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

Friday, 19 April 2013

Kaffe Fassett – A Life in Colour

Exhibition Dates: 22 March – 29 June 2013

at the Fashion and Textile Museum 83, Bermondsey Street, London

  Click on the first picture to see it larger.

This exhibition is a feast of colour, texture and pattern and brilliantly staged. I visited on a very cold grey day and was pleased to swap the icy winds that whipped past the bottom of the Shard for the warm and colourful interior of the Fashion and Textile Museum. 
I was delighted to find that photography is permitted although  I only had an iphone with me.
 I found the exhibition very inspiring and will let the pictures speak for themselves.
Kaffe Fassett was originally a painter before he worked with textiles. The early part of the exhibition shows some of his paintings.
Paintings, knitwear, needlepoint, tapestry and patchwork quilts are arranged in different spaces making the effect of ever changing stage sets as you move around the exhibition and see different combinations from various angles.
 In the first 2 photos  I am looking through archways back at area showing paintings and forwards to a rich and opulent area clothed with brightly coloured and patterned textile pieces. 

Back in the 80s I remember seeing Kaffe on TV. He was making mosaics from broken china. I was inspired to keep a favourite mug that got broken, I still have the pieces somewhere waiting to be turned into a mosaic sometime!
I like the way the bottom of the mug or jug have been incorporated into this mosaic.

I love these hats patterned with buttons.

PS We had a lovely lunch at Jose's just over the road. It is an authentic Spanish Tapas bar. I have written  a review over on my food blog. click here

Thursday, 18 April 2013


                                         Perch printed on silk using a replica of a fish.
                                         details here

 Gyotaku is  traditional Japanese fish printing that dates back to the 1800s.
(Japanese 魚拓, from gyo "fish" + taku "rubbing") 

Maybe it started as a way for fishermen to record a trophy catch and later became an art form.
I used a replica of a perch, I don't think these are available in the UK but if you are in the US they can be bought from Blick's, click here
I was kindly given a set of these by Tina, another blogger who writes In the studio On the Shore
creating paintings of the British and American coasts.
The replicas are made of rubber and are shown below.

I had experimented with these before using a metallic Lumiere on painted silk. Shown above)(
I used a brush to apply the Lumiere and didn't get much of the fine detail coming through.
This time I used Schminke printing ink and and a roller.
I tried it on some Japanese printing paper but it was a bit thick for shaping round the fish. I tried some acid free tissue and some lightweight silk and both worked well.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Society of Botanical Artists, The Language of Flowers

 In a previous post I wrote that I had 3 silk paintings accepted for the annual exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists and here I am there with my work. Photography is not allowed without permission and quite rightly so. So this is the only photo I have from the exhibition.

If you would like to see some of the work there is an excellent review here
and there you can see one of my favourites    Abies koreana 'Carron' (£5,500) Robert McNeill Assoc SBA
It is a big exhibition and I would say well worth visiting. Entry is free.

Every day there is a demonstration by one of the members of the society.

There are some very fine botanical works as well as a  with a wide variety of other interpretations,
Society of Botanical Artists annual exhibition, The Language of Flowers is currently showing at the Westminster Galleries, Westminster Central Hall opposite Westminster Abbey.
and runs till Sunday 21st April, more details here

 Approaching Central Hall Westminster

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Infinity scarves

I completed this hand painted infinity scarf today.
I took a group of scarves to the Corner Gallery this afternoon for the current flower themed exhibition. I also have some paintings in this exhibition.

The scarf below is a double infinity scarf that can be worn in a variety of ways.

Both these scarves are also available to buy here and here

Below  Work in progress, I used an Arty's adjustable frame and Arty's Easy fix frame pins to secure  the silk to the frame
before painting.