Why the name?
Rangwali Holi is a large multi-coloured abstract painting that celebrates the Indian (Hindu) festival of spring. You may have seen images or film clips of this over the years – where people gather in the streets and get covered in rainbow coloured powder (the second day of the 16 day festival).
The event has a much deeper and more significant spiritual and cultural tradition than people just throwing brightly coloured powder at each other, but I shall leave all that to Wikipedia to explain. In fact, the actual colours used hold their own significance and each one symbolizes something different.
The addition to that is that it’s a celebration of good being triumphant over evil so it’s very much a celebration of light and goodness.
Creating the painting
The painting is a series of long and short colour sweeps. If you’re interested to see how it was painted then you can watch the live stream painting event where it was done (in fact, it was the last one of 2020). It was a huge amount of fun to do and I always love creating with long arcs and semi-circle applications that intersect with one another.
I can’t remember how many colours I used but it was a lot! And one of the awesome things about my enamel paints is the way you can blend them when you overlay them with something else.
It is, of course, something skillful and learned by experience. I know and understand what happens when different consistencies of paint get applied over the top of others and the consequences of layering different colours on top of each other.
I have to remain acutely aware of how things work with each other in order to create in this way. A lot of planning is done in my head way before I cut any canvas.
The finished piece
The result of all this work, thought and effort is an uplifting and joyous original painting that is full of life and energy. I can see this being the centre of attention on a sizable wall somewhere and hung in a space that’s begging for colour and a reason to celebrate all the good things in life.
Its size, and sheer presence, will fill any space and it shines like a beacon of happiness whenever it gets any light on it. The blending layers and accents (mainly the white and black applications) really pull all the elements together and help define the depth of the painting.
And deep it most certainly is. I could almost reach out and walk into the whole thing!