Lotti Brown Designs

-- Art to Give us Joy, Love, and Energy Through our Connection with Nature and our Pets -- Pet Art & Custom Pet Portraits - Wildlife & Bird Art - Floral Art --

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'September Squirrel' Artwork - Behind the Scenes

artworks, behind the scenes, inspiration, nature, new collections, shoppingCharlotte Brown

Gorgeous squirrel art with warm autumn colours from nature: 'September Squirrel'...

 'September Squirrel' art print by Lotti Brown

'September Squirrel' art print by Lotti Brown

A glimpse of russet red amongst the trees... a red squirrel exploring the tree tops - one of the most exciting wildlife spots in Britain!

I've been lucky enough to see a few red squirrels over the past few years - mainly in beautiful Scotland. Here's a sweet squirrel that I saw at a wildlife hide in a forest in southern Scotland...

 Red squirrel in Scotland

Red squirrel in Scotland

It's always exciting to catch a glimpse of a squirrel amongst the trees...

 Detail from my squirrel artwork

Detail from my squirrel artwork

Autumn is a great time to see these lovely little creatures as they build up their store of food to last the winter.

I wanted to create my artwork with warm autumn colours - browns, oranges and greens - lovely, rich colours that speak to me strongly of nature and this wonderful time of year...

Behind the Scenes of the Artwork

Here, I share the processes of creating the art from my original drawings...

Click the images below to see the full-sized image and find out more about the process...

 My completed squirrel artwork with rich autumn woodland colours

My completed squirrel artwork with rich autumn woodland colours

 Framed and unframed squirrel art prints are available in my online art store

Framed and unframed squirrel art prints are available in my online art store

 Click image for all the details about print and frame options in my art store

Click image for all the details about print and frame options in my art store

'September Squirrel' Art Print
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Beautiful and detailed autumn squirrel art print - with warm woodland colours and bracken.

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You can buy my squirrel art print in my online art store

You can see more wildlife art in my nature and wildlife art gallery

'Water-Sparkles Otter' Art - Behind the Scenes

artworks, behind the scenes, inspiration, nature, new collections, shopping, drawingsCharlotte Brown

Bold and colourful otter art by Lotti Brown: 'Water-Sparkles Otter'.

I wanted to capture the energy and watery nature of the beautiful and elusive otter - one of our most amazing wildlife animals...

 'Water-Sparkles Otter' art print by Lotti Brown

'Water-Sparkles Otter' art print by Lotti Brown

My beautiful, sleek, wet otter is surrounded by vibrant marsh marigolds, reeds and grasses to give a colourful artwork with a really watery feel.

I was inspired by a favourite film as a child: 'Ring of Bright Water' which tells the beautiful story of Gavin Maxwell's experiences of life in Scotland with an adopted otter.

I wanted the splashes of colour in the otter's fur to look like the sparkles of light and water from the film - and for the flowers and foliage to evoke those idyllic highland streams and ponds where the otter would play and swim - a little moment of tranquillity almost stood still in time.

 Detail from the otter artwork

Detail from the otter artwork

I also remember an amazing experience from a few years ago, stood watching an otter play on the island of Jura in Scotland...

With my husband, I spotted the otter on the shoreline from the car and we pulled over and got out the car to watch her eat a meal of fish - she saw us but had no fear and stayed to continue her feast - an awesome and unforgettable sight that I feel privileged to have experienced.

 Otter on the seashore in Jura, Scotland

Otter on the seashore in Jura, Scotland

The otter is amazingly sleek and lithe with wonderful arching shapes in her movements - you can just feel the strength, energy and absolute mastery and precision of the otter's body as you watch - and I hoped to try and capture some of that really special energy in my artwork, too.

Behind the Scenes of the Otter Artwork

Take a look at how I developed my otter art from my drawings with the help of the computer...

Click on the images below to see larger pictures and to find out more about the process...

 The finished otter and marsh-marigold artwork - an explosion of colour and energy - wild nature, untamed!

The finished otter and marsh-marigold artwork - an explosion of colour and energy - wild nature, untamed!

I love how we feel like we've just caught a very special glimpse of this very private animal in his element...

 My otter print is available as a framed or unframed giclee art print and mini artboard in my online art store - click pic to go there

My otter print is available as a framed or unframed giclee art print and mini artboard in my online art store - click pic to go there

 Click image for further details of print and frame options in my store

Click image for further details of print and frame options in my store

'Water-Sparkles Otter' Artwork
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Colourful otter art print 'Water-Sparkles Otter' on a waterside surrounded by dramatic yellow marsh marigolds.

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You can get my 'Water-Sparkles Otter' art print in my online store.

You can see more of my nature art in my Wildlife Art Gallery.

