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

Thursday, 23 June 2011

WORKSHOP Flower Painting with Hidden Gutta Lines

I shall be tutoring this workshop on the Saturday afternoon at The Guild of Silk Painters' Festival of Silk ( Sat 23-Sun 24th July at Wanstead, London E11. For details and booking click here ) No previous experience of drawing or silk painting required. Silk, paints and gutta are available to buy or use for a small fee, Frames, hair dryers and an outline drawing of a flower will be provided or bring your own.
There will be talks and workshops, an exhibition and a fashion show of wearable art.

In the painting above the flower shape has been outlined with clear gutta. This acts a a resist to keep the colour from spreading beyond. When the painting is finished and the colours have been fixed it is washed to remove the gutta leaving the original white of the silk
In the one below the gutta lines are largely hidden as the painting has been built up in layers.

both images (c) Tessa Spanton
Both these images were part of a tutorial that I wrote for Leisure Painter magazine click here if you would like to order a back copy of the magazine from the publisher.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Button Wednesday

Last month I went to the Chelsea Flower Show and it was indeed a feast of flowers and garden design ideas. There is far to much to take in but just as my batteries were running low and begging for a drink I spotted this wall sculpture called Button Circle by Tom Stogden I like idea and the subtle colours of the different slates used to make the buttons.

The photo below shows a 3D slate sculpture also at Chelsea. There are more on Tom's website, I like his Chinese Sandstone Ammonite.

Click here for a Button Wednesday post about fashion designer Patrick Kelly's use of buttons.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Silk Painting Demonstration

Today I was demonstrating silk painting at the Sanderstead Festival of Art. In the morning I drew a rose on silk and outlined the shapes with a pearl pink gutta. I left this to dry thoroughly and will paint it some other time.
In the afternoon I painted a scarf using the wet in wet technique letting the colours flow on the silk, then at the right moment drying it with a hair dryer. The above photo was taken at tea time. There was a huge array of home made cake to choose from, I tried 2 and they were both excellent!

During the day I sold the scarf shown below. This had been painted wet in wet like the one I demonstrated today. This one has some additional brushwork in gold. it will be winging its way to Australia.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Sanderstead Festival of Art 2011

above 'Monet's Garden' watercolour (c) Tessa Spanton

On Sunday I will be demonstrating silk painting at this exhibition.

I will be exhibiting several watercolours and silk paintings there and will have cards and some silk scarves and necklaces for sale too.

There will be several artists demonstrating painting, I think one is doing portraits and another using coloured pencils.


Sat and Sun 11 and 12th June 10-4pm at All Saints’ Church Hall, Sanderstead. CR2 9AB

Paintings and cards for sale and on Sunday there will be artists demonstrating painting as well.

Refreshments and

Ploughman’s lunches will be available.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Petersham House Gardens

At the entrance to Petersham nurseries there is a display of plants for sale, Click on the photo for a larger version.

£3.50 to get in

The gate between the nurseries and the gardens of Petersham House are closed for most of the year. Today the garden was open as part of the NGS ( National gardens scheme) to raise funds for charity.

In the kitchen garden tomato, potato and calendula share a large pot.

Petersham House from the long border

and time for a cup of tea.