Hawthorn Meaning & Symbolism
My Celtic hawthorn art plus a look at hawthorn meaning, symbolism, stories, folklore and traditions...
Hawthorn, commonly known as whitethorn or may, is one of our most beautiful spring trees in the countryside, where you will often see it in hedgerows festooned with tiny, white, pungently-scented blossoms, during the month of May.
Hawthorn is a native tree to the British Isles and in Irish Brehon law, dating from early Celtic times, the hawthorn was known as a ‘peasant tree’.
Celtic tree calendar: 13 May to 9 June
Historic pollen records show hawthorn was in Britain at least as early as 6000BC.
The Gaelic name for hawthorn is ‘huath’ – which may also relate to the Anglo-Saxon word ‘haw’ which is believed to mean ‘hedge’.
Hawthorn is now widely used as a hedging plant after the 19th century General Enclosures Act, but in earlier times, the wood was used to make small personal items such as knife handles, combs and trinket boxes.
It’s a tree that grows alongside people and has become a part of our lives and traditions…
Beautiful Celtic willow art prints and arty products – I explain willow tree symbolism and meaning…
The mystical willow tree is one of our ancient native British trees (White willow, Salix alba) and is a favourite in countryside and gardens.
The willow tree is beautiful – an elegantly-shaped tree that dances in the wind and grows in atmospheric, watery places – so it’s no wonder that people have always taken the willow to their hearts...
In ancient Tibet, the willow was revered as the ‘world tree’ or ‘tree of life’.
Our modern name for the willow comes from the Anglo-Saxon ‘wileg’.
Celtic tree calendar: 15th April to 12th May
Willow Tree Symbolism, Uses and Meaning
We have a long relationship with the willow tree – we’ve long recognised its usefulness and its special abilities as well as its inherent beauty...
Beautiful Celtic Fox art prints, home decor and accessories... nature, myth, folklore, wild animals - Celtic fox meaning and symbolism...
Do you love a handsome fox? What personality do you associate with the fox?
The clever fox is a very popular wild animal and a well-loved country-dweller and now also a town-dweller that’s always lovely for us to see with her rich red fur...
The fox has always been a special animal to us, appearing in countless folk tales and known to be part of our lives for thousands of years...
Celtic Tree of Life Meaning & Symbolism
Beautiful Celtic Tree of Life art prints and arty products by Lotti Brown (2 different tree of life designs)...
And a look at tree of life meaning, symbolism and history...
I've been having fun with some tree of life designs and now have not one but two gorgeous Celtic art tree of life pieces to inspire you to feel connected with the natural world...
The Tree of Life is for the World
The tree of life is a popular and instantly recognisable Celtic symbol – but its origins go back hundreds or thousands of years and tell us something about our origins as a society and how we thought about our place in the world.
The tree of life is something that unites humanity. There is the concept of a tree of life in many cultures, mythologies and religions, especially Indo-European, Siberian and Native American religions.
Starlings have got to be one of our most beautiful native British birds, with stunning, iridescent greens and purples in their glossy black feathers and tiny ‘stars’ of glittering white…
They are also graceful birds, with stunning balletic displays in flights of ‘murmurations’ when thousands of birds take to the skies in swirling, mesmerising unison.
I’ve been so lucky, this winter, to see some close to home as the starlings group together for safety in huge roosts at dusk and trace their meandering route across the skies to these roosts, with their impressive murmurations.
Coleridge writes in 1799 of a starling murmuration seen:
“Starlings on a vast flight drove along like smoke, mist, or any thing misty without volition …. and still it expands and condenses, some moments glimmering and shivering, dim and shadowy, now thickening, deepening and blackening!”
Celtic-inspired fieldfares art by Lotti Brown...
I was inspired to create my fieldfare artwork by seeing flocks of this beautiful winter bird in the fields where I take my morning dog walks.
This is a bird that I feel very fondly towards, as it’s a bird that I used to see often as a child, in the flat fields of Lincolnshire and the cold winters of the 1970s – my classroom window looked out onto the fields and I could watch fields of lapwings and fieldfares as I sat at my lessons.
Colourful Celtic cats artwork by Lotti Brown...
Our favourite household pet, that cute kitty has a more mysterious side too!
And I think that’s actually why we love cats so much – a link between our everyday, hum-drum world and a world of grace, mystery and independence… can cats communicate something of their mysterious world to us?
Do cats really need us? Where do they go when they’re not at home? Why are they really with us in the world? What’s their story?
Celtic-inspired swans artwork by Lotti Brown.
My Celtic swans artwork was inspired by this graceful symbol of inner beauty and true love.
Swans are a frequent theme in Celtic legend and folklore – we currently have around 200 whooper swans wintering in the wetlands of the Lower Derwent Valley National Nature Reserve, close to my home, and often see and hear the swans flying over. In years gone by, up to 300 Bewick’s swans would over-winter in the area – in Celtic times, the numbers of swans both here and in the Celtic strongholds of Wales and Ireland must have been even greater – a real feature in Celtic life and not surprising they feature in so many tales.
We all know the story of Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake – a story drawn from Russian and European folktales of a princess enchanted to be a swan...
And European folklore is filled with princesses and maidens who are turned into swans – often as punishment!
Beautiful Celtic-inspired barn owl art print...
My barn owl artwork is inspired by the beautiful and ethereal snowy-white barn owls that we often see in the fields near home.
In late winter, we sometimes see them around dawn and dusk – but sometimes, even in full daylight, quartering the fields and hunting for mice to feed their chicks, recently hatched.
Even in sunlight the barn owl seems to have an otherworldly and somewhat ghostly presence – a pallor that’s outside of our everyday world.
In folklore, the owl is often associated with the Otherworld and darkness – but also with being clear-sighted, all-knowing, and wise.
The owl is associated with the goddess of wisdom – Athena in the Greek tradition, Sulis in the Celtic tradition, and Minerva for the Romans. Sulis was the Celtic goddess of justice, echoing the perception of the owl’s knowing wisdom.
In the Celtic legend the ‘Quest for Olwen’, the owl is encountered as one of the five oldest beasts on Earth, symbolising the owl’s ancient knowledge and enduring wisdom.
Of course, there are very many ways of using technology to create art – and I only know a tiny bit really – enough to create the work I want to create…. So we can’t cover absolutely all digital techniques here!
But I do want to share with you how I use digital art technologies to create art – and why I’m certain that this art form should definitely be considered ‘real art’.
My own artworks all actually start well away from the computer, which isn't always the case for digital art, but is still quite common these days as artists look to take the best of traditional and digital techniques.
I sit down with pen and paper – I draw and add colour. I use a black fine-liner pen, and Promarker inks. I find drawing in this traditional way allows me to draw naturally and in my own particular drawing style.
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