WARMING HER WINGS by Michael Whelan (2012)
Acrylic on Panel - 11” x 14”
In fall, the sun sets on the west side of our property to shine through the trees. On a humid day, the light seems suspended in the thick air, spreading against the dark shapes of the trees, fanning golden brilliance across the green lawn.
I saw my daughter Alexa a few times when she was between the ages of 5 and 10, standing in the glow as if spotlit on a stage, and each time I would tell myself, “Remember this, this is a gorgeous moment you don’t want to ever forget.”
Years later while traveling in the UK, we were hiking near Three Cliffs Bay on the Gower coast in Wales. Evening was drawing near. As the sun approached the horizon, warm light illuminated the ruined walls of Pennard Castle. As we passed by there, I noticed a beam of light falling through a doorway and recalled the memory of Alexa in the light at home. Same sun, same light, same Alexa.
When I decided to produce another painting for my Portals series, these memories became my main inspiration. The butterfly, a symbol of life’s fleeting vicissitudes, reminds us to stop and enjoy our time in the sun.