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?
Looking to send a gift to someone you can't be with this Easter?
After a difficult Mothers Day here in the UK when so many of us couldn't be with our mothers due to coronavirus, I've been thinking about Easter.
When I saw Easter eggs in the shops, I didn't want to think about celebrating Easter at this time of fear and loss - but I delivered a food box to my elderly parents who are self-isolating on Saturday. I dropped it off outside the door and backed off to a goodly distance so that my mum could retrieve it and we could share a few emotional words across those vital two metres of safe space.
I'd popped in my mum's gift that we'd planned to give her at our family meal, plus some treats like her favourite chocolates and a little hyacinth plant...
And later, on the phone, my mum's gratitude was expansive and heartfelt that we'd thought to add those little non-essential extras that meant we'd thought and cared about them and how they'd be feeling while we're all struggling through these days and weeks and that we'd wanted to still bring a little sunshine and joy.
That's why I think it's important, if we can, that we try to bring a little happiness and meaning to those we care about while they're apart from us, perhaps feeling fearful for themselves - and if they're a mum, they're probably still worried about you too, even as you're worrying about them!
This year, we very likely won't be exchanging Easter eggs and Easter gifts in person, but we can still send a little love and happiness to those we love best...
I work with print-on-demand companies to put my artwork onto all sorts of lovely products, including clothing, accessories and products for home (or the home office!).
Here are some thoughtful Easter gift ideas you could send, themed around this springtime season...
Super Springtime Flowers
Say it with flowers...
All the colour and joy of spring in one delectable springtime bouquet that lasts well beyond the week!
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.
Make mum smile this year with great Mother's Day gift ideas to bring delight and happiness to this special family day...
Mother's Day is in March in the UK and Ireland, while in USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand it falls in June.
I've got some lovely gift ideas to please mum, whether you're making a special trip to see her, enjoying family time together, or simply posting a thoughtful gift with your love...
These beautiful silky scarves are lovely and large with gorgeously soft, lightweight fabric that drapes and flows like real silk - incredibly stylish and beautiful!
The colours are vivid with a slightly transparent effect so that the colours are visible both sides of the scarf.
Just to let you know that my Etsy store is now fully restocked with:
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Colourful sparrows art by Lotti Brown...
My sweet sparrows art was inspired by the sparrows in my own garden - we have a little flock of about 12 house sparrows, male and female, who feed (virtually all day, every day) at the feeder in our plum tree.
I think they might live in there too, as the plum tree is thick with ivy and creepers and it's safe for them to hide out or roost.
They perch across all the branches of the tree, like fluttering decorations, keeping watch and taking turns...
They're so funny to see with their swift, twittering arguments around the feeder. We even had once hanging completely upside down at the feeder to stop being bombarded from his mates from the ferns beneath...
It was quite effective until the little birds got wise and while he was still hanging upside down, they swooped down from above to oust him from the feeder. I haven't seen him try it again since!
Beautiful and richly coloured 'Chaffinches in Cherry Blossom' artwork by Lotti Brown...
I don't see chaffinches often in my tiny countryside garden, but when I do I'm always happy to see the beautiful colours as chaffinches were one of my absolute favourites as a child and were often visitors to our family garden...
I create my art from pen and marker drawings...
I draw each bird and branch of cherry blossom separately as I then scan each drawing into the computer and create digitally with my drawings in Adobe Illustrator... do you want to see?
Is art important? Do we need art when there's so many struggling for just the basics in life..? What do we need art for?
It's an important question - and one which goes to the very heart of our identity as humans and our hopes for how we want to live in this world...
I actually think in times like these it’s more important than ever to take care of, nourish and nurture our humanity… because art is humanity!
Humans create art. It’s one of the things we do that distinguishes us from animals. Cave paintings and carvings on stones, bones and more show us that art is important to humans. It’s a huge part of what makes us who we are.
Hello to you in a fresh new decade!
It's all about Fresh Beginnings for this fine new decade...
I'm planning some great stuff for 2020, which I'll share with you in a minute - I'll also be taking a fresh look at my own art and learning some new skills.
Author: Lotti Brown
Artist, designer, and online drawing teacher.
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