There is no doubt that one of my favorite artists is Frida Kahlo. She was talented in so many ways and overcame so many obstacles in her life. She was clearly ahead of her time, but rooted herself in who she was and where she came from. She loved passionately and wasn’t ever afraid to express herself once she found her voice. It seemed like she understood life was activism, and she chose to work to change the world. She had a deep connection to nature and seemed to understand how connected we really are to the natural world, whether we seem to understand that or not.
That’s why I chose to make her one of the subjects of my portrait series. I chose to recreate in my minds’ image, one of the most iconic photos ever taken of her. I had intended to smooth out the brushstrokes, especially on her facial features, which would create illusions of youth and emulate the look in the photo. I decided against that once I had most of the painting going. Everyone always gets to see her young, because she died fairly young, but the broad, unblended brushstrokes age her a bit and I loved that. It was like I got to see a glimpse of her if she had made it further through middle age.
In the earlier version of the painting you can see her before I started any of the finishing detail work. Below, you can view the completed painting. I’ve finished the detail work on her eyes, brows, ears, nose, lips, nails, fingers, and on her garment. In places throughout the painting I changed the tones a bit.
If you love her work or just find her to be a compelling person visit the post I created in 2018 about visiting the largest collection of Frida Kahlo art ever assembled.
If you are looking for something fairly short to inform some of your knowledge of Frida, I’d recommend the book Forever Frida: A Celebration of the Life, Art, Loves, Words, and Style of Frida Kahlo
For full biography I’d recommend Frida: A Biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera