Composite of Images 1 - 6, Kensington Swans. 6 x (6 x 8 in), watercolour and scanned feathers on

The Round Pond

The Round Pond is an “ornamental lake”  in Kensington Gardens, just west of Kensington Palace’s front entrance. It was created by George II around 1730, and despite its name being  “Round”  it is actually rectangular—with rounded corners. Measuring approximately 200 m by 150 m, it covers approximately seven acres and is up to 5m deep in parts. The swans. geese. and many other birds living there never fail to entertain.

The Round Pond Series, Part 2 (Works on Paper)

When in London, my dogs and I are daily visitors to Kensington Gardens’ Round Pond. We’re fascinated by the creatures who inhabit it. Whatever the hour, day, or occasion, there is always something to witness at this historic sanctuary. I didn’t preplan this Round Pond series. It is observation and interest driven. My naturalistic, and whimsical painting style invites story and suggestions of what might be. All creatures portrayed are given personality and potential, conjure metaphor and meaning.

The Round Pond Series, Part 2, Kensington Swans, 6 x (6 x 8 in), watercolour and scanned feathers on paper, 2013

The Round Pond Series, Part 2, Kensington Swans, 7 of 7, pencil crayon and scanned feathers on paper, 6 x 8 in, 2013

Messages and Meaning from the Round Pond

From morning to night, the birds at the Round Pond make every day moments special. If you look very carefully, you’ll see how they show us what matters in life, and how the best things never change.

The Round Pond is a magical place. Believe it or not, it is hundreds of years old, so lots has happened  there and around it. Visitors come and go, and people may have changed how they look and act, but its birds have stayed the same. 

What the birds do now is what they did then. What delights humankind—and what we notice now—is as meaningful as it was in the very beginning. Animals have an amazing way of showing us what‘s necessary and when, and not to forget it.

Somehow, when we take time to notice what swans, geese, and other birds do, it can make us think and wonder. Rituals and routines pass from generation to generation. The simplest ones, happening right in front of us, make us smile.

Feeling peaceful, calm, excited, or relieved after a visit to the Round Pond isn’t unusual. That’s why many of us return. With so much happening in a fast-moving world, it’s nice to find a safe quiet spot where Mother Nature keeps things simple.

She reminds us of what’s important—shows how to:

1. Take quiet moments by oneself to reflect and let things out

2. Love and connect

3. Keep little ones safe and warm
4. Stay close and cautious when teaching or learning something new

5. Keep on moving, and feel beautiful, even if different from others

If we are patient and watch the birds long and hard enough, our heads fill with stories. Every living creature, young, old, or in between, has tales to tell—whether human, or bird.

Poem about the Series

Royal Feathers at the Round Pond

Color and quietude

Connection and clarity
Quality of life
Order of nature

Things as they should be
Not Just Any Birds

These have found their ideal setting—for life and in paint
Feel the love
Let them be

When all else changes

Rejoice that they’ll be able to stay the same