Awesome Places to Connect with Nature (...and you can bring your dog!) Part 2 - Skye

behind the scenes, nature, inspiration, personal musings, well beingCharlotte BrownComment

One of my favourite-ever places for feeling connected with nature in a really wild, remote place, where you feel so far from the everyday life and the modern world is the beautiful Isle of Skye in the highlands of Scotland...

 Nature and wild landscapes on the Isle of Skye

Nature and wild landscapes on the Isle of Skye

This is somewhere where we've visited and holidayed several times now and we never fail to feel refreshed and rejuvenated from a trip...

 Holidaying in nature on Skye

Holidaying in nature on Skye

Here are some of our favourite places to connect with nature on Skye...

Coral Beach - Claigan, Skye

 White Coral Beach at Claigan

White Coral Beach at Claigan

A beautiful white beach with turquoise waters - if you're lucky enough to visit in the sunshine (which we have in the past - I recommend you plan to coincide your visit with a forecast sunny day, if at all possible) it looks truly tropical - but it's dramatic in any weather.

 The white sands at Claigan beach in Skye

The white sands at Claigan beach in Skye

The white 'sands' are actually created from a 'coral' which is made of a fossilised red seaweed growing in the waters here.

 'Coral' from Claigan, Skye

'Coral' from Claigan, Skye

It's an amazing place to sit for a while, put your hands into the 'coral' and examine the tiny pieces, listen to the soft 'hush' of the waves and look out to sea.

 Beautiful Coral Beach at Skye

Beautiful Coral Beach at Skye

Claigan Coral Beach is a short walk of about 20 to 25 minutes through fields (with cows, who seem used to the visitors).

  • Find the beach from the little road going past Dunvegan Castle (also recommended to visit for the lovely gardens) and going up further onto the peninsular
  • Look out for a small signed car park where you can start the walk from the gateway at the far end
  • It can be busy at weekends or peak holiday periods - try to go early or late to get the beach to yourself

The Fairy Glen, Uig

 Fairy Glen, Skye

Fairy Glen, Skye

The dramatic landscapes at the Fairy Glen seem otherworldly - and it's a place that seems to hold a certain energy and stillness...

 Pointy hills and dark lochans add to the atmospheric Fairy Glen

Pointy hills and dark lochans add to the atmospheric Fairy Glen

A steep and narrow winding lane leads to this anomaly of nature - park considerately and explore...

 On misty days in the Fairy Glen, when there's no other tourists around, there's a feeling of being completely separate from the everyday world - almost like you're Alice and you've fallen down the rabbit hole into a whole other world!

On misty days in the Fairy Glen, when there's no other tourists around, there's a feeling of being completely separate from the everyday world - almost like you're Alice and you've fallen down the rabbit hole into a whole other world!

We listen carefully to the deep silence in this mysterious valley - and get the slightly unsettling feeling that it's listening to us, too...

 You can clamber carefully up to explore 'Castle Ewen' - a rocky outcrop: do the fairies live here?

You can clamber carefully up to explore 'Castle Ewen' - a rocky outcrop: do the fairies live here?

It's a lonely, dramatic and deeply intriguing place that seems to draw us back to visit each time we go to Skye!

 Intriguing landscape formations at the Fairy Glen on Skye

Intriguing landscape formations at the Fairy Glen on Skye

You can find The Fairy Glen down a small lane off the A87, just outside of Uig. Just south of Uig is the Uig Hotel (where we've stopped for lunch).

  • With the Uig Hotel on your left, take a sharp turn left just after and follow the road to the end to reach the Fairy Glen.
  • It's also fun to visit Uig and watch the ferries arrive and depart for Harris and North Uist.

Talisker Bay

 Talisker Bay - Skye

Talisker Bay - Skye

Now this one may not be the most dramatic of the places we've visited on Skye, but I think its my favourite and has a lovely remote feeling about it...

A tiny lane across the hills leads to a quiet lane end where you can park up and walk 20 minutes or so down a quiet track to the beach.

 Walking from Talisker Bay

Walking from Talisker Bay

The beach at Talisker Bay is stunning - a sheltered cove backed by hills all around - rocks, pebbles, and as the tide goes out the most beautiful black and white patterns in the sand...

talisker_bay_sand_rocks.jpg

It's a place to sit and hear the ocean as it breaks with energy on this shoreline, and absorb the simple quietness of this beautiful location.

Take a small road from the village of Carbost (where Talisker Whisky has their distillery) to Talisker and park with consideration at the end of the road near a farm entrance - the walk continues down the track.


There are lots of other really beautiful and quiet places on Skye where you can take a moment of stillness and calm to connect with nature so do get out and explore this beautiful place.

