The first time I had seen a swan was in a depiction of Goddess Saraswati (Indian Goddess of Knowledge), sitting and playing the Veena (Indian Musical String Instrument) on a beautiful white bird, in a calendar image. I had fallen in love with the milky whiteness, the curvaceous neck and the beautiful depiction of plumage. Somehow the image of that bird got stuck in my memory. Somehow that bird symbolized serenity and grace for me. The story of ‘The Ugly Duckling’ only enhanced this imagery in my mind. I have only seen a couple of swans once at our local zoo, and yes I was mesmerized by the way they were gliding around in the artificial pond. Then I watched the ballet ‘Swan Lake’ on television and I was completely enamoured with the beautiful concept. The beautiful imaginary tale ignited my passion for the graceful bird once again. I also read a story about Zeus taking the form of a swan to entice and impregnate Leda, quite an erotic tale it was.
Today, when I look back at my obsession with the lovely bird in my growing years, I feel I was searching for the swan in me all through those years. I guess we all have our swans hidden inside us and only a few can perceive them when they look at us and hence what is ugly to the world becomes so beautiful to a few chosen beholders. I am not yet sure if I, ‘the ugly duckling’ have matured into a swan, but this painting is my humble offering to those birds who glide and dance in water captivating me with such beauty, grace and tranquility.
Watercolor and pen drawing with waterproof ink on acid free paper.
Watercolor and pen drawing with waterproof ink on acid free paper