Lamprey in Chest

Often my chest feels violated, raped, invaded, bruised, gutted, or raw after certain experiences.  For this painting, I felt like a “window” was implanted in my chest which I visualized both open AND closed.  I wanted to paint two companion pieces, but only did the first.  The window is set against a naked human chest.  It has slightly chipped, off-white paint and is relatively clean; not a new paint job.  It has a single lower pane and divided panes above (6?).  None of the panes are broken; they are clean and clear.  Looking through the window the observer would see a blue sky.

While open, there are pale sheers flying in the breeze, outward through the opening toward the observer (not in painting).  There are drops of blood in the middle of the sill.  There are sprigs of mint for healing on the sill on the observer’s left side.  To the right, there is what appears to be a brown vine dangling out the window.  There are a few green mint leaves near the vine-thing.  There is a faint ghost impression of a lamprey’s open gapping mouth set against the blue sky, slightly off-center to the right, and taking up nearly 3/4 of the blue sky portion.  The brown vine is really its tail.  The lamprey is my desperate loneliness sucking life out of the person with whom I am visiting.  The hunger of the lamprey destroys potential friendships.  His thrashings cause physical pain in my chest and spirit.

While closed, the blood changes to stains (if any of it even remains).  The mint is on the inside of the window, away from the observer and still on the left.  The lamprey is smaller, more distinct, seen from side view.  It is smaller than the mint sprigs left on the windowsill and more in the distance at the lower right.  A bit of its brown tail still remains on the outside of the closed window on the lower right corner– perhaps with a few mint leaves crumbled beneath.  oil 1993 texas

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