Yes We Can!


(Based on a photo by Bill Burke,

So, my first Barack Obama portrait is finished.

I think it is quite different from the portraits I have seen from him on the net. On most of them the artists emphasize only one aspect of his personality.

This is not what I wanted.

I wanted to paint Obama as a human being, with all his facets:

his humanity, his leadership, his honesty, his hopes, his decisiveness…

Of course I never met him personally, so it can only be the Barack Obama I perceive through the TV and the photos I have seen from him. And I saw all of these qualities on his face.

I can only hope that I have caught a little bit of his soul…

And if you are wondering what he is counting…. words of course:

“Yes We Can!”

My special thanks go to Bill, from, who allowed me to use one of his photos to make this portrait.

A  F  T  E  R  W  O  R  D

I want to thank you Michael Newman from the Newmradio blog for having published my portrait there, with the following wonderful words

“… It really shows the worldwide respect that our country has gained by taking a step in the right direction by electing Obama.  Maybe it takes the U.S. hitting rock bottom to spur our citizenry off of their couches and into realizing that many of the ways we do things need to be changed…”


19 Responses to “Yes We Can!”

  1. reinedespommes Says:

    Yes ! YOU can !
    Fantastic !
    Congratulations, you have so capacity to see trought the human (correct ?) !

  2. Miki Says:

    Fantastic comment, Apple Queen! Thank you so much!

    Oui, ta phrase est a peu pres correcte. Tout a fait correct serait:

    “Congratulations, you have such a capacity to see through human nature!”

  3. kevmoore Says:

    Simply stunning. Both the portrait, and the way in which you can reach into the depths of someone’s soul and display their qualities upon their face with a radiance that is almost beyond human, yet is at the same time intrinsically a glimpse into the essence of humanity itself. Bravo, my Miki!

  4. bobcornelis Says:

    You’re right! Not the usual portrait of our new President, or any politician for that matter – yours is the best!

    As usual, I love the colors you’ve used – if I may say, they capture the radiance of hope in a beautiful and unique manner. The angle of the portrait, the symbolism of the 3 fingers, everything comes together. A most luminous portrait!

    Perhaps a future is in store for you as the White House portrait artist…

  5. Miki Says:

    I guess you have no idea how wonderful your comment is for me! I must confess that I felt quite stressed to post that portrait. The reason being that I did not really paint Barack Obama as a president, much more as a human being, and I was quite scared to get really bad comments about this point. Seeing how Americans generally paint their presidents, I thought that it must be the way how American want to see their president. Not as a man, but really as a Superman, kind of…
    I personally have the feeling that it is necessary to know that even the most important people in the world are also human, with the same needs and hopes as we all. I think that it is also important that they behave like human, and they they show their human face to the world. Obama is one of the very few presidents I se and feel as a man, and not some kind of hero (or antihero). Funny is, though, that Obama has an hero image now, for many people in the world.
    But at least a human hero!
    This human face is the reason why I feel connected to him, and why I could paint him. I was thinking yesterday which other president or First Man/Woman of a country I could paint too, and I could not find any! But of course, living in my art and love cloud “dans le septieme ciel”, I don’t know them all!

    Anyway I was particularly scared of YOUR reaction,you being my friend (my family and friends’ opinions are always the most important for me) and me knowing how much you appreciate Obama. I am so happy that you like it! Thank you so much for this very motivating and comforting comment!

    PS: Me being the white House portrait artist? This would be a personal catastrophe, as I am not at all “a public person”, and never want to be! 🙂

    PPS: They can’t force me, can they?

  6. thepomegranateblog Says:

    Awesome… I love Obama.. and I love this portrait! Love how u captured him… He is positively glowing 😉

  7. wrjones Says:

    Very very nicely done.

  8. Joël Says:

    I am especially impressed by his eyes : they show a real kindness with quiet force.
    Well, I don’t know if he will be a good president but, in my opinion, your portrait brings hope to us. It’s why I like it so much.

  9. Miki Says:

    Thank you so much, everybody! Really important for me to get these great comments!

    Joel: I think hope is what he brings to many people in this world. And to have hope is one of the most basic needs of human kind. I have had very difficult times in my life, but I can’t say without doubt that the hardest was as I had lost any hope of future for me…
    And this is exactly what I wanted to evoke with the light in this portrait: HOPE!

  10. Susan Says:

    I agree that you have really captured something in the personality of Obama that is rarely depicted – gentle strength perhaps? Such a courageous act, to take on the portrait of the most photographed person in the world right now! And you really pulled it off. Bravo! I guess now you can do anything, huh? Bulls, presidents, what’s next?
    I’m writing from Stockton where I’m helping my mom for a few days and where I have no email, so also just wanted to say Hi, Miki!

  11. Miki Says:

    Oh Susan, I just sent you a mail before I saw your comment here! I wonder if you could find it before the end of the session!

    What’s next?


  12. Marc Says:

    A difficult subject to grasp but you pierced him with your colored tones. Good work.

  13. Miki Says:

    thanks very much, Marc. Yes, it is a difficult subject but “only” because of who he is and not how he looks like. In fact his face is a very good subject for a portraitist, great expressive features and as I said, i paint the man Obama, not the president. he is such a good model that i might even do a series of him… I have already the second one from the series, him smiling!

  14. utah Says:


  15. Anonymous Says:

    your fucking stupid and OBAMA is Hitler encarnate and is lying through his shiney white ass teeth and anyone who cannot see that is blind and beeling lead to the slaughter house….

  16. Miki Says:

    Hi Aonymous,

    Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to write ttis charming comment.
    You might be right about Obama, I can’t judge from here , never having met him personally.
    But this does not really give you the right to call me “fucking stupid”, I think. In fact I believe that people who treat other people in the way you treat me here in your comment, with total disrespect and hate, are more likely to be themselves some kind of anonymous incarnation of Hitler than Obama. Just my opinion.

  17. Joël Says:

    First of all, sorry for my poor english writing…
    You could have suppress this charming comment, Miki, but you did not. It’s a sign of honesty and you took time for response. You are a great person.
    Just my opinion.

  18. Miki Says:

    Bonjour Joel, and thanks for the kind words.
    I do find such comments fascinating. They show how much hate potential is in the world, and then I don’t wonder anymore about all the fights and wars..
    I am amazed how people can leave such comments full of hate towards people they have never met…
    A propos Obama.. je vais écrire en français maintenant, pour éviter autres agressions. 🙂 . Je me souviens très bien de mon état d’esprit envers lui quand j’ai peint ce portrait… comme je l’écris dans le texte. J’ai revu Obama souvent a la télé en janvier/février quand nous étions aux USA et j’ai dit a Kevin: aujourd’hui je ne serais plus capable de le peindre. Quelque chose avait disparu de son visage, qui m’avait tant inspirée et donné tant d’ espoir au moment de faire ses portraits…
    How are you by the way?

  19. Joël Says:

    Bonjour Miki.
    Que je partage ton avis ! Tant de méchanceté sans connaître la personne est intolérable. Hélas, on aura beau le dire, on ne pourra que le regretter encore longtemps.

    Sur le fond et l’objet de ton portrait, avec le recul, je crois que son regard portait tout l’espoir d’un pays et tu avais magnifiquement fait ressentir ce sentiment ; maintenant, la réalité difficile de gouverner l’a rejoint et il me semble qu’un nouveau portrait ferait sentir plus d’amertume…

    Ceci étant, rien n’enlève à la sincérité de ton travail que nul n’a le droit de critiquer comme cela vient d’être fait.

    En ce qui me concerne, un courrier privé va suivre… 🙂

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