Celtic deer art - plus a look at the myths, meaning and folklore around the female deer - the hind or doe...
Celtic stag art - plus a look at the fascinating history, symbolism, folklore & meaning around the stag - a special relationship for at least 10,000 years!!
This artwork is one of a pair - this is the stag/hart, the other is the doe/hind. You can see the other, plus read the general introduction to deer meaning here - don't forget to come straight back! (I'll also give you the link at the end, if you prefer.)
Celtic Deer Art – Stag & Hind – plus folklore, symbolism, myth & meaning...
The deer is one of our ancient magical creatures of Britain – considered as sacred, and linked to the Otherworld for thousands of years…
Even today, the deer is an animal that we still think of as special and who still features in folklore, stories and legends as part of humanity’s unique connection with nature.
I’m going to explore some of our history with deer, the myths and legends we’ve woven around them, and how we relate to them and take meaning from them.
I’ll also be sharing my two Celtic deer artworks – a very handsome stag and a pretty doe…
There's a short general introduction to our history with deer on this page, including myth, folklore and meaning - then I go into much more detail on the stag (hart) and doe (hind) on their respective pages, too...
Let's start in the world of myth, with the deer of the classical world...
Creating my art and spending quiet time in nature is very important to me. It’s one of the ways in which I’m able to take time and space to process my thoughts and feelings so that I can come back to what I call ‘my true self’, that inner authentic self.
For me, time in nature is time spent away from the expectations of society. There seems something weighty about the expectations and teachings of society that sometimes does not quite seem to be always for my higher good.
It feels vital that I should be able to take some quiet time to just ‘be’ in the natural world so that I can work out which are the ideas and thoughts coming from my own ‘true self’ and which are the ones that I have learned by rote from society.
Colourful 'Arts and Crafts' or 'Craftsman' style artwork - Celtic Geese with Summer Strawberries - art prints, home wares, cushions, throws, bedding, T-shirts, stationery, accessories...
I thought I'd have a bit of colourful summer fun with this charming artwork with a pair of gorgeous geese reaching up to some tempting sweet summer strawberries, lots of pretty flowers and some swirling art nouveau or arts and crafts style Celtic knotwork...
The rich colours are warm and striking and give a cosy look suitable for traditional period houses, cosy cottages and relaxed family homes.
I make my art digitally (with Adobe Illustrator) from pen and pencil drawings - here's how I made this piece...
I love living in the countryside. I think green and natural spaces are essential to mankind, and our need for them shouldn’t be down-played or side-lined…
People living close to green spaces, or having regular access to them, show increased happiness, and better mental and physical health – quite startlingly so in fact!
And I think with the 2020-21 lockdowns, we've all become suddenly far more aware of our need for time in nature and that this should be a right for all, as it's a basic need for us as people...
People are meant to live in nature. Did you know we can see significantly more shades of green than any other colour? This is because, evolutionarily, we needed to be able to identify leaves and plants, for our survival – so we are physically evolved to live in nature.
My Celtic Kestrel artwork plus a look at the history, myth, folklore and meaning of the kestrel...
The beautiful kestrel is the UK’s second most common bird of prey. Often called the ‘motorway hawk’, if you’ve seen a small bird of prey hovering above the verge of a motorway or other road, you’ve likely seen a kestrel.
Although still a common sight in Britain, numbers suffered in the past as kestrels were often killed by gamekeepers in the late 19th and early 20th century, and they have also been affected by organochlorine pesticides in the 1950s and 1960s.
Since the 1980s, the kestrel population has fluctuated but currently appears to be in moderate decline, although the reason why is not yet known, and the kestrel has therefore been listed on the Amber List of Birds of Conservation Concern.
My Celtic collared dove art 'Collared Doves in Blossom' together with a look at dove symbolism, myth and meaning...
The dove is one of our most beloved birds and a universally-recognised symbol of peace, love, and harmony.
There are actually many types of dove and in my artwork, I’ve chosen to show collared doves as we have a pair we often see perched on our chimney and roof.
They are quite a favourite bird of mine as we used to have a pair in my childhood garden. My mum told me that they were rare and we were lucky to have them, so I always thought of them as quite special.
Collared doves were certainly a rare bird in Britain when my mum was a child as they originally hail from the Balkans, Turkey, and Asia – and only bred in Britain for the first time in 1955. They spread across the country naturally and are now very common in Britain.
Young collared doves will fly up to 600km, usually in a north-westerly direction, from their birthplace – so we can see how so many have ended up in Britain.
My Celtic Moths art - plus a dive into moth meaning, symbolism and folklore to explore the place that moths hold in our understanding...
What are moths?
Moths, often seen as ‘night butterflies’ are actually a cousin of the butterfly. They are of the same scientific classification ‘lepidoptera’ but are distinctively different species.
Although most moths do fly by night, many are seen during the day and may be mistaken for butterflies.
Moths may be as old as 190 million years old – more ancient than butterflies!
The easiest way to tell a butterfly from a moth in most cases is that the moth folds its wings flat over its body when at rest, whereas the butterfly folds its wings up over its back.
The moth also usually has feathery antennae which the butterfly does not. Moths pupate in cocoons of silk while butterflies pupate in a hard, smooth chrysalis.
My colourful Celtic Magpies & Magnolia art, plus a dive into magpie superstition, myth and meaning...
Beautiful black and white birds that are accompanied by a whole host of superstitions and meanings…
Here’s what you need to know about magpie superstitions, myth, folklore and meaning…
The magpie is a handsome and extremely intelligent bird – and one that I feel suffers a lot in our perception from the myths, folklore and superstitions that surround this highly unusual bird.
The bird, Pica pica (the Eurasian magpie) was originally known, from at least as early as the 13th century) as the ‘pie’ – thought to mean ‘pointed’ referring either to its pointed beak or tail.
It was colloquially known as ‘Maggie Pie’ – it was quite common to give a proper name to a bird (for example Jenny Wren, Jack Daw, Robin Redbreast). Maggie is a diminutive of Margaret which was sometimes used to mean a woman (generic woman) – supposedly because the chattering of the Maggie Pie sounds like the conversation of women.
Now we know the term ‘pied’ as meaning black and white. But it’s thought that this came from the black and white plumage of the magpie and was then used to refer to other birds with similar ‘pied’ colouring.
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