Please note that we have not yet actually taken our own dog to Skye, although it's something we want to do - it's perfect for walkies! Don't underestimate the length of journey it takes to get here, though, from many parts of the UK - it's either a very long day's drive, or more realistically an overnight stay, even from Yorkshire in the north of England where we live, so both yours and your dog's tolerance for long journeys will need to be taken into account!

We usually visit Skye in early May when there aren't too many tourists or midges!

'Summer Stoat' Art Print - Behind the Scenes

artworks, behind the scenes, inspiration, nature, new collections, drawingsCharlotte Brown

A fresh and colourful summer artwork - 'Summer Stoat' by Lotti Brown. Perfect gift idea for wildlife and nature lovers.

 'Summer Stoat' artwork by Lotti Brown

'Summer Stoat' artwork by Lotti Brown

With the beautiful greens and soft russets of summer, this is a sweet and gentle depiction of a wonderfully inquisitive little stoat.

I'm only rarely lucky enough to spot a stoat out in the wilds, but we were privileged to have one move into our garage one winter, so I know they're nearby, just keeping out of sight.

I love the warmth of summer and the smell of fresh grass that seems to emanate from this picture - and I love the sense of connection we get from this unique moment of eye contact... of being-to-being connection that the artwork gives us.

 Detail from the stoat artwork

Detail from the stoat artwork

Behind the Scenes of the Stoat Artwork

I share a behind-the-scenes look at how I created the artwork from my nature drawings with a little digital assistance...

Click on the images below to see the images full-sized and find out more...

 The completed stoat artwork - colourful, fresh and full of summer joy and freedom

The completed stoat artwork - colourful, fresh and full of summer joy and freedom

 'Summer Stoat' art print - framed and unframed giclee fine art prints and mini artboards are available in my online art store - click image to go there

'Summer Stoat' art print - framed and unframed giclee fine art prints and mini artboards are available in my online art store - click image to go there

 Click image for details of print and frame options in my store

Click image for details of print and frame options in my store

'Summer Stoat' Art Print
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Super 'Summer Stoat' art print - beautiful stoat and daisies in a vibrant green field filled with the freshness and sunshine of summer.

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The Lost Words - Nature Book Review

book reviews, inspiration, nature, well beingCharlotte BrownComment

I received a copy of the beautiful The Lost Words book, recently, as a gift from my husband... and I'm utterly transfixed by it...

I love it so much I just had to share it with you...

The premise of the book is how we are becoming disconnected from nature, especially our children, who are 'losing' words from the world of nature and the realities that are joined to these special words...

And yet nature is soo essential to our everyday wellbeing...

And it's such a beautiful book - wonderful poems seeking to 'spell' the world of nature back into life and illustrated with the exquisite art of Jackie Morris...

Watch her creating her wren below...

It's a very large-size book, which makes the illustrations all the more beautiful - perfect as a coffee-table book to peruse at your leisure or equally so for reading to children who will, I'm sure, be captivated by the world that this book evokes...

It's particularly poignant since we are starting, now, to recognise how much benefit we can gain from time spent in the green of the great outdoors, or even just from our small, mindful, everyday connections with nature, so it's particularly important for children to be able to appreciate and access the natural world and make it part of their growing lives.

Campaigns have now started to raise money to get a copy of this enchanting book into all primary schools and even, as the word gets out, for residents of care homes who may not be able to access nature in person, but who will be helped by being able to access the memories of nature that the book will surely evoke, to be able to benefit from the magical words and images in the book.

Crowdfunding is currently taking place for all primary schools in my local area, North and East Yorkshire, to all receive a copy of this inspiring book - you can donate here to become a part of this project (till 19th July 2018) or search the Crowdfunder site to see Lost Words fundraisers for your own area.

I love to just sit with this book in the evening, read the words and absorb the images - feeling the magic of nature it evokes...

If you love art and love nature I know that you will adore this book - a work of art!

If you purchase The Lost Words through the above link I will earn a small commission. The price paid by you is always the same and please know that I only ever recommend books and products I genuinely love and believe are worthwhile sharing with others. Thank you.

You might also be interested in this article about the dictionary's lost words of nature

Bernese Mountain Dog Art - Behind the Scenes

artworks, behind the scenes, color, drawings, inspiration, pet art, shoppingCharlotte BrownComment

Beautiful and colourful Bernese Mountain Dog art - joyful pet art for lovers of this gorgeous giant breed.

 'Bernese Billy and the Blooms' - colourful Bernese Mountain Dog art print by Lotti Brown

'Bernese Billy and the Blooms' - colourful Bernese Mountain Dog art print by Lotti Brown

A true gentle giant, I love the big, friendly Bernese dog - like a huge fluffy teddy bear. These big dogs are good-natured companions to the family - lovely, gentle, and patient.

Meet beautiful Billy (William) - such a lovely, slow, and big-hearted dog - a wonderful friend!

