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

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

More Island Dreams

Starfish silk painting

I mentioned the Isles of Scilly in the previous post. They are an archepelago of islands about 28 miles from Land's End, Cornwall, UK. There are five inhabited islands and numerous uninhabited ones.
The 2 photos below were taken from the helicopter that ferries passengers to and from the mainland.

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Island Dreams

ISLAND DREAMS 1 and 2 oil pastel on mount board

Both these paintings were inspired by the Isles of Scilly looking from Tresco towards the Eastern Isles. The Eastern Isles are small and inhabited by seals and birds. The sand is almost white and on a sunny day the clear waters are the most amazing blues and aquamarines and the sparkle on the water intense. The mount board I used had a slight texture that helped make the sparkle. I use Caran d'ache and Daler Rowney oil pastels. They are not as hard as some oil pastels. I like it that they become softer while working as I like to blend the colours on the board.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Wakehurst Place Sun March 14th

Wakehurst Place is Kew's country garden. It is a country estate in West Sussex with ornamental gardens, woodlands and an Elizabethan Mansion. Near the house there is a walled garden and a winter garden. The winter garden is one of my favourites as there is always something in flower throughout the winter and there is colour and contrasts from barks and foliage.

This eucalyptus has interesting patterning caused by strips of bark being shed.

Iris reticulata

At last some daffodils! They are so late this year. Today is Mothering Sunday and lots of mums will have been given bunches of daffodils and the gardens are busier than I have ever seen them.

The land slopes steeply away and paths follow a stream that winds down to the woods. At this time of year the banks are covered with spring flowers.

There is a rocky outcrop that makes a good viewpoint looking down over the lake and more woodland. I have seen pheasants, finches, nuthatches and tits here as there are some bird feeders.

The land sloping down towards the lake is quite damp and here I spotted these wild primroses..
They are only just beginning to come into flower but soon will carpet this area

Friday, 12 March 2010

Spring Flowers

These are some of the spring flowers from my garden and from local dog walks. Snowdrops, crocuses and winter iris.

Pretty in Pastels

My etsy treasury, Pretty in Pastels some of my favourites

Monday, 8 March 2010

Colours and Textures

I made these pieces from little bits of handpainted silk, merino fibres, angelina, some funky yarns and some metallic threads and fabric. I love the range of colours and textures.
They were sandwiched between layers of Solvy held in place by lots of pins. Then rows of machine stitching were done in both directions. When rinsed the Solvy dissolved away and thankfully the new 'fabric' stayed together.
This was our project for the afternoon at the Surrey branch of the Guild of Silk Painters.
We brought various goodies along with us to use and to share. Jenny whose idea it was brought 2 lovely scarves that she had made this way. We had a good supply of tea and little cupcakes made by Jane, whose house we invaded. Great fun was had by all.

The fabric can be made lighter with spaces like a honeycomb or denser so that you don't get gaps showing. Lovely for scarves, book covers or bags.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Butterflies at Wisley

Last week I visited the RHS gardens at Wisley. It was a bright and sunny day but with a chilly wind. The tropical section of the glasshouse was hosting a display of butterflies called Flights of Fantasy. What a contrast going in to a hot and humid area from the cold outside and trying to spot the butterflies amongst exotic foliage through steamed up glasses and camera lens!

above A Blue Morpho
below This butterfly has landed on a painting of a flower

above Orchids
Meanwhile back outside snowdrops, crocuses and hellebores were braving the cold.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Monday Moodboard

Warm Colours

More lovely things from members of Etsy's European Street Team

Wetfelted bottle, a recycled flowervase by Viltalakim
Tangerine magenta flower necklace by zsb creations

both from Holland

Indian Summer Lampwork Bracelet by karagems France

Jingle ring Burgundy sage by Maisychain UK

Click on each photo to see it larger and for more details about each of these items click on the highlighted link.

For more EST moodboards visit fleurfatale