The Colors of Mardi Gras by Diane Marie Kellogg

inspiration Mardi Gras


Mardi Gras, we have all seen the brilliant colors, either online or on the television. Some of us have even traveled to New Orleans to check it out. The colors are so rich, they invoke a feeling of celebration.

First, a quick history of Mardi Gras. Celebrated worldwide in many countries, a French Catholic tradition, it is also linked to an ancient Roman pagan celebration. It came to Louisiana in the late 17th century and the first parades for Mardi Gras here in the United States started in New Orleans in 1837.

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines Mardi Gras as (French, literally for Fat Tuesday) 1a : Shrove Tuesday often observed (in New Orleans) with parades & festivals b : a carnival period climaxing in Shrove Tuesday 2 : a festive occasion resembling a pre-Lenten Mardi Gras While I won't go further into the history, please be sure to check out the links at the bottom of the article to find out more about this fascinating subject.

The parades feature many costumes ranging from fairies and animals to myth, medieval, clowns and of course, the Mardi Gras Indians. The tribal style and dress are often on display in many of the parades with elaborate colored feathers and capes. Masks are a big part of the celebration. All of this combines into a spectacle of color. The colors of Mardi Gras all have meaning. Purple stands for justice, green is faith, and gold represents power.

It is fun to see how we can and do use these colors in our painting. I invite you all to delve into this world of color, to create and expand your usage of these brilliant hues.

Sources –


    Photo by Sarah Pflug from Burst

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    • Sherry Hirschman on

      I changed our address in Dec. from Iowa to Arizona. I have yet to receive the new magazine. I would appreciate knowing if you sent it here to Arizona. Thank you.

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