The Diary of Frida Kahlo with a forward by Carlos Fuentes is a disturbing book that is a window into Frida’s tortured body & soul. If you don’t know anything about this passionate artist, watch the DVD Frida starring Selma Hayek. It’s powerful! Though I can’t say I connect to her work, or even like it, a statement in this diary inspired me. Frida worked in a variety of media & often let the choice of medium dictate the subject matter & theme of her work… especially in her diary (which resembles what we now call an art journal).
Sounds intriguing. So, I got out my opaque watercolors, Prismacolor markers, Sharpies, & Staedtler triplus fineliner pens with the intent of letting them lead me to subjects I may not normally create. It worked! I created some rather odd drawings along with some bits of writing triggered by the imagery. While these in no way resemble my finished art, they came from a different place in me– a place not encumbered by logic or planning but rather, a place of emotion & spirituality.
The first piece turned out to be something that can be viewed right side up & upside down. Reflecting back on it, I see that it is a Yin Yang- type of symbol. To live means to experience both pleasure & sadness.
The next piece was also watercolor & pen. The way the watercolor ran down the page revealed these two figures with hands touching. It came to me so easily that I felt I was merely tracing the image I saw. They seem to smile & say, “Join us. Open up to your highest potential.” While they seem “other-worldly”, I really think they represent you & me.
This last image came from an opaque watercolor background & broad-tipped Prismacolor markers. This one did not come so easily. The figure seems stiff & disproportionate but I love what I wrote to accompany the image.
“She knows the rhythms, honoring them in herself. Phases of the moon, seasons of the year, her own ups & downs, ebbs & flows. Everything has a cycle. Everything takes a turn. In her heart, she knows all of this.”