I wanted to surround this beautiful dog with colour and beauty to reflect his wonderful personality - his warmth, his friendliness, his happiness... you need to stop and take a moment to connect with him to really appreciate his loving strength...

 Detail of Bernese art print

Detail of Bernese art print

Behind the Scenes of my Bernese Artwork

I created my Bernese Mountain Dog artwork from pen-and-ink drawings, which I put together digitally with Adobe Illustrator to make the final artwork. It's a fun process... let's take a look at the creative process together...

 The completed Bernese Mountain Dog artwork - colourful, bold, and full of joy

The completed Bernese Mountain Dog artwork - colourful, bold, and full of joy

I love the bold, brilliant colours in this artwork - big colours for a big dog! I also love the sense of joy and energy which, for me, shows the enormous heart and huge love of the Bernese Mountain Dog...

 My Bernese art print is available as framed or unframed fine art giclee prints and mini artboards in my online art store - click pic to see

My Bernese art print is available as framed or unframed fine art giclee prints and mini artboards in my online art store - click pic to see

 Click image for all the print and frame details in my store

Click image for all the print and frame details in my store

Bernese Mountain Dog Artwork - 'Bernese Billy and the Blooms'
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A bold and brilliantly coloured artwork for a big beautiful dog - I wanted to fill my Bernese Mountain Dog artwork with joy, colour, and love - just like the enormous heart of this wonderful gentle giant.

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You can purchase my Bernese Mountain Dog art print in my online art store (international delivery available)

You can see more pet art in my pet art gallery - or perhaps you'd like to find out about commissioning your own custom pet portrait to immortalise your own pet in colourful style..?

Barley Beautiful

behind the scenes, inspiration, nature, personal musings, well beingCharlotte BrownComment

Connecting with nature via the barley beautiful...

 Summer fields of beautiful barley

Summer fields of beautiful barley

It's not fancy nature - it's not rare, it's not even wild - but one of the most awesome things about where I live are the fields of barley. I love it!

Walk through a field of barley and you can really connect with the natural world and take some time to come to that quiet inner place in yourself...

 One of my favourite things is the lime green of a barley field against a blue sky

One of my favourite things is the lime green of a barley field against a blue sky

I love that amazing, lime-green colour and the little red tips on the ends of the fronds - the way the colour gradually changes from fresh green to a pale gold over the summer.

I love to walk and touch the barley when it's this colour - splay out my fingers and let my fingertips drift softly through the slightly sticky fronds as I walk.

 Trail your hands through barley fields

Trail your hands through barley fields

My greyhound also adored to walk through barley with the fronds tickling his sides - oh, to immerse yourself in life like a dog!

Swifts and swallows swoop and glide, catching flies that buzz just above the surface of the barley - and the skies high above are filled with the trilling song of the skylark.

When it's windy, the barley turns into a heaving ocean - fantastic to watch the surface of the field dip, twist, and rear up, and to hear the wind rushing through the stems.

As it ripens and dries, the barley turns to pale gold and crackles and cracks...

 Barley ripening in the sun

Barley ripening in the sun

It means it's time to harvest - and then we get to walk through the tossed stems as they dry on the field, then are bound up into huge bales which appear suddenly in the field, like sentinels standing watch.

 Freshly harvested barley - gorgeous gold against a dramatic slate-grey sky

Freshly harvested barley - gorgeous gold against a dramatic slate-grey sky

Then the field is spiky, stubbly, and cracks as you walk through, snapping at your ankles with each step.

 Walking through stubble

Walking through stubble

A whole season's worth of awesomeness from a field of barley - and a connection to nature and the seasons of life.

Taking time to stop and absorb the sights, sounds, and even the touch of the world around us allows us to feel more connected with our world, and in turn more connected with our own inner self.

It's also the way that artists notice the world around them... 

 

'Summer Hare' Art - Behind the Scenes

artworks, behind the scenes, nature, inspiration, shoppingCharlotte Brown

Colourful, fresh and contemporary hare art print by Lotti Brown - one of nature's wonders!

 Summer Hare art print by Lotti Brown

Summer Hare art print by Lotti Brown

The hare is one of my favourite wild animals - such a beautiful and sensitive creature with such speed.

I am lucky enough to see them quite often in spring and summer, sprinting across the vast expanses of grassy fields near where I live and once - so exciting - two brown hares boxing together, rolling over and over together.

It's always a little thrill - and such a brief sighting before they're gone.

I've been lucky enough to regularly see a family of hares in the early mornings while walking my previous dog - I once counted seven at once which I thought was amazing.

In this artwork, I wanted to capture the elegance and daintiness of the hare and try to catch a glimpse at the soul behind those beautiful and very private eyes before he takes off at speed into the meadow...

