Light plays and dances through the vibrant oil and watercolour paintings of Tessa Spencer Pryse, recording journeys through France, the Scottish Highlands, Switzerland and Venice as well as closer to home in Essex and Suffolk.
"I had an unusual upbringing and went to school in France, rural Wales and Switzerland. Perhaps it made me more observant visually. When you cannot understand what people are saying maybe you focus more on what you can see. I can remember being transfixed by watching pools of light shifting across rooms and by the way leaves seemed to change colour as the trees are blown about by the winds. I vowed early on that I would be a painter and try to communicate my passionate love of colour, tone and light to other people."
She has certainly succeeded skillfully combining a rich beautifully controlled palette with a powerful sense of the forces of nature. An expressive and accomplished artist Tessa prefers to work outdoors in the 'plein air' tradition, better to capture the play of light and shade whether over a broad landscape or in a more intimate scene such as the Fish Market in Venice or a sunny Provencal street cafe.
Tessa studied in London at the prestigious Byam Shaw School of Art later receiving the honour of being invited as guest student by Peter Greenham, Keeper of the Royal Academy Schools. Since then has worked prolifically exhibiting widely in Britain and overseas.
I paint using oil colour of the highest quality, and brushes of all sizes, from large hog brushes to delicate sables. Fine oil-primed canvas is my preferred surface, where the build-up of pigments, including white lead and a special medium I make using larch resin, leads to the greatest degree of luminosity. The techniques so well understood by artists of the Renaissance, and of course Rembrandt, are a source of inspiration in my work.I make preliminary sketches before working directly onto canvas on the spot. Several paintings are generally on the go at one time, kept face-to-the-wall between sessions.In portraiture, I find that the unique character of the sitter is revealed little by little during the six to eight sittings required.I hope that the sheer joy and excitement I experience when in the midst of painting are communicated to the viewer!
1939 Born, Wales
Educated in Wales, France and Switzerland
1959 - 1963 Byam Shaw School of Art, London
1983 Guest Student, Royal Academy Schools
1987 Elected as a member of the Royal Society of British Artists
1986 Elected life member of The Royal Society of British Artists
Davis Slade Award
Daler Rowney Award for Best Oil Painting RBA 2006
Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition
Royal Society of British Artists
New English Art Club
Royal Society of Portrait Painters
Royal Scottish Academy
Art Exhibitions Bureau Touring Exhibition
Singer & Friedlander Watercolour Prize Exhibition
Numerous galleries in Britain and abroad