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.
It’s not a bird that I’ve seen much as an adult. But this winter, I’ve been lucky enough to see them in the fields behind the house - where I walk every day - and massing onto hawthorn bushes in hedgerows, gorging on any remaining berries.
Fieldfares are migratory birds and tend to only visit the UK and Ireland during the winter months, arriving in October or November. Up to 1 million fieldfares can arrive in the UK, depending on the plentitude of the berry crop in their native Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Russia and China.
The birds will usually stay until around April, only rarely staying to nest and breed in the UK.
The fieldfare has always been associated with cold weather and winter here in the UK – an early fieldfare arrival was seen to be a sign of a hard winter to come!
Chaucer writes in his 1382 ‘Parliament of Fowls’ of the “frosty feldefare”…
And poet John Clare in the 19th century writes about fieldfares in his poem ‘The Shepherd’s Calendar – March’:
“And flocking field fares speckld like the thrush
Picking the red awe from the sweeing bush
That come and go on winter’s chilling wing
And seem to share no sympathy wi spring”
The name ‘fieldfare’ itself comes from the old English ‘feldefare’ or Saxon ‘fealu for’ – meaning ‘fallow farer’ or ‘traveller through the fields’ – a recognition of the fieldfare’s essentially nomadic nature as they travel for winter to the UK and Ireland, seeking food in hedgerows and fields and respite from the toughest winters further east and north.
In my artwork, I’ve shown an essentially warmer, more spring-like scene – of nesting fieldfares amongst leafy boughs – I’d love the fieldfares to stay with us a little longer and enjoy the spring and summer here, too!
I create my artwork digitally in Adobe Illustrator using my pen and marker drawings, which I scan in and vectorize/digitise in the program.
See how the digitising process works, below, where I share some of the stages the digital creation goes through...
Purchase my Fieldfares Art Prints & Products
If you, too, feel just as fondly about the beautiful fieldfares as I do and you'd love them to stay with us a little longer, sometimes, you can enjoy fieldfares in your home all year round with my art!
My 'Fieldfares' art is available as a wide range of printed products including silky scarves, bags, mugs, cushions, duvet sets, throw blankets, shower curtains, clocks and much more - in my Redbubble store!
Worldwide delivery from your closest manufacturing centre (including UK, Europe, USA, Canada & Australia) and a customs refund if you're charged...
More guidance about my stockists here...
Explore all my Celtic art here - you can also browse British birds art or British wildlife art...
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