 Detail from the hare print

Detail from the hare print

I surrounded my beautiful summer hare with sunshine and a lush green meadow - just how I always picture a hare in my mind.

The Artistic Process

Here's how I created the artwork from my drawings and with Adobe Illustrator on the computer...

Please click on the images below to make them larger and to read more about the process...

 The final hare artwork - colourful and contemporary - fresh and green

The final hare artwork - colourful and contemporary - fresh and green

I love the fresh feeling of nature and the feeling of freedom, strength and energy that the beautiful hare must feel stretching out his legs and sprinting across the countryside at speed. Beautiful!

 My 'Summer Hare' art print is available as a framed/unframed print or mini artboard in my art store - click to see

My 'Summer Hare' art print is available as a framed/unframed print or mini artboard in my art store - click to see

 Click image for details of print and frame options in my store

Click image for details of print and frame options in my store

'Summer Hare' Art Print
from 18.00

Colourful ‘Summer Hare’ art print…

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You can buy this artwork and more in my online store where my art is available as a loose print, or beautifully framed print, or fun mini artboard.

International postage is available - please just ask for a quote if your country isn't listed on checkout.

You can see more of my wildlife and nature artworks in my Wildlife Gallery.

Our Pets are Part of the Natural World

behind the scenes, inspiration, nature, personal musings, well being, pet artCharlotte Brown

For me, our pets allow us a special bridge to connect with the world of nature...

 People, pets, and nature

People, pets, and nature

Sometimes, the world of flowers, animals, and trees, seems so far removed from our human concerns. But I feel like we should be a part of the world of nature.

Thousands of years ago, and even just a few hundred years ago, humans lived a life more connected with nature. We lived close to nature and lived by the bounty of nature and measured time by its seasons.

Actually, in some respects, very little has changed. We still mark our calendars by the natural turning of the year. We still depend on nature for our food and energy. We are still part of nature.

But somehow it doesn't feel like that. While I truly appreciate all the wonderful innovations that the modern era has brought us, I feel like we are very far removed from the natural world. And that's why I like to make a conscious effort to connect with nature and to stay connected with nature through my art and in my daily life.

Our pets can be like a unique bridge between the human world we perceive that we are part of, and the all-encompassing world of nature that we belong to.

 Our pets allow us a bond of love across species and help us to feel connected with the natural world

Our pets allow us a bond of love across species and help us to feel connected with the natural world

When we communicate with our companion animals, we make a connection across species and take a step closer to nature. When we feel that bond of love, we feel the connection with the natural world. We see that we have a common bond with other animals and with the world of nature. We feel part of that world.

This is the feeling that I want to share with my art. When you look at my art, I want you to be able to feel that connection with our pets, with nature, with the wider world around us, and feel at one with it, a part of it.

See more in my art store or find out more about commissioning your own custom pet portrait

'The Dandy Rabbit' Artwork - Behind the Scenes

artworks, behind the scenes, inspiration, nature, new collections, shoppingCharlotte BrownComment

Colourful spring 'Dandy Rabbit' art print by Lotti Brown - full of the joy and hope of springtime.

 The Dandy Rabbit art print - colourful bunny art with blue skies and flowers

The Dandy Rabbit art print - colourful bunny art with blue skies and flowers

Sweet bunny art full of the joys of Spring with blue skies, dandelions and daisies - gorgeous colours and detailed linework.

The fields and gardens around our village are full of sweet bunnies. I love to see the rabbits, especially the babies in spring. Luckily, my dog doesn't seem too interested in them (I know... surprising, yes?) so I can enjoy watching their little bunny hops around the fields and hedgerows.

I gave my lovely dandy rabbit delicious daises and dandelions to eat and enjoy! :)

 Colourful detail from my rabbit artwork with spring flowers and blue skies

Colourful detail from my rabbit artwork with spring flowers and blue skies

Here's how I created my rabbit artwork from my pen and ink drawings and on the computer...

Behind the Scenes of my Rabbit Art

Click on any of the images to see it larger and find out more about the process...

 'The Dandy Rabbit art - completed artwork - colourful and joyful springtime artwork

'The Dandy Rabbit art - completed artwork - colourful and joyful springtime artwork

This is a nature artwork full of the joyful colours of spring for me - it feels fresh, vibrant and full of the gentleness of the sweet bunny and the new hope that every spring brings us...

 My rabbit art 'The Dandy Rabbit' is available to buy as an art print, framed or unframed, or a fun mini artboard, from my online art store - click image to see more

My rabbit art 'The Dandy Rabbit' is available to buy as an art print, framed or unframed, or a fun mini artboard, from my online art store - click image to see more

 Click image for details of print and frame in my store

Click image for details of print and frame in my store

'Dandy Rabbit' Art Print
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Vibrant springtime 'Dandy Rabbit' art print - dandelion and rabbit contemporary artwork.

