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, 21 March 2012

Botanical Celebration

I am delighted to have had 5 silk paintings accepted by the Society of Botanical Artists; four will be on show at their exhibition ” BOTANICAL CELEBRATION”. The theme is inspired by the celebrations for the Queen's Diamond Jublilee and the Olympics and some of the flowers painted will have some kind of link with these celebrations.

Open 20-29th April 11-5pm every day, admission free. Westminster Central Hall, Storey’s Gate, London SW1H 9NH for more information click here The exhibition will be opened at the Private View by Elizabeth Banks, President of the Royal Horticultural Society. Some of the artists will be demonstrating their painting techniques throughout the exhibition.

Iris spuria Silk Painting (C) Tessa Spanton

The painting above is one of the paintings to go in this show. I am a member of the Kent group of the British Iris Society and was invited to an open day to bring some of my work and to draw some of the flowers on display. I was given a big bunch of irises to bring home which included several different Iris spuria flowers. these are what I used for this silk painting. During the day I drew a Space Ager iris. I chose it because of its unusual appearance. In place of a beard this iris had a little spoon shape emerging from its lower petals.

Strelitzia reginae silk painting (c) Tessa Spanton

This beautiful flower was named after Queen Charlotte of Mecklenber Strelitz, Queen Consort of George 111. She was an enthusiastic amateur botanist who helped expand and develop Kew Gardens.

This flower is a favourite of mine to paint. The one in my painting was growing in Madeira and glowed with sunlight streaming through it. It seems to me to have an almost regal bearing with its vivid crown of orange yellow petals.


The s

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Paintings at Pashley

above painting in the garden last September

Pashley Manor

3rd April to 29th September 2012

Gardens, Café and Gift Shop Open
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, Bank Holiday Mondays and Special Event days – 11.00am to 5.00pm.

There are also several special events for garden and art lovers, for more details click here

I have been invited to show some more silk paintings this year at this beautiful place. I took the paintings there last week. As I waited for the huge wooden door to open I noticed that 1550 was carved in the wood over the door as well as some decorative carving. After I had handed over my work I had a look at the garden. It opens to the public on April 3rd and the gardeners were working hard to get things ready. It was almost a year to the day since I last delivered my paintings there. The garden was waking up again after the winter with daffodils in flower and the promise of so much to come. I visited the garden several times last year observed the changing of the seasons and I painted and drew there. I felt a sense of anticipation seeing it again. The daffodils are in flower again and the leaves of the tulips herald an amazing show of around 22,000 flowers. Last year I drew a rose named Just Joey. In the midday heat of the July sun the rose opened further as I was drawing it. There it was, pruned and beginning to produce new shoots. Back in my studio I did a silk painting of this rose. There will be limited edition prints of it in the Pashley shop.