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

Monday, 21 January 2013

In the Garden at Reids Palace

I had a third session painting in the garden and here is the finished painting. What a pleasure it was to be painting in this beautiful and peaceful garden. The giant leaves of the Strelitzia nicolai are silhouetted against the light and frame the view to Funchal and the steps down to the sea. There was the sound of the sea, the scents of the garden, a mild breeze and dappled sunshine which for me brings so much more to the experience of painting than working from a photo. I do work from my own photos and as I was in the place can bring some memories and imagination to the work. I very rarely work from other people's photos. It's nice to think that the paint from those washes dried in the warm Madeiran January sunshine especially as I am back home now and looking out of the window at a grey sky and half melted patches of snow.

  For this painting I used a block of Schollershammer hot pressed paper. This is convenient for working out doors as the block is rigid like a drawing board and the paper stretched to avoid cockling. It is very different from the paper I usually use as it is very highly sized so the paint skids over the surface and dries in puddles which makes some interesting effects. It has its pros and cons. Paint can be easily washed off to make alterations. However this can also happen when working in layers as I usually do when building up one wash over another. So it's best to mix the paint to the full strength from the start and use just one or two washes

The buffet lunch there was fantastic, much to be recommended.