Saturday, August 1, 2009

Passion and Pain

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.





14 comments:

Anonymous said...

go Terry! Frida sure represents a Strong Woman - unafraid to be woman. You certainly did her credit with your piece. Kudos!

Deborah Boschert said...

Oh Terry! It's just fantastic. I totally identify with your description of the word passion. I wouldn't apply it to myself either.

I see you used some of your sun printed fabrics... so subtle and lovely. The details in the face are so well done. Very difficult to achieve in fabric, but you really have mastered your own personal technique.

Kristin L said...

You've done Frida proud! She is definitely the personification of passion and you have represented her so well.

Have you gotten out all your portrait quilts (real and fictional characters alike) and viewed them all together? I bet you've got a great gallery!

Gerrie said...

I saw this and knew, immediately. who you were portraying. Our former daughter in law, from Mexico, was obsessed with Frieda Kahlo. She had an altar in their home dedicated to Frieda. This was a wonderful choice for you, Terry, because this is just one of your fortes — portraiture. You should put together a show of Terry Grant portraits.

Helen Conway said...

I cannot believe it is even possisble to do that with fabric. Sooooo talented!

kirsty said...

Speechless. Tongue-tied. Grasping for words!

Incredible, Terry. And worthy.

Linda Robertus said...

Very, very beautiful. Extraordinary quilt. Well done!

Terri Stegmiller said...

I think you captured Frida wonderfully! She is gorgeous! I know that she appears in many artist's art worldwide, but I have to tell you that I've never really read about or learned about her. Your glimpse into her world has me intrigued.

Brenda said...

Such a strong composition. Such masterful execution. Such a passionate spirit.

Diane said...

Oh, Terry, you are very brave to tackle a) a portrait, and b) such a strong subject. And you did it PERfectly! There is not a thing that detracts. It is instantly recognizable and it does portray her strength and intensity. I also love the details ... the trim on her dress, the leaves in her hair, those wonderful ferns subtly making a head-dress behind her. This is AMAZING.

Nikki said...

Wow! I couldn't even imagine trying to attempt such a quilt. You captured her perfectly. Each detail is beautiful!

Nikki said...

Wow! I couldn't even imagine trying to attempt such a quilt. You captured her perfectly. Each detail is beautiful!

Karen said...

Terry, the details really make this quilt and you really conveyed the image I have in mind when I think of Frida.

Françoise said...

Your quilt is gorgeous Terry. And it's exactly her. Her eyes, her mouth,... wow! Beautiful.