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

Saturday, 10 October 2015

After The Rain, Coombe Woods

Prairie planting at Coombe Woods.

I have been following a blog called Little Arty Journeys. It is written by Angela, a friend from some years ago. We had lost touch and recently reconnected through Facebook which is how I found her blog. Angela describes her walks through the gardens at Coombe Woods near Croydon, sharing beautiful creative photos in such a way that I feel I have been with her. Through her camera she often focuses on close ups of small details and patterns in nature that could so easily be missed.
 I was delighted when she invited me to meet her at the garden one day.

 To see Angela's blog   click here

'Art is not what you see but what you make others see' Edgar Degas

We arrived after some heavy rain. Tiny raindrops sparkled delicately suspended from grasses and leaves like tiny jewels.

A flash of sunlight illuminated these leaves and made the rows of raindrops sparkle making them like
chandelier ear rings.

To see a World in a Grain of Sand 
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower 
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand 
And Eternity in an hour' 
William Blake

Beauty berries or Callicarpa, berried treasure like highly polished opaque glass beads

The sun came out for the banana flower

A border of dahlias

The gardener busy at work. He does a wonderful job and this the only gardener here.

On the path back to the car park there was a splendid finale of apricot and peach  begonias.
The cafe produced a superb cup of coffee and we had a long chat and catch up.

PS Thank you Angela, I so enjoyed sharing a little arty journey with you and seeing things through your eyes that I might otherwise have missed. I thought the spindle berries were beautiful., my photos of them were out of focus but I can enjoy yours instead.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Rising Tide

The Rising Tide by British Sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor  was commissioned for the Totally Thames Festival  and installed on the foreshore of the River Thames near Vauxhall Bridge during September 2015

 I was there for over two hours and saw quite a change in that time. At the bottom of this post I have put a link to a you tube video that shows a time lapse from low to high tide, both beautiful and thought provoking,

The beautiful white shire horses and their riders were moulded from life except for the horses heads which are based on the heads of an oilhead pump, known as a 'nodding donkey' They are made from white marine concrete reinforced with steel to make them strong enough to withstand the tides.

As the tide rises twice a day the horses disappear under the water till only the heads of the riders can be seen.

They are a modern day version of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

The two suited figures sit on horses that have their heads down grazing for oil. The figures represent politicians or business people and have their eyes shut oblivious to the rising tide.
Two children represent the future.

It was good to see them when the tide was low, to be able to view them from different angles and watch as the water rose. It was also interesting to see other people's engagement and responses. Some people were doing time lapse photography, some stood and pondered, some were posing for photos next to the horses, people were photographing from all sorts of angles. One man had his tripod in the water, another removed bits of rubbish from the water's edge and lay flat on his front to take photos. Others mudlarked, collected things like broken pottery from the shore. The Duck Bus took to the water right next to us and someone lost a boot in a patch of perilous muddy quicksand.

I enjoyed watching the changing shadows and the relationships of the shapes of the figures against the different backdrops.

The two children sit on horses that have stopped grazing.

I liked the details especially all the different shoes

 “The suited figures are ambivalent to their situation – I wanted to create this striking image of a politician in front of the Houses of Parliament, ignoring the world as the water rises around him. And they are sitting on horses that are grazing, taking as much as they can from the ground.” Taylor

For a time lapse youtube video that shows the full extent of the rising tide click here

Friday, 2 October 2015

East Head, West Wittering.

Sept 30th A glorious late September day

Big vistas of sea sand and sky, it was sunny and windy. The wind caught the dry sand and sent it skimming at speed along the beach and settling behind clumps of grasses and onto the dunes making ribbed patterns. The tide was on its way out and eventually almost disappeared from view.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Sussex Prairie Gardens

A wonderful array of flowers cut from the Sussex Prairie Gardens for the flower arranging class I went to recently.