Sunday, 22 April 2012

Orchid in pot, painting by Tessa Bennett.

Orchid, a painting by Tessa Bennett.

Painting in progress, - 5 stages, (not in order!) by Tessa Bennett.

3. Third stage in painting of 2 pears and a lemon.
1. First stage in painting of 2 pears and a lemon.
2. Second stage in painting of 2 pears and a lemon.
4. Fourth stage in painting of 2 pears and a lemon.
5. Fifth and final stage of  painting of 2 pears and a lemon by Tessa Bennett.

Sunday, 8 April 2012

The Joy of Easter Tulips! ....... and a brief history of tulip mania!

Tulips and Tulip mania.              The extraordinary history of the tulip did not begin in the Netherlands as is commonly thought,  it began in Turkey. The tulip is indigenous to a vast area encompassing parts of Africa, Asia, and Europe, growing naturally in mountainous regions with temperate climates. The name tulip is thought to have come from the Turkish word "tulbend", or "turban" which the flower represents. It was in Turkey in the 15th century that tulips were grown for the express pleasure of the Sultan and his entourage, and the tulip became a symbol of wealth and prestige. In 1573 Carolus Clusius received tulip seeds from Persia and he planted them, first in Prague, then in The Imperial Palace in Vienna , then in the gardens of  The Leiden Hortus Brittanicus. In 1594 tulips flowered for the first time in The Netherlands. Clusius guarded the bulbs zealously but many were stolen, thus interest in tulips spread rapidly particularly amongst the upper and middle classes. In 1636 tulip mania and the commercial industry in tulips reached its peak, but in 1637 the market collapsed and fortunes were won and lost almost overnight - at its height one bulb could be worth as much as a whole house in Amsterdam! Tulips remain a popular symbol of The Netherlands to this day.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Swan reflected in the river Tweed.

A magnificent swan feeding in the river Tweed at Berwick-upon-Tweed.