It seems to me that "passion" is a huge word—not one that I use very often and seldom apply to myself, though I am sure we all carry a kernal of passion around in our hearts. Still, it makes me a little uncomfortable to talk about and I am reluctant to use such a word in a careless way. To say "I am passionate about cheese," for example, strikes me as foolish. (Now that I've said that, I sincerely hope not one of my fellow "twelves" has created a piece based on their enthusiasm for cheese!)
After pondering passion for weeks, I finally decided to look beyond myself and identify someone whose life exemplified passion. My first thought was the Mexican artist, Frida Kahlo, who lived a life of pain and passion. It seemed she brought great passion to the loves of her life—her art, her politics and her husband, painter Diego Rivera. Not that it was an easy life or love. A trolley accident in her youth left her with crippling pain throughout her life and her life with Diego was tumultuous and exhausting, yet they always came back to one another. She said, "there have been two terrible accidents in my life—the trolley and Diego. Diego was, by far, the worst." Frida painted many self-portraits, some depicting the pain she lived with, but also many that celebrate the wild beauty of her beloved Mexico and the intensity of her passion for life, for color, for the world in all its splendor and pain.
I hope I have done justice to Frida. Below are some of the photos and self-portraits upon which I based my portrait. She never flattered herself in her paintings, but I find her quite beautiful and intense.
We are twelve quilt artists who embarked on an art challenge together. We're from different places throughout the world and our artistic styles vary, but we share a love of art quilting and a desire to play, experiment, learn, and grow.
For four years (2007-2011), we each made a 12x12 inch quilted art piece on a designated theme or palette. See our Theme Series and our Colorplay series.
For the 2012 Series, we changed things a bit and made rectangular pieces, 20x12 inches with roughly 10 weeks between each challenge. As before, we had a designated theme for each challenge.
We shared our process, progress, and results on this blog. It remains a key record of our rich collaboration.