Festival of Lights

Festival of Lights

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  Artist’s Notes

This image of the Festival of Lights was painted in 1991.  Through the years, many people asked me if it would ever be printed as a serigraph. In October of 1999 in collaboration with Aurora Serigraphics I began making the serigraph. The work has proceeded over these last months and we are now finished. I have developed the image from the painting and made changes. The technique of printing layers of alternating opaque and transparent colors has given the colors more intensity and added more details. The serigraph has slowly developed over these months into a work that is based on the painting but unique in its own way. I drew a stencil for each of the 46 colors printed.  

Here are some of my thoughts about this image:

It is a dark night with a star-filled sky. Tiny lights are seen on the distant hillsides, gradually becoming figures carrying candles as they come closer to the foreground of the painting.

Since 1967, the beginning of my work in art, I began making sketches of marches and processions in many forms and contexts. This image of the FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS began developing in the last four years.

I thought about liturgical processions I had seen. I remembered walking with groups in candlelight for peace in Central America. The symbol of candles shining in the dark night is powerful to me. Star-filled nights are images that help give me a sense of the place we are in the universe.

My original thought was that this would be a procession of children from every city and town. The children would bring light and peace to the world. They would gather from many places, joining an unending procession towards peace and nonviolence for all children of the world.

Making the Serigraph Festival of Lights


Image Documentation 

An original, hand-printed serigraph published by the artist, John August Swanson, with collaboration of Aurora Serigraphic Studio, Van Nuys, CA.  Completed March 14, 2000.

Edition Size: 250

Dimensions: Image: 30.75" x 24"
Paper: 29" x 37½"

Paper: Lana Royal, 100% cotton rag, acid free, mouldmade in France, Classic White

Colors: 46 colors printed
Price: Call, 310-649-1210, for Availability 



Copyright © 2022 John August Swanson Trust