Wednesday, July 21, 2010

William Michaelian by Aleksandra Komlenovic


As some of you might remember, back in April, I shared a lovely drawing by Aleksandra, a dear friend of mine in Holland. I named the drawing A Mutual Friend, and it’s been safely in my care since its arrival, framed now and facing me from just a few feet to my left atop a small bookshelf. Whether or not you do remember, or if you happen to be one of the kind visitors still new to this blog, I hope you’ll take a moment and visit that entry.

Aleksandra is a wonderful artist. As further proof, I would like to share now an unfinished portrait begun well before she sent A Mutual Friend. As with every fine work, there is a story behind it. I’ve already spoken of our friendship. That’s part of it. But this painting, which seems so finished to me and which Aleksandra now defines as unfinished, really was finished, even to her high standards, quite some time ago. Then, as she was sealing it with a final coat of varnish before shipment to me here in Salem, something terrible happened. I still do not fully understand the details, except that the process drastically harmed the paint, leaving Aleksandra no choice but to begin again.

Ever since, I have felt the grief of that moment, the artist’s sudden shock and ensuing despair, even though I have never once doubted that she would rise to the challenge and triumph once again. Now we are almost there. Really, I think we are there. But Aleksandra is a perfectionist. She is still waiting for that certain moment, that last defining stroke, that speechless Yes to arrive from across the void that tells her when a work is done. That she’s willing to share the painting digitally now is a great honor.



William Michaelian
(unfinished)

by Aleksandra Komlenovic

(2010)

[click to enlarge]


18 comments:

donnafleischer said...

Aleksandra Komlenovic is a huge talent as one can see from this enlivening (so therefore always to be "unfinished") rendering of you, William. And, huge to see you so. I would like to post this portrait on word pond. Your call? Hers? No offense taken. Doesn't hurt to ask . . .

William Michaelian said...

Donna, thank you. I’d be delighted if you shared Aleksandra’s painting on your blog, and I’m quite sure she would be pleased. And since we’re Facebook friends, you can also share it that way via my page if you like. I do hope you will drop her a line. She is a wonderful, generous person.

Joseph Hutchison said...

It helps that you are so ... what would the word be? Paintogenic? My mug would defeat even Aleksandra's vast talent! But the core of your post—that ruinous chemical reaction (was it chemical? probably so...)—is what I find so moving. It makes me feel lucky to work with words on paper—though paper can vanish (consider Ralph Ellison) and words be forgotten (think of the Etruscan poets). But what words could do justice to Aleksandra's amazing paintings? Or yours? Ach, I'm just jealous, I think, of that talent for physicality I'll never have!

~im just only me~ said...

!!!

-K- said...

"...the speechless Yes..."

Well said.

~im just only me~ said...

Joe, thanks for that link to Ralph Ellison's story. I couldn't help but think of Wordsworth and his struggle to finish the Prelude and the project of The Recluse...

Janice said...

It's beautiful whether finished or not...just as it is.

William Michaelian said...

Joe, we’re looking after our grandson today, so I’ll have to catch up with those links later. Mugs aside, I don’t think anything could defeat Aleksandra’s talent, or her gift for giving.

Cassie, I’ll see your !!! and raise you !!!!

Thanks, Kevin.

Cassie, thanks for thanking Joe. Now I’m even more anxious to follow up on those links.

Janice, that is my feeling exactly.

Crissant said...

WOW! This is brilliant....i can see you perfectly!
Aleksandra makes a fabulous portrait...a persevering artist!

Hugs!!!

William Michaelian said...

Oh, yes — Aleksandra is amazing. Thanks, Crissant!

Momo Luna said...

This is a great portrait of yours William, a wonderfuil, good painting and i love the golden colors.
ALeks is very talented and such a nice, sweet person as well.....

Elisabeth said...

Aleks has a fine talent and she has even managed to capture the depth and sparkle of your eyes, William. Beautiful.

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Momo Luna. Thanks, Elisabeth. As I said awhile ago on my Facebook page, “With so many fine portraits in circulation, my mirror is getting jealous. Serves it right, the traitor.”

Thanks for coming to see Aleksandra’s wonderful painting.

nouvelles couleurs - vienna atelier said...

ohhhhhhh my god... it's simply wonderfull

I like it so much, Alekandra is a wonderfull painter ...

ALeks said...

.....now im very,very shy.....ehum...
first.....r
my poor English is not helping me to express my gratitude ....

dear all,I thank you dearly,it is my honour to be a part of this great journey and cause you are my fellow travellers I feel happy and thankful!!!
William is simply great and Im now motivated more than ever to finish my little gift!!
Love,light and peace! and smiling smiles :)

Aleksandra

William Michaelian said...

Thank you, Laura. I agree. And I think you both are.

Aleksandra! With words or without, your work speaks your heart. And for that, I thank you.

L.Holm said...

Fantastic work!

William Michaelian said...

Thanks, Liz! I’m glad you could see it. I’ve been enjoying the pictures from your group show.