Since starting this blog I've really enjoyed the interactions about books and writing I've made with people both here and on twitter. I've made connections with people from as close as my own London borough and as far as the other side of the globe. That people who have never met, but who are no longer virtual strangers can inspire, give companionship and encourage each other is incredibly heartening to me.
The Greek artist Lefteris Koulonis was inspired by my passion for Joyce Carol Oates expressed in this blog to create these original pencil, pentel brush and pen drawings of the author. Each captures a different aspect of Oates' personality and gives a sensitive interpretation of the complex intelligent individual behind such great books. The fourth is composed entirely of titles and quotes from Oates showing a woman literally made of words but also recognizably individual. There have been many great photographic and artistic portraits of Oates over the years - especially by Gloria Vanderbilt whose paintings convey Oates' soulful nature and studious sincerity. Portraits such as these are like touchstones linking the individual and the words.
You can see more of Lefteris' artwork at his blog http://koulonis.wordpress.com/