16" x 20"
oil on canvas
Today is International Artist Day and I am honoring one of my most favorite artists, Frida Kahlo.
I took inspration from three of her paintings. Two named "Self Portrait with Monkey" and "Flower Headdress".
I painted my dog as Frida's "Self Portrait with Monkey" because he has a toy monkey that he plays with and I thought it would be fun to paint, which it was.
While I painted this I thought a lot about why she painted the way she did and I think because she was on her back from a debilitating injury most of her life and probably on heavy pain killers, she had a lot of time. So she did detail, lots of it; hairs on the leaves, monkey, flowers, everything. I think also, some of her imaginary paintings stem from her altered state - just guessing. I always wondered, If she had not been injured, would she have painted these beautiful paintings or how would her life had been different?
Here is some history:
Frida Kahlo said regarding her painting ""I never paint dreams or nightmares. I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration." The way she approached life out of her pain can be understood in this statement "I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best." "My painting carries with it the message of pain." Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, stricken with polio as a child and injured badly in an accident when she was 18, struggled with pain and disability all her life. Her paintings reflect a modernist take on folk art and integrate her experience of suffering. Frida Kahlo paintings included self portraits that depicted her physical and emotional pain and suffering. She used a lot of symbolism in her works and borrowed elements from surrealism and naive art. Frida Kahlo was married to artist Diego Rivera.