The Fifth of November
The fifth of November,
The Gunpowder treason and plot;
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder treason
Yep - here in the UK it's a night of bonfires, yummy hearty food and fireworks aplenty! It's a weird commemoration of the night that some idealists, rebelling against an oppressive government and slightly dodgy monarch, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament. Yup. Poor old Guy Fawkes became the fall guy (ha ha ....pun....) and since then we've got together as a nation to build effigies of the poor bloke and burn them on huge communal pyres. Don't people do the weirdest things in the name of tradition? Hey - you should see our 'morris dancers'..... yeah...... Anyway, if you wanna know more about the historical stuff you can read about it HERE. It's all a bit 'V For Vendetta'....
Anyway, the grim stuff has sort of faded into the dim recesses of memory, as these things do, and the party side of things has taken over. To me, this has always been an almost pagan night of celebration, displaying our fearlessness of the oncoming winter with huge bonfires, around which communities gather, sharing good food and good company, shooting fireworks into the night to scare away the dark spirits with loud bangs and sparkling, bright colours. When I was a kid, my mum and I used to attend the local bonfire, built by the cubs and scouts. We'd wrap up warm and snug, with scarves and mittens and stand in the heat of the HUGE pyre, feeling the flames almost burn our eyebrows clean off! We'd eat roasted chestnuts, vegetable soup and hot dogs and watch the firework display, the tinsel stars shooting up into the night sky to a chorus of 'oooooh' and 'aaaaaah!'
MY commemoration of these nights of warmth and wonder is a page in my journal!
I used my Derwent watercolour pencils again, because the colours are SO scrummy and yummy and rich, then I added some chalk inks, a little Pitt pen inking and then a whole heap of cosmic shimmer watercolour paints - believe me, this thing REALLY shimmers!
Bonfires almost look like they're alive and the sparks have always fascinated me, so I had fun trying to represent that in this page. It's twinkly. Shiny. I'm happy!
Before I go, I thought I'd leave you with this lovely poem. It may serve as useful arty inspiration! Hope you like it -
They rise like sudden fiery flowers
That burst upon the night,
Then fall to earth in burning showers
Of crimson, blue and white.
Like buds too wonderful to name,
Each miracle unfolds
And Catherine wheels begin to flame
Like whirling marigolds.
Rockets and Roman candles make
An orchard of the sky,
Where magic trees their petals shake
Upon each gazing eye.
By James Reeves.
Thank you for visiting - as always I welcome your comments and questions. Big hugs - Shroo :) xxx