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i'm trying to fall in love with the rain

Acrylic and Oil Pastel on Paper

8.5" x 11"

106 scenes

the artworks in this book

are presented on bound pages,

creating a seamless flow of structured narrative.

Fall 20221 - Spring 2022


Brandt Maina is an artist and writer from Kenya. They came to Portland in the summer of 2021 excited that the warm dry weather reminded them of Nairobi. The incessantly wet and depressing winters, however, not so much. "Some days are better than others." The rain caresses an unrequited love against his sun-loving Kenyan skin. C'est ça l'amour.


“‘I am trying to fall in love with the rain’” is a collection of 106 meditations on being wet. A blooming series of emotional landscapes, a dithyramb of colors, a blue bleeding plea and subconscious synthesis of unbridled childlike joy dancing against a liquid tapestry of depression. Overwrought. An oracle of futures where humanity is long gone and we are but spectral star dust yet again. A gentle practice in holding sacred space for deconstruction and healing while the wetting of Time passes by. Grief. The world holds a heavy chaos. Exhale. Bathe in what you have found. 106 tears and tears of homesickness. Sweet sigils on a queer immigrant’s journey to seek asylum. Safe safe safe. There is Hope in this city. I AM HOME”


"Colors answer feelings in man

Shapes answers thought

And motion answers will"

  • John Sterling

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Tears and Tears of Homesickness


Acrylic and Oil Pastel on Canvas

20 x 24, 8 x 10



After fleeing their home in Kenya to avoid sexual discrimination, Brandt Maina | RIOA wa ROE paints an excruciatingly simple emotional topology about missing a home where they were never accepted. Like a toddler, like a toddler finding Safe Heaven in crayons, remaining open and gasping to define the weight of being hurt, a spiritual pain, the imprint of betrayal   

The bold green represents the rich Kenyan landscape, the black represents the people, and the red honors the blood they shed for their independence. These colors of the Kenyan flag tear and layer over the artist’s childish innocence and tender essence — a soft pastel purple cow print (hi, gay!) and a white symbol, an accretion disk of Love and Light|


These are the seeds we will scatter
Healing Hope

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