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Dad and the kids  black swan and cygnets

Dad and the kids - black swan and cygnets

Artwork Type: Print

 Pastel on Supertooth paper SOLD 

Original image size 57 x 44 cm

Growing up in regional Australia I was fortunate to have access to the habituated black swans on our local lake. As a little kid my favourite activity on any given weekend was going to feed the swans and doubly so when they had cygnets (which in typical child fashion I pronounced 'singlets’) .... we fed them bread (which I would now never ever do) but back then 60 or more years ago it was a thing and nobody really understood the harm it could do to their diet. The adults were frequently extremely bold and would often emerge from the water to pester people for food though they never did this when they had vulnerable babies with them.

The adults pair for life and both share the parenting. This adult male is typical and quite assertive in protecting his babies. He is larger than his mate and demonstrates his dominance with elevated head, loud calling and raising his curled wing feathers to enlarge the size of his profile. It is a very impressive display and usually keeps most people at a safe distance. Black swans can do you quite a bit of damage if they take it into their heads and as a child paddling an old kayak, I occasionally strayed too close to a nest and my paddle bore the brunt (and scars) of their anger as I desperately fended off their vigorous attacks. Cygnets are just the cutest little guys and to imagine them maturing into such magnificent and graceful birds fills me with joy whenever I have the chance to meet them. This was quite an exacting work to produce as I really wanted to show the innocent vulnerable quality of the cygnets together with the power and grace of the responsible male. These are the only black swans in the world and I consider I have been truly blessed to spend many happy hours drawing and observing them whenever I get the chance. I hope I have done them proud.

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“My art is of nature,
 for nature

Steve Morvell


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