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You can get my colourful rabbit art print from my online art store

You can look through more of my nature and wildlife art here...

Summer Means GREEN to Me

inspiration, nature, personal musings, colorCharlotte BrownComment

This is so much of what summer means to me - exactly this - endless swathes of green...

 Summer green in nature

Summer green in nature

Green barley rustling in the wind edged by decorative white cow parsley lowers and bejewelled with golden buttercups - brilliant blue sky, skylarks overhead and the chatter of little birds...

 I love to walk in fields of beautiful green barley - green! green! green!

I love to walk in fields of beautiful green barley - green! green! green!

And just walking, walking... me and my dog.

 Walking with Noah in the green!

Walking with Noah in the green!

What's summer for you?

Awesome Places to Connect with Nature (...and you can bring your dog!) Part 1 - Shropshire Hills

behind the scenes, inspiration, nature, personal musings, well beingCharlotte BrownComment

Connecting with nature is so important to our well-being - taking time to connect with the green of the natural world, space away from the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, and an opportunity to reconnect with our true inner self, our thoughts and emotions, and with those we love...

For me, it's important to get to this inner place so that I can make my art - but it's also essential for my own (and all of our!) health and well-being, too...

With this series of blog posts, I hope to inspire you to explore some of the wilder natural places - places where you can really feel the energy of nature reviving you...

This is a really special natural place to connect with nature - out in the Shropshire hills up close to nature and close to the sky...

 Connecting with nature at the Stiperstones

Connecting with nature at the Stiperstones

On holiday recently, we stayed in the beautiful Shropshire hills and walked up into the Stiperstones National Nature Reserve and visited the Devil's Chair stone...

We felt really connected to nature on this walk - out in the hills away from the hustle and bustle of the towns and villages - just birds overhead and lots of sky - a time to reflect and connect...

 Stiperstones view

Stiperstones view

 Gorse and Shropshire hills

Gorse and Shropshire hills

We walked up quiet, stony lanes with primroses, forget-me-nots, bluebells, and purple honesty flowers in the hedge verges along with the occasional daffodil. Beautiful flowers and so much colour and life - lovely to see!

 Forget-me-nots growing wild in Shropshire

Forget-me-nots growing wild in Shropshire

As we gradually climb, the flowery banks get taller and start to give way to hedgerows of tall hawthorns, not yet in flower, sheltering wild bilberries, called 'whinberries' locally.

 Lovely meandering Shropshire lanes

Lovely meandering Shropshire lanes

 Whinberries growing wild in the Shropshire hills

Whinberries growing wild in the Shropshire hills

As we climb further, the shady lane opens up into moorland filled with yellow-flowering gorse.

 Leaving the farmland behind and entering moorland

Leaving the farmland behind and entering moorland

There's no shelter from the sun and the air is filled with the coconut scent of the gorse flowers - actually, this is one of my favourite smells and always takes me back to special places like West Wales as a child, or more recent holidays in Skye and Islay - it reminds me of being out, quiet, in nature and it smells like summer!

 Out in nature with the sun, sky and brilliant colours is so re-energising!

Out in nature with the sun, sky and brilliant colours is so re-energising!

The colours look fantastic and they help us to feel really energised - great for that climb as there's still a way to go!

 Surrounded by vibrant yellow gorse on the moorland

Surrounded by vibrant yellow gorse on the moorland

We pass a blackened, gnarled gorse bush which still has the aroma of smoke around it - a moorland fire, luckily extinguished swiftly by some watchful soul.

Still we climb and the air cools and the gorse is gone. The path lies deep within banks of whinberry and heather - bright green with berries still red, the heather not yet in flower, still dry and brown.

 Looking back at our path up through a moorland of whinberry and heather

Looking back at our path up through a moorland of whinberry and heather

There's no shelter here and we're exposed to the elements as we continue to ascend, the rocky path beneath our feet and warm sunshine fighting with cool winds against our faces.

A tiny flutter of green across our path turns out to be a Green Hairstreak butterfly, cunningly disguised as it perches almost invisible amongst the whinberry leaves... Exciting to see - it's a butterfly I've never seen before!

 Can you spot the Green Hairstreak butterfly here? (There is one - honest!)

Can you spot the Green Hairstreak butterfly here? (There is one - honest!)

We seem to pass beneath the Devil's Chair rock and stop at a waymarker where the path goes four ways...

 Looking up to the Stiperstones

Looking up to the Stiperstones

Up here on the hills, we feel close to the sky, alone amongst nature, free and alive.

 Noah appreciates a rest at the top of the hill - he's much more a sit-and-watch sort of dog than a long-walk sort of a dog!

Noah appreciates a rest at the top of the hill - he's much more a sit-and-watch sort of dog than a long-walk sort of a dog!

