For Kyiv

Feb 26, 2022


Orange. 

Yellow orange. 

Lemon yellow. 

Red orange. 

Orange red. 

Salmon. 

Pink.

Burnt orange. 

Light red. 

Mauve.

Deep red. 

Brick red. 

Burnt sienna. 


But mostly orange. 

The word with no rhyme. Singular. Loved and reviled. 

Fourteen years ago, orange banners waved day and night in the streets as common citizens rose to demand a voice in their government. Remarkably, they overthrew their autocratic governors and ushered in what they hoped would be a freer democratic society. 

That was then.

The orange banners are gone but the desire for self-government and the rejection of autocracy, still loom large in the hearts of these brave souls as they face an indominable foe. Amazing bravery, self-sacrifice, love of country, belief in something larger than themselves. The collective good. 

My studio is about as far from the turmoil as could be imagined. I am safe in my warm home. I have a little nest egg to see me deep into old age. My family is unthreatened.

As I worked on this painting I sometimes listened to the news of the world. One country threatening to subsume the other. Talk about frozen ground and mud. Of a fantastical history demanded to be reclaimed. All so far away. I was pleased with my progress. Few roadblocks appeared to stop me. And now it is done.

What can I possibly say about this piece? Nothing. Only that for some reason I recently decided to paint a whole lot of orange flowers, this being the latest. I dedicate it to the remarkable Ukrainians who are fighting for their lives under the orange banners of the past and for their futures.


Painting: For Kyiv © Lissa Banks 2022.