on the uses of Frida Kahlo’s diary

12 Apr

  The diary pages of Frida Kahlo, or the entries to which we have visual access, appeal to us for a range of reasons. The carefully detailed images, with their vivid palette, live alongside oceanwaves of beautiful handwriting. We can imagine the crinkling of pages we can never touch, each page an expression of a mind that continues to influence and express as long as we continue to gaze at it. But how can we make use of it?

Some of us write every day. It is our practice, a learned thing, a well tended habit. Or we do not write every day but have been told endlessly we must, that we are less of something if we do not commit. But when we do write, whenever it is that we write, daily or wheneverly or whatever, we tend to separate text from image. We type, or we write in longhand, and if we do draw, we draw separately, perhaps in a notebook reserved for drawing.

But why? Why do we keep the two practices separate? Does one seem more useful than the other? Don’t words fuel drawings fuel words and back again?

I’ve kept separate journals for as long as I can remember. But when someone asks me what I am writing, I tend to sketch a world or an idea. I have no sentences for it. And if they ask about my visual or installation art, I only have sentences, paragraphs, clouds and clouds of text, to explain. So I am bringing Frida back into my world not as an icon or a set of earrings but a model. How to express. How to bring it together. How to adopt a holistic creative practice. Draw where you write. Write where you draw. Go deeper. And I’d love to hear how you create, how you get ideas, where you develop your Next Work, and why.


2 Responses to “on the uses of Frida Kahlo’s diary”

  1. David J. Bauman April 16, 2014 at 05:48 #

    These are really good questions. For me I fear my drawings are terrible, but maybe they would be less awful if I actually practiced them, or played with them along side my writing. I am now thinking a poem with squirrels in a noisy willow tree might benefit from a free-hand tree sketch on the page beside it. It couldn’t hurt, and it might shake something loose.


  1. Notes on keeping a notebook | ART ME TRUE - February 10, 2015

    […] Frida Kahlo Notebook. Source. […]

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