Tuesday, October 25, 2011

"Frida Dog" for International Artist Day

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. 


  1. Frida Kahlo is one of my favorite artists, too. She led such an interesting life. When I saw your dog's portrait honoring her it just brought a smile. How creative! Love it!!

  2. This is such an incredible painting. I'm with Linda it makes me smile. The look on the dogs face! Beautiful work!