Drawing in a Time of Fear & LiesWeekend

This Black Cloud Called Trump

Fifteen months ago, Trump was just beginning to embrace power; now he’s well into the dismantling of our democracy.

Brenda Goodman, “Impending” (2018), oil on wood, 80 x 72 in (courtesy of the artist)

So, it’s been 15 months since I wrote my last piece for Drawing in a Time of Fear & Lies. I was then an obsessed newcomer to the world of politics and I have Trump to thank for that. It has only gotten worse. Every day starts with a morning cappuccino with Linda and a recap of the news from the previous evening, then eight hours in the studio listening to MSNBC and CNN, then news again all evening.

Fifteen months ago, Trump was just beginning to embrace his new position of power but now he’s well into the dismantling of our democracy. My emotions are whipped around all day long. Mothers are torn away from their babies at the border. Families living good, productive lives here are sent back to “where they came from” — a place some of them hardly know. The reversal of all that Obama put in place to protect our environment. The destruction of an educational system that was once the best in the world. The attack on our press, which is treated like an enemy. Taking away our rights as he edges closer and closer to a dictatorship. And the lies. The constant lies. So that we can hardly find truth anymore. So many gut-wrenching changes. It’s all so painful and heartbreaking. It leaves me feeling outraged, frustrated, fearful, vulnerable, and wanting to jump out of my skin to rid myself of him.

Impending began with the big black shape at the top of the painting. One day, in a conversation about the president, that shape came to me and I said to myself, “That’s Trump!” Working from my unconscious and a surface full of deep scratch marks, shapes emerged and, by the time it was done, an abstracted figure was draping over a big, grayish ball-shape. All this impending doom is hanging over me (all of us) and over this ball filled with warmth, love and tenderness. I desperately need to protect all that is good from Trump. 

I hope, if again next year I write another piece, this black cloud called Trump will be gone, gone, gone.

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