November 2017
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Art Sharing #10: Michael Whelan (traditional media painting)


Michael Whelan
(contemporary)


I've loved Michael Whelan's art for over a decade... I first saw it on the cover of Tad William's Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn series. I was blown away by the beauty of the Sithi and hunted down all of the Michael Whelan images I could find. His illustrative work is amazing (partly due to the fact that he always reads the books before painting the cover!) but it's his personal work that inspires me the most. Some of his paintings are so important to me I feel they must be decorating the interior of my heart-home.

One thing that captures me is his use of symbolism. Two of his personal symbols are repeated in various paintings; a red glass heart on a red cord, usually carried by a person, and an orb or bubble with a flame inside. To me, the heart represents the true self (it is often being gazed at by the person) and the flame-bubble represents spirit, or life force. Also, he often illustrates the connection between human and nature, in a wonderfully beautiful way.

Please do check out the gallery -- I'm only featuring the ones that have greatest meaning to me, but there are so many others that I love and are definitely worth looking at.





Leavetaking

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The Glimpse

this one makes my heart hurt, remembering how much I identified with this trapped, listless girl.

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River

There is such unity between the person and the tree ♥ I love this one so much! It reminds me of Emerald, the tree friend I used to sit on just like this, and be comforted by her presence. I love how her heart is hung on the tree -- to me that symbolizes trust.

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Periwinkle

I don't know what it is about this one, but the second I saw it I thought to myself that's ME and have felt deeply fond of it ever since.

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Flowers and Weeds

I love how the child seems to be honoring the small patch of nature in a wasteland of concrete.

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The Crossing

long before I read the artist's explanation I felt the meaning of this

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Divining Heart

To me, this says that the only way we can journey safely through life is by knowing our true self, and using that to guide us.

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The End of Nature I

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Edgedancer

I cannot express how much I love that setting. it could easily be from my dreams.

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Beanstalk

I myself call it 'Jill and the Beanstalk' ;-) To me it is about the journey of life -- it's not about getting to the top as soon as possible, it's about searching for the stars and enjoying the journey. (notice there are no stars below her, because she has gathered them and hung them from her belt) It also represents to me a person who is full of hope, believing in magic and looking for those experiences that build faith. and it feels very meaningful to me because the treasures are stars, which are a symbol of mine. He could have chosen hearts or flowers, but instead he happened to choose a symbol that suited me.

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title unknown

It kills me that I don't know the title to this, because it means SO MUCH to me.
The woman is in the embryonic stage, yet fully grown -- symbolizing to me the human contradiction of having perfect spirits in an immature outer self (mind, heart, soul, body). She's nude, representing openness, transparency. She is held gently, lovingly by water, the force of life -- to me, God/dess, a loving omnipresent being who is always protecting me. The moon is in the background, representing to me the beauty of night. The only way this could fit me more is if the bird were a dragonfly. I love it so much


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Comments
jenniology ══╣Creative╠══
Edgedancer - oh my gods. That one really stirred something in me. <3 Thank you for sharing!
belenen ══╣inspired╠══
I'm glad ♥ you're welcome! ;-)
brightlotusmoon ══╣╠══
Oh, Michael Whelan... one of my favorite artists of all time. *happy sigh*
Adam's uncle John is friends with him. John's living room walls have some of Whelan's original paintings hanging from them. First time I walked into that house, my jaw dropped and I tried not to squee; I didn't know until Adam told me. The painting of Stephen King's "Firestarter" hangs on Uncle John's living room wall! I got to see it up close!
belenen ══╣hypnotiq╠══
what is UP with you and your connections?!? LUCKY!

I really want to go to a gallery show of Whelan's sometime; I've never even seen a hi-res image of any of his work. I know there is so much I'm missing! I can't even imagine seeing an original, wow.

If I was a billionaire, I'd SO be an art collector and open a gallery, not for profit but just to share. ;-)
brightlotusmoon ══╣╠══
*laughs* I never realize these things until already involved.
Those paintings up close are so extraordinary; the smallest details make my head spin. I was really in awe, and my husband's cousins were slightly confused by my admiration. I guess to them it's not such a huge thing!
belenen ══╣artistic╠══
*sigh* well I am glad YOU got to see it! A work of art deserves to be properly admired ;-)
gem_night77 ══╣╠══
What are MW Images?
Also, thanks for sharing these, they are amazing.
belenen ══╣artistic╠══
by MW I meant Michael Whelan, I was just being lazy (I fixed it).

you're welcome!
aetheric ══╣╠══
Such breathtaking work, wow. Edgedancer really moved me. Thank you so much for sharing this.

Also, I thought I'd recommend an artist I've loved since college, Michael Parkes.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
you're so welcome!

I do like Michael Parkes -- loooove the softness and surrealism, but the color schemes are too simple for me to fall in love with the art as a whole. Color is very important to me.
fatalperception ══╣Helena╠══
Thank you so very, very much for
sharing this. I'm definintely checking
out the site to oogle more pretty painting
goodness.

I'm really digging The Crossing. It's
like..somewhere I'd love to live.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
you're so welcome! ;-)
aliyna ══╣╠══
My father gave me a book of Michael Whelan's art when I was eleven and I was sold. I still have it, it's one of those things I'd grab if the house was on fire, you know? I can't wait to share it with Ro.

River is one of my absolute favorites- I had never seen Edgedancer (it's one of the newest, it seems) but I ADORE it, as seems to be the consensus!

I really love Pathless and Prudence 2 and Daughter of Regals.

To name a few, wow. So many to love.

My father had a print of Dragon on his bedroom wall. It was the first one I loved.
belenen ══╣artless╠══
oh man, yeah! it would be on my list to grab too ;-)

I want a MW print! one day...
demonista ══╣╠══
wow...they're beautiful. thanks so mcuh for posting about his art!
belenen ══╣artless╠══
you're so welcome!
darkpool ══╣╠══
Beautiful. I think the baby likes them to, at least she sat still and looked but she may just be tired. In the beanstalk one it's funny because in a way I don't like her outfit because it seems like something more flow-y would fit the picture better. OTOH the logical part of my mind things that that is a much more practical outfit for beanstalk climbing...
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.