This is the last painting to complete my 2017 series of 3 Frida Kahlo inspired pieces. all 3 paintings, this year, represent an emotion of Frida, and this one is about love. I wanted to put her and Diego in the happiest place, which was their home, La Casa Azul. I pictured them in their courtyard garden, holding one another. In my vision of the painting, I saw some sort of alter in the courtyard, that I wanted to insert another one of my tiki men on top, right above them. I was shocked, when I began researching images of the real "Casa Azul" and discovered that there is actually a mini pyramid in the courtyard. I had no idea! It was perfect to then place my tiki man on top and looked exactly like how I had envisioned it. It's crazy, how things fall into alignment when you just listen to your inner intuition about things. I felt like Frida herself was instructing and guiding my hands when it came to creating this series.
This is the first painting of my 2017 Frida Kahlo inspired pieces. It is one of three. This year I'm focusing on the emotions of Frida and the first one is about sadness. She had so much pain and suffering throughout her life with having poor health, a horrendous bus accident, and also heart break. I show cased all of it inside this painting, with her sitting in a wheel chair and also a portrait of Diego. She said, " There have been two great accidents in my life. One was the trolley, and the other was Diego. Diego was by far the worst" . I added a light shining from the top right corner as a symbol of hope, like never give up; always, look up, and you will see the hope in the light. I think that is what she did, despite all of her pain
This is the second out of three of my Frida Kahlo inspired series for 2017, focusing on the emotions of Frida. This one is about anger; being fed up! It portrays the event in her life, when she cut off all of her hair as a rebellious act to destroy who she formerly was for Diego. She dressed so pretty, with her Mexican dresses, and jewelry, and long hair with braids and ribbons. She was done and no longer wanted to please him, since he cheated on her with her own sister and didn't deserve her! I included a quote on the wall from one of her paintings (self portrait with cropped hair) from an old Mexican folk song at that time which says, " “Look, if I loved you it was because of your hair. Now that you are without hair, I don’t love you anymore.” I also included a copy of one of her own original paintings, inside this painting (A Few Small Nips). I imagine that this is how she must have felt to be so betrayed by Diego. A clever follower of my art, gave me the idea to merge titles for 'A Few Small Snips'.
This painting is different than some of my of my other, light hearted, works, because it is a deep and personal subject for me. Growing up, I discovered George Michael (thanks to my teen sisters) at just 5 years old, when he was still with Wham. My favorite songs were, "Careless Whisper", "Club Tropicana" and "Everything She Wants". I loved the videos and especially the one of careless whisper. Living in Colorado, I could only dream of being in the setting where the video was shot in Miami; the ocean, sand and sun. As I got older, I was thrilled when George Michael went solo with his "Faith" album. I told all my friends and family that I would ALWAYS love GM and I wasn't kidding. So, I was pretty much devastated when I heard of his passing on Christmas 2016! It affected me greatly, and I was moved to put all my feelings on canvas, of just how much this artist meant to me and inspired my life. It was the "Careless Whisper" video that I feel, in some way, played a roll in me relocating to South Florida, after living in Longmont, CO, for over 30 years; pretty much my entire life! When I would watch that video, it was like a glimpse of the future or premonition of what was in store for me. In 2011, I moved with my kids and 4 pets, to be with the love of my life. I felt like South Florida was a world away from the small town I grew up in CO. It was clear to me right away, that I belonged here. I felt at home immediately. I kept thinking of the "Careless Whisper" video and also "Club Tropicana", and I was like; this is so strange. It's like I ended up being a part of those videos or something but for real! So let me try and make sense of what I painted, the way I see it. My interpretation: I wanted George Michael, to be in the center. I have him on a dock and in the dark, with light surrounding him. He's a star after all. To the right, is the sax player, which begins the sad solo intro of this famous song. Your eye, travels behind them, where you are being pulled to a really big party. The party happening is the party called Life. I included the theme of the video of "Club Tropicana with the lyrics:
"Club Tropicana, drinks are free
Fun and sunshine, there's enough for everyone
All that's missing is the sea
But don't worry, you can suntan!"
George Michael is also some where by the pool, enjoying a cocktail.
Although, I had a reference photo of the actual building that the "careless whisper" video was shot from, I created a fictional building. It is an analogy of life, and it's many levels, stages and years that pass us by. So George Michael is in a pose, where he's singing, "Please Stay!". We all wanted him to stay forever, but he had to join the party, and go back up all the way, to the very top of the building, where it slowly disappears and becomes part of the heavens. George Michael, in his last days, is now at the very top, before he ascends into the final stage and leaves his body; and now George really is a part of everything and everyone. He is still and will always be a star. Although the painting, is vibrant with color, it feels a little sad to me because during his life, George felt very alone, despite being surrounded by so many people and fans.
So this painting took quite a bit of explaining and I gave it my all to capture all these emotions of the canvas. Thank you George Michael, for being such an inspiring artist. Your life and music have made this world a better place. I hope you like the painting.
I created this painting, after a vision I received during a meditation session. I saw a figure sitting quietly in the meditation pose, that was surrounded in Red clouds or mass. The Red represented our earth. It was full of sadness,sickness, anger, corruption; everything the opposite of peace. The figure was in a black cage in this Red, not able to escape. As I continued to meditate, I realized that just outside the cage it was in, was Green. The Green, represented everything good. It was Nature , Love and Peace. It calmed and contradicted all emotions in the Red. It was in all directions, surrounding the cage. Although the being seemed to be trapped within the cage, it was only a temporary illusion. The being could easily bypass the cage and reach for the Green. The peace surrounded the being all the time, and what connected it to the Green, was the inner light that was within the being itself. It was kept safe, despite being seemingly caged in the Red. It was constantly connected to the light. I tried to paint exactly what this meditation experience was but changed one thing. I decided to paint the sitting skeleton, in front of the cage, instead of behind it. At the end of this mediation, the cage disappeared completely, and there were no obstructions anymore to the light. When I came back from this mediation, I felt cleansed and healed. I believe this vision was intended not for me, but for me to share with others. I hope this art brings Healing, Love and Peace to all people who see it.
