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The artwork of Michael Francis Reagan continues to be commissioned by Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, and The National Parks of America.
This painting, Falling Gannet, is part of his Falling series, based on a childhood memory. When the artist was five or six years old, he witnessed a mourning dove fall from the sky and land hard on the ground in the woods behind his childhood home. He watched the dove as it lay still and in shock, the sky darkening around them. When he finally reached out to touch it, the bird exploded into flight. “I felt a great loneliness, alone there in those woods…a stillness,” Reagan says. “Then I felt fear, and then sadness. Finally, as the bird exploded back into life and into the sky, I felt joy that such a thing could even be possible.”
It wasn’t until a cold, gray morning in January of 2016 that Reagan’s boyhood experience translated itself into the first painting of the series: Falling Mourning Dove. “That morning,” Reagan says, “as I worked, images of other birds began to come to me. In the days and nights that followed, those birds filled my dreams and canvases. I’ve painted 25 so far.”