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.