When I watch the birds or look at my photographs of them, I often wonder just what are they thinking? Sometimes they give it away by their actions like a quick nip at each other, or a menacing look, or by being protective of each other. With this painting, in my mind I could just hear the conversation/argument the two birds were having as they walked on past the big, strikingly handsome seagull on the right who we shall call Mitch.
Maybe I’ve been reading too many novels lately, but one interpretation of the painting could read something like this:
Mitch has always prided himself on what a handsome bird he is. He is bigger and stronger than most birds. This station on the beach is under his watch, and there is no doubt about it. Other birds envy and admire him, while others loathe him for his rugged good looks!
On this day while Mitch was on beach patrol, two lesser gulls walked past him. Their heads were speckled with brown, not bright white like Mitch’s. They were smaller in stature and walked more hunched over. Life was obviously more difficult for the two birds but overall they were happy. Once past Mitch, the male bird turned to his partner, gave his gull-friend an evil eye and blurted out “I know you were looking at him!”
This prompted the gull-friend to quickly look down at the sand so as to not catch her partner’s eye as she responded unconvincingly, “No I didn’t! You know that you are the only gull for me.”
The little spat on the beach that day was nothing new for Mitch. He could have any gull he wanted and was used to bird fights over him. He barely noticed the two bickering, and just kept on staring out at the water, on guard, watching the bay…..
I too was struck by the handsome bird, enough to want to paint him and his admirers. Seagulls are obviously very common birds, but the more I watch their behavior and discover the many different kinds the more they interest me.