Snowbirds
OIL ON CANVAS. ORIGINAL SIZE 48x28 in

  • American artist Rockwell Kent created paintings poeticizing the northern territories.
  • Kent said, "if minds can become magnetized, mine was: its compass needle pointed north."
  • In 1918, Kent and his 9-year-old son traveled to the American frontier of Alaska's Fox Island. There he created a series of paintings and prints dedicated to that land and wrote his first book, Wilderness: A Journal of Quiet Adventure in Alaska.

The twirling of snow and birds circling – swooping – in the sky is ever fascinating and mesmerizing. The ease and simplicity of their flight, each seemingly soft landing on any kind of surface, evokes a sense of freedom. The perfection of such flight is like a dream – can such graceful defiance of gravity be possible? The metaphor of white birds flying is found in poetry from cultures throughout the world. As translated by Peter Tempest, Russian poet Sergey Yesenin wrote:

Is it light or dark? I cannot say.
Is that a cock sings, or the breeze?
Perhaps not winter came today
But white swans settled in the fields


The words of another Russian poet and songwriter, Andrey Dementiev, translated as follows, also evoke images of white seagulls and snow.

Again, I see the white gulls over water
And fancy you and I in their easy dance;
Again, I see them moving round lightly,
Look at the snow falling over the sea!