Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Vibrations of a Summer Meadow

Vibrations of a Summer Meadow (2012).

Acrylic painting on canvas  -  100cm x 140cm.


Purple Vetch.

Wild Orchids.

Summer meadows  :  buttercups,clover,grasses.

Thistles,grasses,and Louis in his element!

Thank you for visiting

Monday, 4 February 2013

Medieval Castle by the Sea - Part 2

An ancient key excavated in the castle grounds. There are no longer any doors to lock,but
who and what was once locked away by this key .......... and what tales could it tell?

Tantallon Castle  -  Main doorway to the Inner Close.

I chose to visit in Winter,hoping to experience a little of  how it may have felt to live on this cliff edge
in cold windy weather in Medieval times.The temperature was actually above
freezing point but it felt much colder.

It's possible to climb to the battlements via this staircase,however with gusts of cold wind and flurries of snowflakes blasting through the openings,I decided for my safely to return to ground level. 

Window seats.

My fingers were becoming numb and as I struggled to keep my camera still and dry,my thoughts turned to fires and how people in the Middle Ages kept warm in Winter. It would have been the duty of a number of servants to keep the many fires fuelled with logs from nearby woods.

Image source - Wikipedia.

Woven tapestries were important for draught exclusion and wall covering.By the 14th century they had become a necessary and fashionable commodity in every wealthy household in Europe. The most famous early tapestry workshops were based in Paris and Arras.Composed of wool,silk and gold these tapestries were produced in vast quantities

The illustration above,painted around 1335 depicts King David II of Scotland and Queen Joan being presented to Philip IV, King of France. The tapestry in the background looks quite simple compared to later more elaborate designs.

Image source - Wikipedia.

Tapestry woven in Flanders at the end of the fourteen hundreds.

Below the castle waves crash against the rocks. When the tide is in the rocks are completely covered.

The Dovecot, built around 1500.
Pigeons were reared as a convenient food source.

Amazingly,inside the building the stone roosting boxes are still intact.

Behind the dovecot a snow shower suddenly begins to obscure the Bass Rock.

In all seasons this rock has a habit of appearing like a mirage or phantom island.

In a previous post I've shown the Bass Rock in summer,along with a brief history....... HERE.

By the time I reach the car park it's snowing quite heavily..... but the landscape looks spectacular,
shrouded in a veil of snowflakes.

As I leave,I try to visualize how the castle would have looked in such weather nearly seven hundred years ago,turrets reaching up to the sky and the Bass Rock lurking in the background like a hump backed giant.

On the other side Tantallon overlooks farmland and North Berwick Law - the pointed hill.
In the 13th century this land is likely have been covered in native woodland,supporting a variety of wildlife such as wild boar,deer,wildfowl and wolves.Wolves became extinct in Scotland in the mid 1700s.

Five minutes,and two or three miles along the road the snow stops and the sky clears!

In the foreground young shoots of winter sown grain suddenly look very green.

Thank you for visiting.

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