For day four of World Watercolor Month and our optional prompt of “Patriotic,” I made a sketch of our pup Elliott watching fireworks. Over the 4th of July weekend where I live, there was a huge fireworks display on Saturday very close to our house. Philippe and I were wondering how Elliott would react since he’s not quite 8 months old and has never experienced this time of year before now. Rather than show any signs of fear, he was simply curious and appeared to be in actual awe. I’ve seen so many fireworks displays in my lifetime, that I often fail to experience the awe I used to when I was a pup. It’s still a marvelous visual, and reminds me of childhood when I saw my very first fireworks show. It was like watching the sky fill up with mystery and magic. The flares of light, bursting out of the darkness and cascading downward until they slowly disappeared made my jaw drop. And, as the final chaotic finale began, I was always so thrilled. So, today when I watch those displays, I always try to reach back in time and recapture that same joy I had as a kid.
Beyond the huge professional fireworks displays that light up the sky, there are lots of pops, whistles and booms happening late into the evening this time of year. It usually starts a week in advance of today and gets progressively more intense. I kept thinking that Elliott would change his mind about those interesting fireworks, but he was never really phased by them. I, on the other hand, did find myself wishing they’d stop so I could read my book in peace last night. Then, that kind of made me feel old. So, I closed my book and closed my eyes. Suddenly, I was back on the driveway of our childhood home, lighting the fuse on a bottle rocket and then running behind a tree, since nobody can predict which direction those things will fly. Next, I was lighting another firework that zipped and zanged through the air in a flurry of flashing lights as the neighborhood filled with colorful smoke. It was incredible.
The world has changed quite a lot since I was a child. Back then, there was a hope for an exciting future of endless possibility. Now, it’s more about hoping that possible future doesn’t somehow end us. So, watching fireworks always fills me with a sense of nostalgia. It sends me back in time where I get to relive every family gathering from years’ past. I’m carrying a plate full of chips and a hot dog fresh off the grill. I’m dodging lawn darts as I wind my way to a red and white checkered picnic table to sit down next to my cousins. And, I’m feeling that overwhelming sense of anticipation that comes from spotting that first firefly and knowing the sun is about to disappear. Finally, the moment arrives and paper bags full of various fireworks suddenly appear. It’s time to celebrate. But, the sense of love and belonging that we felt had nothing to do with our nation. We were just celebrating life as a family, sitting around on lawn chairs waiting to enjoy a sky full of magic.
About the Doodlewash
Da Vinci Paint Co.: Quinacridone Red, Opus (Vivid Pink), Hansa Yellow Medium, Yellow Ochre, Leaf Green, Terra Cotta, Cobalt Turquoise, Ultramarine (Green Shade), and Indigo. ZIG Cartoonist Mangaka Pen with black ink in an A5 Hahnemühle Watercolour Book. Want to purchase a print of this doodlewash? Click Here!