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The Hard (P)Art of Naming

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I’ve mentioned before that I choose books by their titles. So isn’t it ironic that I have no desire (because I lack the ability, after all who wants to pursue what they find onerous?) to name or title my art work.

The whole exercise has become impossible.

Every year I try to re-experience the tundra swan migration at the local conservation area. I throw a lawn chair into the back of the truck and pack binoculars, thermos of coffee, a sandwich and sketch book and pencils into a big plastic tote bag.

It is an interesting exercise to sit with the binoculars in one hand (elbow on the arm rest to steady it) sketch book open and pencil in the other hand. Yes basically drawing blind as it were.

The reason is my interest in the dynamics of interaction in the posturing of the swans as a group. Our native tundra swans are modern dancers; by contrast the non-native European imported mute swans perform ballet.

I have never been successful in capturing what appears to be group dialogue, but I continue to try.

I exhibited one painting I was not displeased with and of course the work needs a title. So with parts curiosity and desperation I resolved to go through the ‘S’ in the dictionary to find something appropriate.  Just for fun, here is the short list

  • A skein of swans
  • A symphony of swans
  • A say of swans
  • A scintillation of swans
  • A sea of swans
  • A serenity of swans
  • A shimmer of swans
  • A stay of swans
  • A stupendous of swans
  • A surmise of swans
  • A swell of swans
  • A surround of swans

A Serenity of Swans mixed media on paper 28x42 inches

As you can see the exercise wasn’t particularly successful. Traditionally a grouping of swans is called a herd which just isn’t a poetic enough expression for such an incredibly beautiful experience. Unlike say a Murder of crows or a Bevy of quail.

About geri binks


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