Wild Swan, Broken Wing


Photo: The rescued swan

From my studio I see the New River – neither new nor a river, it was built by the Victorians to bring fresh water into London. It’s home to a lot of wildlife as you can well imagine.


Photo: The New River

There’s a piece on it at the Wellcome Library Collection (opens in a new window).

Anyway, there I am working away on my portrait when I realised a swan had

Trying out different ideas for a portrait. Sketching with oil paint.

been pretty much motionless on the riverbank for some hours. It seemed odd so I called the Swan Sanctuary (opens in a new window). Well experienced and dedicated, they safely caught the swan, finding it has a broken wing, it is now under their care.

Such an experience to hold a swan, it was weak from its ordeal & despite the cold temperature it felt warm. I shall never forget it’s beating heart, and the care of the wardens in looking after it’s wellbeing.

Here’s a little video I took some years ago on the same stretch of river of a swan and her cygnets.