When I began work on this angel one of my friends, a neighbor and art mentor, was in the hospital preparing for his own death. I wanted to finish the angel in time to show to him, which might have been why this angel was finished in under a week from start to finish. When I realized that if I waited it might be too long I sent him a copy of the sketch with a letter explaining what the finished image would look like and I heard afterwards that it made a big impression.
I can't help but think that the experiences in real life informed this angel. I have been told that Death bears a resemblance to my neighbor (in his younger years). Also, once the image was finished and after my friend had died his wife came over to see the final piece and noticed the wings in the border at the top. (I had included them as a nod to the Egyptians and their fascination with death.) She told me that her husband had been a member of the Rosicrucian order (which I understand is something like the Masons) and that one of their emblems is a pair of wings very like the ones on the drawing. She later sent over a copy of the Rosicrucian emblem and the two are very similar- right down to the number of feathers.
Death has two hidden Turtles.