I created this painting as the last piece for my upcoming exhibition 'Life in Skeleton' at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society (New River Inn) Florida Day of the Dead (Oct 25th -Nov 2nd 2016. I wanted to create a piece that represented the spirit of the season and our celebration of Dia de los Muertos. I had remembered a photograph a friend sent me from her trip to Oaxaca, Mexico during Dia de los Muertos. You can't get any more authentic than this, since this is the heart of where Dia de los Muertos originated. I used the photograph below of two women carry baskets of offerings of marigolds and pan dulce to their loved one's altars. I created the scene around them using inspiration from 'Grave Sight'; an acrylic I painted in 2010
Frida and her Doll' is painting #2 out of 3 in my Frida series for 2016. It was inspired by two images; one a beautiful black and white photograph of her in a dress with intricate designs, and the second is an original painting of hers titled, "Me and my Doll". When I first began this painting, I was only going to recreate her in the dress, but I felt something was missing. In the preliminary sketch I put a couple of cats with her, and on the wall beside her was going to be a different original painting, created by her. I changed my mind about the original painting, and decided to base it on her original titled, "Me and my Doll". I identify with that one more, because my Mom was an avid doll collector, and I grew up with a lot of dolls. I replaced the cats idea with inserting a baby doll; one created from my imagination to correspond with the doll in her painting. These two subjects, then brought balance to the piece. I enjoyed coordinating the colors of her dress with the colors in her original painting.
Frida' completes my Frida series for 2016., #3 out of 3 paintings. Again this painting was inspired by a black and white photograph of Frida Kahlo. This time I was looking to paint a close up of the artist's face and torso. I gave her a banner with her name inscribed, with two birds on either side, magically holding the ribbon. One is black to represent her suffering, and the other right (flying higher) to represent the love that would triumph. An interesting experience took place, while working on this painting. I rescued a butterfly from the pool, that had two broken wings, but was still alive. I tried to set it free, somewhere, but the poor thing could not fly. I didn't want to leave it, and let it become food for a lizard, so I brought it inside in a make shift cage, and fed it over ripe strawberries. The next day, it looked rather sad, so I took it outside and put it on my hand. When a breeze picked up, the butterfly (with two broken wings) miraculously flew up and off into the sky! I couldn't believe it! This beautiful experience made an impression on me. I felt it was a special message. It showed me that, despite our afflictions or brokenness, our will to live and love can overcome anything! I thought this as I continued to paint, and just decided to put this message in the painting, because it too suited Frida's life. I used a picture I took of the broken butterfly as reference, and put it at the top right hand corner of the painting. It felt right and complete.
RIP series reflects a peaceful and tranquil side to my paintings. I pictured skeletons at rest, in one way or another with each back drop, an element of nature or earth; sky, water and fire. The spirit of this series is one of cleansing, healing and renewal.
Painting #1 out of 3 titled, 'Duermase' oil on canvas 16 x 20" depicts a skeleton, peacefully resting in a heavenly sky
Painting #2 out of 3 titled 'Ophelia Muerta' oil on canvas 16 x 20" depicts a skeleton gently floating in a slow moving stream, surrounded by various flowers. This painting was inspired by the famous painting "Ophelia" by John Everett Millais, based upon Shakespeare's "Hamlet".
Painting #3 out of 3 is titled 'En Fuego' oil on canvas 16 x 20" depicts a skeleton in the center of a flame, or I thought could resemble a lotus flower. I couldn't help but think of the death of Frida Kahlo in this one, which was said, as her body was removed from cremation, the remaining bones and ash were of all colors; reds, purples, greens. This painting means for me, cleansing and renewal. Transformation.
'Reflejo de Frida' is the first painting of 2016 to add to my existing series of Frida Kahlo inspired paintings. I find the inspiration to create another Frida, begin around May of every year, and peak in the summer, around her birthday and also around the time of her death (July). This year, I've decided to use real photos of Frida, as reference. I was drawn to this one of her, as it has such a peaceful quality to me. In many of her photos, she seems quite alone, with the exception of her animal friends. Her lonesomeness seems to intensify in this piece. I wonder as she would stare at her own reflection, if she could fathom the gravity of her life, and how much she would impact future generations of artists, fans, and lovers of Mexican art and culture? Can we the viewers, from the outside, begin to comprehend her experience of pain, life and love? As I painted this piece, I heard voices whisper, 'Will you miss me when I'm gone?', or 'will you remember me when I'm gone?'. I almost titled the painting, with one of these phrases, because they came in so clear, I decided to paint her in skull, on the left, because it is my style; in skeleton, but not a black and white skull. I used every color in the spectrum to create the skull of Frida, because color is life, and although we pass, I believe we continue to live on. I took this a step further, by creating her reflection in the flesh, again using every color to symbolize life, from black to white, and everything in between. The face in the reflection seems to me, not so realistic as it is a spirit of her face. Her face is almost too sacred to paint, and I couldn't look at a photograph but rather, how I felt she would want me to paint her image. Falling from above, from the light, I painted rose petals cascading down upon the two of them. This is a symbol for the love that surrounds Frida today. As the petals fall to the floor, they take on life, transforming into roses, with red vines that continue down the path. I added my 'Tiki Man' statue in the left corner, which symbolizes something ancient and always present, witnessing all our life moments, emotions, struggles, death. For me, this painting is a glimpse; a moment in time, living forever in our hearts and never forgotten. In love, we remember Frida Kahlo.