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painting of a snake ball

Gwenn Seemel
Love-in (Red-sided garter snake)
2012
acrylic on panel
10 x 10 inches

I painted snakes in my hair for my half of this diptych, but even that didn’t prepare me for how complicated Love-in would be to paint. To learn more about the making of this painting, watch this vlog. Below is the text from the book Crime Against Nature that goes with this image—the book can be read and purchased here.

And some boys have sex with boys and girls.

When red-sided garter snakes emerge from winter hibernation to mate, they are cold. The first male snakes to arrive at the surface use the sun’s heat to raise their body temperature. The next wave of snakes—also males—attract the warm males with a perfume that all snakes exude when exiting the den. Warm and cold males writhe around in mating balls, waiting for the appearance of the females who will also use the perfume to announce their presence.