Watching fireworks in my pyjamas.
OMG! They are my dog's ultimate nightmare. I have grown to hate them on his behalf, and will drive a long way with him safely in my car, classical music playing until it's all over.
I hate the randomness of folk just letting them off whenever, with no penalty. I don't even find them beautiful anymore. My dog barks and shakes and has even peed as he tried to burrow under our bedding.
But the drone displays that are now becoming popular are brilliant - silent, creative, and very beautiful against a night sky.
I'm all for silence, just silence with the occasional nightbird call, a breeze whispering through the trees and on the beach, waves breathing in and out. That'll do me.
But all that said, great post, Rebecca - once again, delighting me with light and sound.
Great post and such a trigger for so many of us! I loved/hated them as a kid, and you are right, in the US it was mainly in summer. But where I lived, in San Francisco, we usually had the evening fog roll in and obscure the fireworks so after all the pfaff of driving in traffic to find a place to see them, they would often just be some dimmed colour fizzling behind a white shroud. Ho-hum. When I moved the UK, my first 5th of November I was really excited. Then a rogue firework at a new friends back garden shot past my ear (I was inside the house!) and exploded next to me. No more local fireworks for me. Plymouth is the home of the National Fireworks championships, and we watched the two nights of competition each August, and like you, always on or around my birthday, from across the harbour, up on a hill. That was a good way to do it. Loved your artwork of the fireworks: evocative of their charm with none of the scary explosive bits included! And Jim's photos are brilliant too. Thanks for sharing your story!
I enjoyed watching the video. Thank you for sharing that. Ive never watched a drone show.
I love the sketch of you by you! I struggle with drawing people and you nailed it for me, with your almost non-gesturing pose that still holds energy, framed by the windows and structure outside of the windows. I said, "Wow!" when I saw it. 😲 You are fluent in drawing.
And I totally relate to saving a drawing or painting from the brink, " With what very quickly began to look like blowsy chrysanthemums blooming at night I panicked and added more and more streams, reaching for coloured pencils and then white gel pen in my efforts to render my chrysanths into fireworks." I have been there SO many times and my thought is always, "Oh dear, what have I done, and can this be saved?"
Congrats on embracing the process of making art, which can be SO freeing! One of my drawing instructors said on the first day of class, "Lose the 'preciousness' of every mark you make. Throw stuff away if you don't like it!" Though I throw little away, I appreciate the freedom of embracing the process of making art. Sometimes the process is so uplifting the result becomes secondary, especially in a quiet, comfy house with one's favorite hot or cold beverage 👩🎨 ☕️, sans loud noises.
P.S. I LOVE Jim's photos.
My dad used to do July 4th fireworks displays for our entire neighborhood when we were young, and they were beautiful and exciting, but also terrifying. I'd sit as far from the action as I could with my fingers jammed in my ears in a mild panic the whole time after being briefed on all the horrific things that could go wrong and why I should NEVER touch them as I watched the adults light them off. It's hard to fully enjoy something when there's so much potential for mishap. I'm also a fan of staying out of the thick of things :-)
Rebecca, your fireworks experiece brings close, those unpredictable memories, experienced loudly. During one July independence celebration, we had offered to care for the small children of dear friends, while they traveled on a short, out of country, missionary adventure. We thought, (I thought), what a treat the 2 small children (boy and girl) would experience to see the fireworks downtown, in our small Pennsylvania town. The girl was shy and we heightened the intrigue by describing the firework experience up close. When it was sufficiently dark, and the crowds settled onto their blankets, the first volley erupted. . .which launched the poor girl like a doe into the dark forest. As our friendship and many untoward outcomes flashed before my eyes, I raced into the dark after the startled child. Thankfully, she was quickly recovered. Realizing our, (my!), oversight, we retreated to a less dramatic location. (Children were safely returned as well as cautionary notes regarding fireworks celebrations!)
Now an adult with four young ones in her brood, she always rolls her eyes if I recall, one fireworks night. . .
If you can see fireworks 🎆 from your window so ideal.
The fireworks don’t bother me as much as the crowds do! Very happy to stay home and watch them on TV in my pajamas!
I love the dark background of the fireworks painting. And thanks for describing how you made it - I was wonder how one my create color over the dark.
These should be the universal best joyful list for fall/winter:
“Being at home ✓
No people ✓
Comfy pyjamas ✓
A mug of tea ✓
Central heating ✓”
Great post. We don't like bangs either. Occasionally I've been to really beautiful firework displays, including a 4th July one watched from a boat in Santa Monica or thereabouts. But on the whole we tend to sit here with the cats, jumping out of our skins and quivering.
Great pics by Jim.
Great artwork. I know I should know this, but what is your altered artbook altered FROM?
Really nice idea to add artist notes.
I love that this is post 111! I LOVE fireworks. My husbands hides from them. We had sparklers at our wedding - he didn’t mind those...
Definitely fireworks! Your beautiful art does not look like jelly fish or flowers -- with all those bright white points of light it can only be glorious fireworks. These paintings convery such a feeling of celebration. " If only fireworks could exist without the bangs and the smoke" Yes. It terrorizes the animals here. You caption some images as "pictures by Jim Holden". What are these "pictures"? Photos? Paintings? Is Jim an artist as well as a photographer. His fireworks are stunning as well!
When I was a child we spent holidays on my grandparents’ rural property. On the Fourth of July my grandpa would set off these huge bangs from what was sort of a homemade pipe bomb filled with black powder. When I was tiny I’m told I would hide under my crib and cry, but what I actually remember is running around after each explosion gleefully stomping out the multiple tiny grass fires caused by pieces of burning paper towel falling into the grass. It was undoubtedly illegal and in these days of wildfire disaster it seems incomprehensible but we had a wonderful time.
You and I share the same desire for ideal November evenings.
I live in Canada, and winter fireworks aren't a big thing because of how cold it gets in winter. Summer, however...
Even still, a lot of people object to traditional fireworks here because of the noise, because it scares their best, or because it pollutes the air, and other things. But that doesn't stop people from buying their own and lighting them up whenever they want.
I have two words for you: Ear Plugs. Hehehe. I'm with you, sis. I avoid big crowds and noise. When my daughter was 8 and wanted to see Avril Lavigne in concert with a friend as a bday gift I sent hubby to go with the little girls.
Jim's photos are wonderful and your art is beautiful. The Drone show... wow. I wonder though if it sounded like bees. One drone buzzes. There must have been hundreds of drones at Buckingham Palace. Did it sound like a hive in the sky?