 Looking across at the Shepherd's Rock (Scattered Rock)

Looking across at the Shepherd's Rock (Scattered Rock)

We sit for a while, quietly, resting and refuelling. We can see for miles all around us. We are nearly 1750ft above sea level - just us, rocks, sky and heather...

 It's a great view from up here!

It's a great view from up here!

...oh, and a couple of pleasant walkers who pass us, greeting us warmly, bedecked in cool summer shirts and sun hats... 

We call back to them and gaze wonderingly, as we feel the chill winds whip around us, and pull our jackets tighter.

As we progress along the ridge, the way becomes very rocky. It's easy to stumble here so we need to concentrate on where we're going and not looking around at what's around us.

 Walking the rocky Stiperstones ridge to the Devil's Chair

Walking the rocky Stiperstones ridge to the Devil's Chair

The clouds darken as we reach the Devil's Chair and I worry about lightning strikes. Is that thunder I hear or just the rumble of a passing plane?

The clouds feel close to us and quite heavy. There are warnings everywhere about lightning strikes and the legend of the Devil's Chair speaks of bolts of lightning should one have the audacity to actually sit in the Devil's Chair! Scary!

 The Devil's Chair

The Devil's Chair

We finally reach the rocks of the Devil's Chair - tall, hard, and grey.

Red Kites whirl past and a raven tumbles and folds itself elegantly into the rock.

We clamber ever up and eventually peer downwards between the shards...

 Admiring the view from the top of the Stiperstones

Admiring the view from the top of the Stiperstones

We look down past moorland and fields and follow the lines of pathways - it looks impossibly far down and I start to feel a little dizzy at the height.

Ian continues to explore a further crag - a rocky fortress on high, while I stay back a little with the dog, feeling a little in awe at this majestic natural place - a spire of the earth reaching up into the sky.

 View to Manstone Rock

View to Manstone Rock

Our walk down is much easier on the legs! We spot the grass-covered ruins of an old miner's cottage - humps and dips in the hillside surrounded by fruit trees and hawthorns which mark the boundaries of what was once a cherished home and garden high in the hills. 

 Signs of a life lived up on high - out in the wildest and most elemental parts of nature

Signs of a life lived up on high - out in the wildest and most elemental parts of nature

What it must be to live a life atop a hill!

So far from the hustle and bustle down below and more connected with nature and the elements out here where one could live free and unencumbered by the expectations of society...

 Path past the ruins - a beautiful natural place

Path past the ruins - a beautiful natural place

We feel revitalised and inspired after our walk out in the wilds of nature - this truly awesome natural place - in connecting with nature in this way, we feel more connected with our own selves, and each other - these are the moments that my art is all about and what I hope it will inspire for you too..!

Dog Walk Notes

  • This was a nice easy walk for the dog - a bit of a pull for him uphill, but wide paths and one stile with a gate that we could open to get him through. The ridge was a little rocky for him - he seemed quite sure-footed but we did worry a little about him injuring himself clambering over the rocks.
  • Dogs need to be kept on a lead at all times to protect the wildlife in this National Nature Reserve.
  • We did the walk from Pennerley Flats (just up to Devil's Chair rock and back again) but you can also easily access the Stiperstones from Stiperstones Village, Tankerville, and The Bog Visitor Centre (recommended) which has a large car park, toilets, information and refreshments (check opening times/dates).
  • Dress appropriately for your walk, take a good map, and be aware that weather conditions can change suddenly up on the hills.
 Feeling on top of the world connecting with nature

Feeling on top of the world connecting with nature

More Cool Places Nearby

Close nearby to explore is Tankerville old lead mine

 Ruins at the Tankerville lead mine

Ruins at the Tankerville lead mine

And the more extensive old Snailbeach Mine, which also does regular open days.

 Snailbeach Mine

Snailbeach Mine

A little further afield, we also enjoyed visiting Haughmond Hill woods with the dog - bluebells, woodland walks, toilets and a cafe...

 A great place for dogs to enjoy nature - Haughmond Hill

A great place for dogs to enjoy nature - Haughmond Hill

 Bluebells in the woods at Haughmond Hill

Bluebells in the woods at Haughmond Hill

 Woodland walk at Haughmond Hill

Woodland walk at Haughmond Hill

And the nearby beautiful ruins of Haughmond Abbey - a peaceful place to while away an hour or so - run by English Heritage.

 Noah admiring the view at Haughmond Abbey

Noah admiring the view at Haughmond Abbey

 Haughmond Abbey

Haughmond Abbey

Unplugging From Technology - Connecting to the Real World

behind the scenes, inspiration, nature, personal musings, well beingCharlotte BrownComment

I've just come back from a wonderful week away with my husband and our dog, in the hills of Shropshire. With no mobile phone reception, we were completely unplugged from technology - and it was fantastic!

