05 March 2015

New Work: Holi Joe

As part of the Viewpoints 9 "Play Time" challenge, I present my newest portrait "Holi Joe".  My inspiration for this challenge is the colorful Indian festival of Holi.

Holi is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox, on the full moon. The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar (this year it will be March 6). Holi signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, a celebration of color and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forgive and repair relationships.

Photo Feb 26, 1 39 32 PM

I have been "working on" a portrait of my Dad for over a decade. I have many times started and stopped and put various sketches on the back burner.  My previous attempts at a portrait revolved around this one black and white photo that was used on my Dad's funeral mass book (ask your Catholic friends what that is).

As I considered the Holi festival, I thought about playing, laughing and repairing relationships. So in in that spirit, I decided to "repair the relationship" between my memories of my Dad during his life and the associations I had with this one black and white photo. I lifted the pressure off myself to create a serious portrait and just had fun with it. This one uses every color EXCEPT black and white.

Photo Feb 26, 1 39 39 PM

I loved the freedom I felt in creating this piece. Every time I added a new tie dyed piece of fabric to this portrait, the results were surprising and it made me smile. It still does. I look at my dad's face and it makes me happy. And it seems like a truer version of "Joe" as I remember him.



  1. Awww Kate - what a lovely story and a beautiful portrait! Having lost a love one I understand the joy I felt creating an art piece in their memory!

  2. on the VP site I mis-spoke. Apologies. I am an Anglican (Episcopalian) didn't seem odd to me that you might have a father who is/was a priest. Clearly I was wrong; however, that doesn't take away the beauty of this piece for me (and I hope, not for you).

    1. Thank you Margaret! No worries at all. I like the fact that you had a new interpretation of this portrait. Also, the play on words "Holi" [holy] lends itself to that idea. :)


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