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painting of two gulls courting

Gwenn Seemel
Free as a bird (Western gull)
2012
acrylic on panel
10 x 10 inches

This is one of my favorite paintings from this series, in part because of the subjects. I love gulls for the same reason why I love pigeons, crows, and dandelions: they’re tenacious and they’re everywhere. They’re common, but they’re also beautiful in their individual expressions. That’s basically why I like people too, actually. Below is the text from the book Crime Against Nature that goes with this image—the book can be read and purchased here.

Girls don’t always partner with boys.

Among western gulls, females often nest with females, forming a pair-bond that can last several years.  The females perform courtship rituals with one another, mate, and incubate eggs together. Since both male and female gulls often mate with birds outside pair-bonds, some of the female pairs’ eggs can be fertile.