In this busy world of constant news and social media updates, it's important to be able to unplug from technology sometimes...

 Connect with nature to unplug from technology

Connect with nature to unplug from technology

Technology is wonderful and incredibly useful - it allows me to be at home writing this, and for you to read it, maybe hundreds or thousands of miles away. Awesome!

But the world reflected by social media and technology can seem overwhelming, too much.

It can trick us into believing that the world on our screens is the totality of the real world around us - the violence, the hatred, the ground-in bitterness. I see it on my internet every day. It seems pervasive, all around us.

But it isn't! The view from the world of technology and social media is skewed. It doesn't reflect all of the world - the world around us, right now, that we can reach out and connect with.

That's the world of beautiful natural places, flowers, the way your dog smiles and wags his greetings when you return home, the way the store assistant helped you out, a kindly smile from a stranger, a gentle word from a friend.

When you start to look out for these tiny connections and kindnesses, you will start to notice them more and more.

It's so easy to get lost in the concerns of the day or the worries of the wider world. Indeed, these are by no means unimportant...

But it's possible to bring some balance and unplug from technology. Take a walk outside and connect with nature - we all need some green in our lives! 

Reach out to a loved one - four-paws or two-legs, it doesn't matter. Make a connection and feel a part of the natural world around us.

My art can help you feel connected with nature, too. 

Feel connected and inspired!

Escaping Your Head - The Beauty of Connections

behind the scenes, inspiration, nature, personal musings, well beingCharlotte Brown

In seeking out the green places, the natural world, I seek out connection - a connection with nature, the world and the realities of a life lived as part of the world, not in the world of concerns that we so often create inside our own heads.

A connection with our pets, our loved ones, or with nature makes us see and feel the beauty of the world around us and enables us to feel a certain gratitude for the world we are a part of.

We can seek out the world of nature in our everyday lives. Our connection with nature doesn't have to wait for a week's holiday or a day-trip to the country at the weekend.

We can connect and feel gratitude for the world we are a part of when we interact with our pets, when we see a bird or a tree, even through a window, when we stop for a moment to look at a vase of flowers in our home.

And of course, I hope that when you bring my art into your home, you are able to feel that sense of connection with, and love for, the world around us, too.

 So much in nature to love and feel grateful for. This Day in the Sun (Geraniums) art print can connect you with the feelings of warmth, sunshine, and summer flowers.

So much in nature to love and feel grateful for. This Day in the Sun (Geraniums) art print can connect you with the feelings of warmth, sunshine, and summer flowers.

Let me know, what in nature makes you feel most connected and most alive?

'Funny Pheasant' Art - Behind the Scenes

artworks, behind the scenes, nature, inspiration, shoppingCharlotte Brown

Colourful and contemporary pheasant art 'Funny Pheasant' art print...

 'Funny Pheasant' art print by Lotti Brown

'Funny Pheasant' art print by Lotti Brown

I see pheasants in the fields at home all the time and they're always so impressive with their colourful, shiny feathers - beautiful birds!

I love the expression of this very cheeky pheasant - such a striking fellow!

 Detail from my pheasant artwork

Detail from my pheasant artwork

Behind the Scenes of the Artwork

Take a look behind the scenes at how I created my pheasant artwork...

Click on the images to see the larger image and with further details about each step of the process...

 The completed pheasant artwork 'Funny Pheasant'

The completed pheasant artwork 'Funny Pheasant'

I love the curious, whimsical expression of my 'Funny Pheasant' and the beautiful colours of his intricate feathers. He makes me smile when I see him, and I hope he does the same for you...

 My colourful pheasant artwork is available as a framed or unframed giclee art print or mini artboard in my online art store - click pic to see

My colourful pheasant artwork is available as a framed or unframed giclee art print or mini artboard in my online art store - click pic to see

 Click image for all the print and frame options and details in my online store

Click image for all the print and frame options and details in my online store

Funny Pheasant Art Print
from 18.00

Colourful and contemporary, fantastic 'Funny Pheasant' art print.

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My 'Funny Pheasant' art print is available to buy in my online art store

You can see more of my nature and wildlife art in my themed art gallery

Joyful Blooming for Spring

color, inspiration, natureCharlotte Brown

At the start of the year, I decided my theme for 2018 is going to be 'Joyful Blooming' - something I hope I will be able to bring to my personal life, mind, body and soul, into my home, and into my art.

So I've been so looking forward to the first colourful flowers of spring - and they're here at last...

So let the joyful blooming begin..!

I'm so looking forward to immersing myself in my Joyful Blooming theme through my art and experience the colours, joy, openness and confidence of floral spectaculars, which I want to share with you too... stay tuned for my efforts...