Tessa trained at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts from 1965 to 1969 where she did a foundation year followed by the three year Dip.AD course. She considers herself to have been fortunate to have had exceptional teachers including such painters as Euan Uglow, Ben Levine and Christopher Chamberlain as her tutors.

In her final year she started illustrating for the Times Literary Supplement and the Radio Times and became a children’s book illustrater. Tessa was never without a commission throughout her working life until being forced to retire due to ill health.

Throughout her life, Tessa has taught drawing and painting both privately and tutoring adult education courses at the West Suffolk College. Tessa became a full time artist in 2002 and has exhibited in East Anglia and London ever since. Her work has been accepted by the Royal Watercolour Society Open at the Bankside and the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition.

"However complicated the subject matter I always paint from life as I feel this gives my work a directness that working from photographs cannot achieve. I believe that, as an artist, it is important to continue learning and exploring and so I attend life classes two or three days a month and recently have taken part in a few courses with the NEAC Drawing Club at the RA and at the Bankside Gallery with the RWS. I also attend courses run by the SEAW."