhibition to get inspiration.
The scarves were worked off frame. The silk was made damp first, placed onto a sheet of polythene then the colours blended on the silk. Salt was added to some while still wet to make patterns.
We were fortified by good coffee and biscuits!
When dry some people added motifs using a small frame, outliner and more colour. Some did a second scarf.
Here are the lovely results.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Sculpture and Art at Pashley Manor Gardens

Rose Hot Chocolate    
original watercolour by Tessa Spanton (c)

Yesterday I delivered some new paintings to Pashley Manor in Sussex for the Exhibition of floral and botanical art 2018
 Open 31st March to 29th Sept Tues-Sat, Bank Holiday Mondays and special event days 10am-5pm

more details and directions here

Works by several artists are for sale from both is an on show in the cafe and shop. Exhibits are changed with the seasons. There are also cards and prints available in the shop.
I paint in the beautiful gardens there. Hot Chocolate (see above) is one of the unusual roses growing in the garden. I bought my own during the Rose Festival that takes place there every June.

The gardens at Pashley Manor provide a stunning setting to showcase both abstract and figurative sculptures.
Below are 2 of my favourites, both works by Helen Sinclair whose work I have admired at the Chelsea Flower Show

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Watercolour Textiles Paint a Silk Scarf

Above, silk scarf hand painted using wet in wet techniques and embellished with gold.

I will be tutoring this day workshop at The Watts Gallery Artists Village at Compton near Guildford Surrey. The workshop coincides with an exhibition of Helen Allingham watercolours and includes a short talk and tour of the exhibition.

Watercolour Textiles paint a silk scarf
Watts Gallery
Friday 9 February10.30am - 4.30pm
£75 including materials
Learn the art of silk painting. Paint onto damp silk and watch the colours flow and blend. Explore the different effects which can be achieved as the silk dries by adding salt or some cut out shapes onto the silk.
The silk can be embellished with metallic gutta ( see image above) or embroidery. Leave the workshop wearing your new silk scarf!
No drawing skills or previous experience of silk painting required.
Book here