Contagious Joy On Display at AGO

Joyful art - original painting by Denise Gracias

“Contagious Joy”  featured in Portraits of Resilience Exhibit  at  the Art Gallery of Ontario

Contagious Joy; Joyful art, original painting, Denise Gracias
Contagious Joy by Denise Gracias


Joy is unchanging even in the midst of trying circumstances. How wonderful if this joy could spread like a a virus in a pandemic from heart to heart.

Portraits of Resilience

In 2021, the Art Gallery of Ontario had a Call for Submissions for their online exhibition, “Portraits of Resilience”.  They asked artists of all backgrounds to express through art, what kept them strong and resilient through the pandemic.   Apparently, over 3000 submissions were entered from all over Canada and even from other parts of the world. My painting, “Contagious Joy”. was one of the 110 images chosen to be in an exhibition at the AGO. 
A nine year old artist painted the image beside mine (of the little girl at the piano), while a teenager painted the courageous woman above.     It was clear that neither age nor experience was important in this exhibition. 

What is Contagious Joy?

The idea for “Contagious Joy” stemmed from  an image of angels I saw in a calendar. The angels were singing, playing musical instruments and so joyful.    I painted a few trying to relate each one to one other angel.    It seemed important to capture the details, including the facial expressions and the folds in the garments.  Over the next few months, I changed the palette, experimenting with similar and contrasting colors giving a sense of peace in one, and drama with the other.  Finally, I settled on colors for the garments that  reminded me of candy, ice cream and toys. Depicting the angels of different races and ages came naturally and I included even a baby angel.  The title also came naturally. It seemed one angel had good news, and without a word, shared it with a glance to another. A third angel observed the joy and shared in it and it spread.  The facial expressions as joyful as they were, had to be removed because they distracted from the overall essence of the painting. 


Check out the other inspirational paintings Portraits of Resilience – Art Gallery of Ontario


For more information on this painting as well as other similar paintings by this artist, click here In His Image


Joyful art - original painting by Denise Gracias
Contagious Joy by Denise Gracias – Displayed at the Art Gallery of Ontario





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