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, 24 April 2012

Red Oriental Poppy

Red Oriental Poppy (c) Tessa Spanton  mixed media
I used watercolour, acrylic, oil pastel, tissue paper and watercolour paper. The tissue I used made lot of texture which does not fully come across in a photo.

These poppies grow in my garden and originally came from my friend Elizabeth's garden.

This painting has been selected for the

2012 SWA 151st Annual Exhibition

at the Mall Gallleries London

to be opened by:
HRH Princess Michael of Kent

on Wednesday 27th June 2012 at 11am

the Show Runs from the 28th June to the 7th July 2012

I will also have prints and cards from original silk paintings in the exhibition.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

The Faberge Big egg Hunt

Around 210 giant eggs, created by leading artists, designers, architects and jewellers were placed around London during the 6 weeks leading up to Easter. This was sponsored by Faberge. The event broke the record for the greatest number of entrants for the egg hunt. Of the 12,773 entrants one of them stood to win a Faberge diamond encrusted egg.
The eggs were auctioned to raise money for charities, the target being two million pounds.

These 2 eggs were in the Burlington arcade off Piccadilly. I spotted these while visiting the Hockney exhibition in the Royal Academy next door.

They were all brought to put on show at Covent Garden over Easter. One of them was coated with chocolate and the winning bidder could bring it back the next Easter to be recoated by the chocolatier who made it.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Hockney A Bigger Picture

Hockney A Bigger Picture
Royal Academy London 21st Jan -9th April 2012

To see some of the work and hear Hockney speak about it click here
To read an excellent and comprehensive review by Katherine Tyrrell on Making A Mark click here

There are just 2 days to go before this exhibition closes and moves to the Guggenheim, Bilbao where it will be on show from May 15th-Sept 30th. It has been well attended with queues for tickets lasting 4-5 hours and opening hours extended till midnight.

I went last month and spent a lively 35 minutes in the queue. There was a sense of anticipation and interesting snippets of conversation to tune into. People were discussing a recent TV documentary about the artist and his work. what an amazing opportunity to be on the threshold of a blockbuster of an exhibition of work by a living artist.

I took these photos while in the queue.

Passing through the arch and up the stairs into the first gallery space was like entering another world, stepping from the urban streets into a leafy Narnia like environment. In this space are 4 huge multi canvas paintings of the same view ' Three Trees at Thixendale' each at a different season. Moving through the exhibition this sense of the passage of time is evident at many levels. After all much of the work was done on location at many different times of day and through the seasons, sometimes starting work as early as 4 am.
The are several sequences of paintings.
The Arrival of Spring at Woldgate is written above a huge multi canvas oil while the other 3 walls of this large gallery show a sequence of about 51 large works. Each has a date next to it.
Such a large group made possible by the creative use of an ipad. People looked with a puzzled curiosity as the 'penny dropped' for some.

In the next room was the fascinating multiscreen film and beyond a room with sketchbooks and a collection of pictures on a sequence of ipads.

'Everything begins with the sketchbooks' David Hockney

Whether with traditional paint or use of an ipad it is clear that Hockney's intention is that the eye, the hand and the heart are working together.

This is not a retrospective exhibition. Much more amazing is that most of the work was done in the last 4 years specially for this exhibition and a considerable amount is from the previous 12 months.

A Bigger Picture (hardback) is available from Amazon
A Yorkshire Sketchbook here

Monday, 2 April 2012

Oranges and Lemons

Oranges and Lemons silk scarf

I finished working on this today by adding some embellishments of gold and copper gutta. These were diluted with water then splattered from a paintbrush onto the silk. I had previously dyed the scarf using microwave fix dyes. I blended yellow and red on damp silk to produce a range of yellows, golds and oranges with a hint of pink.
It was warm enough to work in the garden and leave the scarf to dry in the sun.