Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Satsuma The Tea Dragon Has Landed!

He's here!
Yep, I finally finished painting Satsuma this weekend, and he's pleased to see you guys!

He'll be part of a wonderful anthology about tea where we all chose a tea to create a character from. I chose Longjing tea which translates as 'Dragon Well' tea.

A bit about Longjing tea

Longjing tea was granted the status of Gong Cha, or Imperial tea, in Qing Dynasty by Chinese emperor Kangxi. According to the legend, Kangxi's grandson Qianlong visitedWest Lake during one of his famous holidays.
He went to the Hu Gong Temple under the Lion Peak Mountain (Shi Feng Shan) and was presented with a cup of Longjing tea. In front of the Hu Gong Temple were 18 tea bushes. Emperor Qianlong was so impressed by the Longjing tea produced here that he conferred these 18 tea bushes special imperial status. The trees are still living and the tea they produce is auctioned annually for more money per gram than gold.
There is another legend connecting Emperor Qianlong to Longjing Tea. It is said that while visiting the temple he was watching the ladies picking the tea. He was so enamored with their movements that he decided to try it himself. While picking tea he received a message that his mother, the Empress Dowager was ill and wished his immediate return to Beijing. He shoved the leaves he had picked into his sleeve and immediately left for Beijing. Upon his return he immediately went to visit his mother. She noticed the smell of the leaves coming from his sleeves and he immediately had it brewed for her. It is said that the shape of Longjing Tea was designed to mimic the appearance of the flattened leaves that the emperor brewed for his mother.
Longjing, which literally translates as "dragon well," is said to have named after a well that contains relatively dense water, and after rain the lighter rainwater floating on its surface sometimes exhibits a sinuous and twisting boundary with the well water, which is supposed to resemble the movement of a Chinese dragon.
Legend also has it that to achieve the best taste from Longjing, water from the Dreaming of the Tiger Spring, a famous spring in Hangzhou, is to be used. The water quality of the spring now is certainly very different than before. The tea takes its name from the eponymous "Dragon Well" located near Longjing village.

So, without further ado, here he is!

You can get your very own beautiful giclée print of this little fella over in my

Also, don't forget, I'm having an original art auction for my painting
'The Grass is Always Greener on the Other Side'
this is the first time I have ever auctioned off an original, and I probably won't again for some time, so seize this chance with all your might!
Seize it I say!

Hope you're all having a wonderful spring!

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