Some people look to others in order to learn. We call these others our “mentors”. My mentors for my art career are people in which I have never met. I chose them for the qualities they possess, or life situations they have moved through that enabled their doing their art.
One such artist and “mentor” was: Frida Kahlo.
Now, I may not support her political views, but I do appreciate the struggle she had in doing her artwork with a severe disability. I first saw her work in a drawing class. I took the class at a point of time when my disability had caused me to feel really depressed.
The instructor showed a slide presentation of the work of Frida Kahlo. Her artwork [shown here] “The Broken Column” altered my life!
“I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy as long as I can paint.”
– Frida Kahlo.
I had found out a couple years before then, that I had osteo-arthritis in my spine, hands and feet. It was developing in my cervical spine as well. When I saw this particular painting, it shouted, not just “spoke” to me. I understood it. I lived it, worked around it, dealt with pain daily.
Thank you Frida Kahlo for letting me see that no matter what, I could create art! I hope I never have to do so from my bed…as she had to do while creating her earliest work.
I resisted doing any art that was not realistic previous to viewing Frida Kahlo‘s work. Now, my work is quasi-surrealism. I do not work within cultural folklorism as Frida Kahlo had done in her work, but use bright and bold colors because that is what I feel is expressing my outlook on life…bright, bold, hopeful.
Someday, I will go to Mexico and see the “Blue House” Diego Rivera donated. It will be a chance to see how this wonderful spunky artist lived. Until then, I will create…create…create!