Thursday, April 2, 2009
I have been making art in some form or another since I was very, very young. I used to carry a sketchpad and pencils around with me at all times, because I never knew when inspiration would strike. Now I carry a diaper bag with me at all times...
But I keep a sketchpad in my head so that when I get home I can let it out on the paper. I paint, too, although not as well, and I have always envied the artists who make it look so easy, the ones who can brush a few strokes onto the canvas and make it into something beautiful and recognizable instead of like a child's careless finger smears. These artists include Bob Ross (my personal art hero), Shaunna Peterson (amazing California-based artist, if you've never heard of her you need to look her up right now), and Frida Kahlo.
Some of you may have a mental image right now of Salma Hayek with a unibrow. That's okay, because Miss Salma brought Frida's name into the forefront of a lot of minds with that movie, minds where that name would probably never have been otherwise. To me, Frida was what art is all about: unplanned, untamed, unapologetic.
Born of Mexican-Indian and Hungarian descent, Frida survived polio and became a premed student at the age of 15. Three years later, she was in a horrible bus accident that left her badly injured and ended her medical training. She was bed-ridden for over a year, and during her convalescence she took up oil painting. She often painted self-portraits because, as she once said, "I am the person I know best." Some of her work was labeled controversial, but no matter what the subject or medium, Frida often used the bright colors and forms of the Mexican Folk Art she loved.
Her life and her work have always been interesting to me, so I decided I would try and capture a bit of her essence in a piece of jewelry. It's a charm bracelet I call "Pride of Mexico".