Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Swan


I've painted a couple of swans this week and have designed them into another large painting that I'm about to start. I had to stop and think about why the sudden desire to paint swans on everything. It might be the ornamental beauty. It might be the dignity and gracefulness. I like that swans mate for life. This is what I learned from reading about them-
In the UK, swans are the birds of royalty, still under protection of the crown. Swans are called a 'bird of life' because they are of the air and the water. It is also called 'bird of the poet' believed to contain the soul of a poet. Swans also are a recurrent theme in literature all over the world as shape-shifters, turning for birds into people. There is the myth of Leda and the Swan. There is Hamsa in India, a mythical bird who operates in both the physical and spiritual planes, representing the material world and the spiritual world.

I like all of that. There is so much rich symbolism there.

If I could be a bird, would I be a swan? I don't think so. I'd like to be a hawk but I usually feel more like a quail these days, walking too fast and trying to keep my chicks from getting lost.
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5 comments:

SLeye1Stories said...

My wife and me are big fans of your work, and regularly enjoy reading your blogs. Your musings about swans reminded me of a favorite poem, written by the late BYU English Professor Clinton F. Larson:

To a Dying Girl

How quickly must she go?
She calls dark swans from mirrors everywhere:
From halls and porticos, from pools of air.
How quickly must she know?
They wander through the fathoms of her eye,
Waning southerly until their cry
Is gone where she must go.
How quickly does the cloudfire streak the sky,
Tremble on the peaks, then cool and die?
She moves like evening into night,
Forgetful as swans forget their flight
Or spring the fragile snow,
So quickly she must go.

Eugene England said this was the best poem ever written by a Latter-day Saint, and I've found no evidence to the contrary.

Keep up the creative wonder...

Kat said...

I totally see you as a cute little bustling mommy quail! :)

Cassandra Barney said...

Wow. Can I paint a painting as good as that poem?

Thank you for sharing. It makes me even more excited to start this painting.
Cheers, C

Kat...ya like a total spaz running around in heals and a floppy something?! What bird are you?

Anybody else? Birds?

Kat said...

Ok here goes...

Mom - hummingbird
Amy - stork (the legs, we couldn't resist)
Lou- condor
Tom - eagle? seagull?

And yours truly - "The keel-billed toucan is the national bird of Belize. A playful bird, the toucan can often be found throwing berries at another bird." Oh and it's kinda loud too! :)

Cassandra Barney said...

Kat- you did really well. Good job. That a fun game. SPeaking of fun games, next time you'e around we need to talk about the fouth of july extravaganza.
cc

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