I drew the strangest sunflower the other day. It was inspired by some real sunflowers I saw at Safeway, which got me to thinking about Van Gogh and his sunflowers, and, well, one thing led to another. In fact, those black marks and yellow streaks in the lower right-hand corner are meant to acknowledge Van Gogh�s brilliant Crows over a Cornfield.

The drawing also makes me wonder if I should finally venture beyond the peculiar �portraits� I�ve been doing � the one on this page is yet another timeless example � and see if there isn�t some actual ability that�s dying to come out and show itself. Granted, it might bloom only for a moment and quickly shrivel in the light, but at least then I�d know � unless I already know, and am simply unwilling to face the truth. Still. Again.

At the same time, I must confess that I�m fond of the portraits, even if the �subjects have taken on a more sorrowful or troubled aspect over time.� (See Wikipedia.) They have, according to our youngest son, changed noticeably and for the better. I know he�s at least half right. And how strange it would be if they did not change. Since I launched this website, I�ve done hundreds and hundreds of them. It�s even possible that the sunflower itself is a portrait � a natural, inevitable successor.

My earliest drawings along these lines were done in grade school. They were inspired by the little cartoons my father used to draw. He had taken an art class in high school, and during his three days of attendance before dropping the class, he had learned to make a sort of caveman with stubble on his face and a question mark for an ear. The eye � there was only one � was suspended somewhat precariously in a socket carved deep into bone.

These little characters were fairly easy to master. For variety, I needed only alter the size and shape of the nose and the density of the stubble. Then I began to add two or three hairs atop the bald head, generally issuing from the same root, or stem. I say stem because they did resemble weeds. After all, we lived on a farm.

Over the years, these drawings, my father�s and mine, would grace household messages, filling up the blank backsides of envelopes or any other available surface. I would even make them outside, on the ground, in the dust, alongside bird tracks. Primitive art.

My father�s drawings never really changed much. Mine, well, let�s just say he was a bit more practical than I was. Actually, he was a lot more practical.

Also by William Michaelian

Winter Poems

ISBN: 978-0-9796599-0-4
52 pages. Paper.
Another Song I Know
ISBN: 978-0-9796599-1-1
80 pages. Paper.
Cosmopsis Books
San Francisco

Signed copies available

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