Frida & her Diego

Born in 1907 but gave her birth date as 1910 to coincide with the Mexican Revolution. This is just one example of Frida Kahlo's passionate, loving and creative soul.  Frida lived a colourful life. When I say colourful I don't just mean happy vibrant hues that are seen in her paintings and cultural lifestyle. At the young age of 7 she contracted Polio, survived a dangerous bus crash at 18 and devastatingly lost three children from a miscarriage throughout her  20's. 

With all this pain, Frida had an abundance of strength. Perhaps it was the solace she found in painting or the way she so deeply wanted to be connected with nature that gave her the power to love so deeply and forgive so freely. She bore it all and found it in her to live everyday with passion.

Although I will never have the chance to meet Frida in person below is as close as I could get to her "physically."  :) The AGO exhibited Frida and Diego in Toronto a few years ago and created these Dia De Los Muertos Skeleton renditions of the infamous Mexican artists. 

I paint myself because I am so often alone and because I am the subject I know best.
— Frida Kahlo

Frida paints as if it's a face-to-face with herself. Giving the sense that this is how she learned to accept herself and all that life gave to her. She painted her love, struggle and pain, family, political views and her hope. It is in her raw, fully exposed self portraits where you are facing her as she did herself.  Frida's ability to paint her reality, although to the art world was considered a surrealist, displays her high emotional intelligence and this gives her ultimate strength to live. 

In the below titled Self Portrait with Necklace is an oil on metal painting of Frida in 1933. She is looking herself right in the face with: No lies- she captures every detail of her famous facial mustache and "unibrow." No fantasies- the background is gray, blank and lonely. No despair - her gaze is filled with emotion and she holds her head up.  She is strong, confident and fearless. 

Another part of Frida was her ability to love so deeply that she could find it in herself to forgive the love of her life muralist, Diego Rivera, for his repeated infidelity.  At one point in her life she did have enough of him but as a true love story goes they found their way back to each other. 

Self-Portrait with Monkey, 16x12" Oil on Masonite, 1938.

The Bus, painted in 1929 is a depiction of Frida's terrible bus accident that changed her life forever. 

I don’t paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.
— Frida Kahlo

After my visit to the exhibit I had the pleasure of visiting Frida's home town Mexico City in January 2013.  I was vacationing in beautiful Puerto Vallarta and flew to Mexico City just for the day to do some work for ecojot. I arrived in the morning, went to the meeting and then was warmly greeted by ecojot fans Sara and Samantha. (Checkout Sara's facebook Maldonado Publishers & website News for Kids)

They welcomed me with open arms and brought me on a tour of Frida's home town! I was on cloud nine. It was a magical day starting with these gorgeous street flowers.

I paint flowers so they will not die
— Frida Kahlo

First stop was the double house of Frida and Diego that joins together by a cat walk. Here we are walking towards it from the back view.  I was only able to admire Diego's sculptures from the outside. I was visiting on a Monday and just my luck all the museums were closed. 

Here we are in front of the double house... :)

Below I am at Frida's original Blue House belonging to her family and where she spent her remaining years with Diego by her side. The moment you enter you are greeted by the life size paper mache Judas sculptures.  Visit the Museum website here

Just down the road is Coyoacan where we spent the rest of our day and saw the beauty that inspired Frida. Then it was back on a plane to PVT to enjoy the rest of my beach vacation. Thank you again Sara (Pat),  Samantha and of course Carlos for our mini adventure! 

In honour of Frida, Mark and me dressed up as the dynamic duo last Halloween. Pillow belly and all! It was our best costume yet!

Thanks for reading my blog post on Frida Kalho. She has been a strong influence in my life and I hope she will inspire you too!

Baring my love for art,