Sonia Ruiz – Country – Artist

Country-Artist Challenge

Inspiration:  Creating a composition in the style of an Artist I admire from Mexico.

Im sure you all have already guessed who I have chosen for my country’s artist challenge. The Mexican painter I have chosen is of course, Frida Kahlo (July 6, 1907 – July 13, 1954). She painted using vibrant colors in a style that was influenced by indigenous cultures of Mexico as well as European influences that include Realism, Symbolism and Surrealism. Many of her works are self portraits that symbolically express her own pain and sexuality.

In my composition, I have chosen to use symbolism from two of Frida Kahlo paintings, “Tree of Hope, Remain Strong” 1946 and “My Dress Hangs There” 1933.   I designed the gloomy sky, the sun and moon divided the background into two halves of light and dark.  The barren landscape behind has fissures which is a metaphor of the wounds on her back.  And instead of her dress hanging there empty and alone with the chaos in the background in the second painting, I chose to depict a more uplifting message.  I chose an indigenous woman and her baby representing the generations of women who have gone before them who have lived on this type of land and have managed to create a meaningful life, making and selling these beautiful, cultural, handmade dresses.  The baby helps release the Huipil dresses as they are completed and they watch them float away into the sky together with hope and faith for a better future.

Materials:  hand dyed, commercial and indigenous fabrics, tulle, ínstense pencils, acrylic paint, ribbon accents and recycled organza ribbon binding, free motion quilting, raw edge and fusible appliqué, So Fine thread.

Detail view:

Original artworks:

“Tree of Hope, Remain Strong” 1946

‘My Dress Hangs Here”  1933


  1. What a great idea, great design.

  2. Great take on Frida’s art! Love your choice of subjects and perfect execution.

  3. carolinehiggs

    This is a true ‘in the style of’. I really like the way that you have taken your inspiration from two different paintings to create your own image. The colours/fabrics used make the piece so obviously Mexico related. Great work.

  4. Well done Sonia ! I love how you have taken elements from two dramatic Kahlo paintings to make something positive !

  5. quilterpaola

    Great Idea and beautiful realization. Transform dramatic Frida’s life into positive vibrations with such a lovely quilt. Bravo!

  6. I really like Frida Kahlo, an interesting life story and a great artist. The idea for the quilt is very interesting and the way you did it.

  7. You made an interesting combination of both paintings. Lovely, strong colors.

  8. Your combination of elements from 2 paintings has made an interesting design. I particularly like how the colours, fabrics and details in the litle dresses contrast with the dreary background.

  9. Maryte Collard

    You truly captured the spirit of Frida Kahlo. Well done, congratulations!

  10. A great story and great symbolism in your work. You managed to make this an uplifting work, beautiful in its composition and colours. Frida’s spirit well represented.

  11. What a beautiful way of representing two of Frida Kahlo’s famous work. You really made it an uplifting story in Frida’s spirit. Bravo.

  12. joanbrailsford

    You have drawn the elements from the two Kahlo painting together really effectively. I love the thoughts behind your design, which is beautifully worked. I love the littel dresses and the background is very subtle. Well done

  13. You have done a great job of merging and interpreting the two paintings. Kahlo’s work was so filled with symbolism and I find that your symbolism is very moving.

  14. studiociboulette

    Very nice interpretation of Frida’s duality. Love the colours and comemoration of mexican traditional dresses. Beautiful. Bravo

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