The Thumbnail Portrait.

The thumbnail portrait.

By zoltanzelan (ZJ Galos).

I saw her face for the first time some weeks ago, perhaps even a month or longer. I do not recall the exact time span, as this unusual thumbnail of her face had engraved itself in my mind. I commented on one of Amara’s regular postings on my facebook page. She is a friend, teacher and literary Muse, whose writing workshops had honed my own literary efforts and inspired to write my first novels. I call her Amara, the beloved one, as a Muse deserves to beloved from a poet and writer. She had inspired Helen too and we are part of Amara’s expanding network of writer friends. From commenting on Amara’s postings, we commented on each other’s writings on a follow up conversation. We talked as well about art and she referred me to a website where I could exhibit my paintings without spending too much on admission fees, or even free for a basic exhibition. Helen had inspired me and turned the light on that shone from one of her attributes. She reminded me of Greek goddesses with a host of attributes that were apportioned to them by humans who detected aspects of their personalities.

Helen! The writer, her face leads my imagination to see her transparent, like illuminations of her bodylines through the morning sun and her mind awakened by the warm rays embraces renewed creativity. She appears like a nymph of great inner longing for beauty, in all what she does, with her thoughts, her writing, in the way she lets strands of her soft hair fall across her face, the way she speaks and moves. I fell in love with her through this image that shaped her physical presence in my mind. A portrait I sketched into my book of concepts some time ago. Perhaps if one searches one’s mind for an expression in love or emotion, having experienced it with a beloved woman, one will find it in one’s memory storage. And if one thinks about it often enough, on a day like this one, it resurfaces like a painting of my favourite Renaissance artists, or even related to various modern artists. The unusual expression of a portrait in an upward movement has disclosed secrets of her attributes and personality make-up. It flows into each other like a cocktail of colourful lines and touches of nuances, like my merging of favourite paintings. I recall the artist’s name and not always the name of the paintings: Magritte, Chagall, Picasso, Matisse, Miro, Klimt, Schiele, and Rothko. Of course there are many others to detect anew and in a certain mood of perception. I am thinking of many exceptional galleries and well-designed containers for art.

Helen with an unusual presentation of herself, in an upward stretch movement of her torso neck and head, sinewy and streamlined, like a racehorse. A silver art-deco figurine on a Duesenberg classic car shoots like an arrow into the sky. It brings the picture of Anna in love as an overlay to my mind’s eye, her stretch at the moment of climax. It also compares to an expression of great pain, as lust and pain are close neighbours on the scale of emotions. It brings up the facial expressions of Renaissance’s greatest drawings and frescoes, artists like Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo. They observed human emotions in expressions of the face and body. I have Leonardo’s studies in a book nearby with faces in joy, anger and lust, besides the angelic faces and humble expression in a Madonna’s face.

I asked Helen if I may use her expressionistic pose as part of one of my paintings. “Yes, as long as you do not use it in any rude way”, she replied.

“Of course not, I am not a copy artist, or a villain.”


“I am using the idea of the stretch rather, as I like it.”

“Sure.” She said and we went on to literature.

After some time, meeting at one of Amabel’s web-postings, I noticed that Helen had changed her thumbnail portrait. Her new face appeared less expressive as a frontal view, humble and transparent like porcelain, but with a fine strand of hair tangling in front of her left side toward her lips. It moved me differently, with a touch of fingertip-erotic, as if she invited me to touch her hair and move it to the side in a face to face closeness, a prelude to a kiss, which I did, but have not told her, except that I write it. Perhaps she might come across this journal entry which I have extended into a short story and read it react to my expression about her portrait. I wonder if she has researched my writing a bit and sampled some of my free pages available from all my books I have self-published on the Internet.

Helen! She fascinates me, besides she has given me good advice for seeing my art-video that Greg had done. She is quite right with her critique, but I have not interfered with the budding videographer’s second sketch of my art filmed at preparing ‘The Apollo Frieze’ paintings for an exhibition at the gallery of the Fine Arts School of Athens. Well, perhaps I will paint the Mysteries-series for Eleusis and we will think of a new angle of introduction, where Helen’s advice would be spot on, or so do I think. Diving as artist into the Great Mysteries and the mystical world that is all around us, like her first portrait, a ‘Duesy’, as the saying went for something ‘cool’ in the thirties. I like it, the elegant stretch as a symbol for innate sexuality. At present it’s the fine angelic one, pretty but less expressive and it talks with a different language to me. In spite, it’s a good face, intelligent, a poet’s face, demure and mystical, an overlay of alertness and a touch of uncanny behaviour, a cocktail of a personality, different to my first impression. Despite, it also attracts me, like a melodic inner calling.

I have read Helen’s article on and it touched me as a well written impression of her world, with a natural flow structured in fine sentences. It showed to me her delicate urge of her passion for writing, even if it did not touch my expressive nature. It did not stir in me the same emotion as her photographic portrays, to which my inner world of a poet responded. Her style of writing matched well to her second portrait she’d placed on the Internet. Immediately I recalled her words: I am not an Amazon. I had to smile. She definitely has an uncanny edge I would like to explore further. Perhaps one day, when I made the funds necessary to travel to Italy and see my favourite cities and their art. I am intrigued to see her face to face and talk endlessly about subjects that drive us forward in our efforts of self-realization. Besides, I wonder what she thinks about my poetry and novel writing in general and about my explorations of the erotic world.