Saturday, October 23, 2010

4 by 4 Friday--Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a holiday celebrated in Mexico and by Mexican Americans living in the United States and Canada. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died.

The celebration occurs on November 2 in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day (November 1) and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts.

Due to occurring shortly after Halloween, the Day of the Dead is sometimes thought to be a similar holiday, although the two actually have little in common. The Day of the Dead is a time of celebration, where partying and eating is common.

Scholars trace the origins of the modern holiday to indigenous observances dating back thousands of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess called Mictecacihuatl.

Also known as "the flower with 400 lives," marigolds were thought by the Aztec Indíans to symbolize death. It is believed that the scent of the petals forms a welcome path for the spirits to return to their altar or grave. (from Wikipedia)

My piece used an overlay of marigolds, one of my favorite flowers, and a paper from Songbird Avenue's Light the Night collection. The black skelly is from Dover, and the red skull is a brush. The green bits are also from a brush set, and filters and layer styles were liberally applied...okay, okay, I got a little carried away, but it is a joyful, colorful holiday!


  1. This is a fantastic piece! I like what you've done with textures here. Great artwork.

  2. Great Day of the Dead piece, great skull and love the colour. I have a friend who would love this. Love it. Tracy Evans x

  3. Hi Linda, great Day of the Dead piece! The red skull would make an awesome piece of jewelry, done in metal, or embossed polymer clay. Thank you for your comment on my Masks piece, I'm glad you appreciated the joke in there! Your recent work is reallty outstanding! The wings piece is just lovely, as is the faerie (I love Rackham too, and Edmund Dulac) and of course I am quite taken with your skull piece!!

  4. A fiery and festive piece Linda- you have captured the spirit( sorry for the pun) beautifully and loved reading your thoughts and words about the upcoming special day!

  5. Colourful, fabulous piece, Linda!