Monthly Archives: January 2014

Frida Kahlo – Works of Pain and Anguish

One of my favorite artists is Frida Kahlo. Since I am a huge fan of symbolism, her work sparked my interest while taking a humanities course in college. I immediately found myself wanting to know more about her because of the unusual ways she portrays herself in her paintings.

The Two Fridas

The Two Fridas

Kahlo’s paintings convey both physical and emotional pain that she endured throughout her tragic life. She often dressed herself in men’s clothing to rebel and annoy people, but she had issues with her body after having an injured leg from a bout of polio. She’d been in a bus accident when she was 18 years old, which left her with several broken bones, a fractured spine and confinement to a bed for many years. Probably worst of all for her was the inability to have children.

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Kahlo often did destructive things, too. At one point in her life, she cut her beautiful long hair to spite her husband, Diego – probably because of his affairs with other women. In return, she also began having affairs and painted a beautiful portrait of herself to give to her married lover.

Self Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill

Self Portrait with the Portrait of Doctor Farill

It seems that almost all of Kahlo’s paintings I found are self-portraits (and a few still lifes). In none of them does she portray herself as a happy person, which leads me to wonder more about this woman. Was she obsessed with festering in her own self-pity? Was she in more emotional pain than physical? Was she a bit of a narcissist? I think the mysteries lie in the symbols of her artwork.

Mirror – Ode to Sylvia Plath – a Poem

Sylvia Plath’s poem Mirror has been one of my favorites since I was a teenager. Mirrors force us to look at things that we don’t necessarily care to see in ourselves.

Mirror

I see –
the matches
the fires
the blemishes
the needs…
They hurt.

Copyright © 2011 Shannon Hart

Shannon's Creative Work: SELF PORTRAITS &emdash; Mirror - Self Portrait 2005

52 Things To Do This Year

I spent my New Year’s Day meditating, organizing, and thinking. I’m not going to make resolutions, because I feel that if I should do something, it needs to be done right now. Instead, I created a list of 52 things to do this year that most people don’t normally do.

1. Buy a meal for a random stranger

2. Volunteer at a nonprofit

3. Compliment a random stranger that looks like s/he’s having a bad day

4. Attend a class or meeting you normally would not

5. Visit a place in your city you’ve never been

6. Travel to a place you’ve always wanted to go

7. Write a thank you note to a business, organization, or person for their service

8. Tell a store manager how helpful one of their employees are

9. Give something up that you’ve had since childhood

10. Donate school supplies to a needy child

11. Spend a day talking to elderly folks

12. Forgive someone that you’ve been holding a grudge

13. Send a card to a friend telling them how much you care

14. Make a list of things you love about someone and give it to them in a frame

15. Leave a gift for your mail carrier

16. Buy a textbook for a college student

17. Take a long walk in a neighborhood you’ve never been to

18. Commit to something you’re not already committed to

19. Grow a plant from seed

20. Have a conversation with yourself in the mirror

21. Help an elderly person with something

22. Eliminate something in your life that brings you down

23. Learn how to cook a new dish

24. Buy something for yourself you wouldn’t normally buy

25. Wave to random people while walking, riding your bike, or driving

26. Do one thing you’ve always dreamed of doing

27. No complaining for one day

28. Make a list of all things for which you are thankful

29. Let a teacher know what a great job s/he is doing

30. Learn about someone else’s religion

31. Have faith that everything will work out for that one big issue

32. Share something about yourself that you never have before

33. Buy a piece of art from a local artist

34. Let yourself cry

35. Help a neighbor

36. Try a new adventure

37. Teach someone how to do something

38. Listen to a new musician

39. Say yes to something you’d normally say no to

40. Join a group or club

41. Attend a fundraiser event

42. Bless your enemies

43. Make a new friend

44. Rescue a butterfly, lizard, or insect

45. Don’t look at yourself in the mirror for one day

46. Learn something new not listed above

47. Participate in a function you normally wouldn’t

48. Manifest something with positive thoughts

49. Let the other driver go first

50. Take a scenic drive

51. Hire a local photographer

52. Be happy with what you have

Shannon's Creative Work: Aloha Indigo &emdash;