'But I must gather knots of flowers,
And buds and garlands gay,
For I'm to be Queen o' the May, mother,
I'm to be Queen o' the May.'
- Alfred Lord Tennyson
The Queens of May! 11X14, Ink on Watercolour paper
As some of you may know, I am working hard to fill the walls of Cafe NeverMatters in July. Since I exhibited in the same cafe last year (which was then known as the Village Grounds) I'm doing my best to get some new work out so the people of Naramata can see some new paintings this year.
So after work I come home and paint, and when I'm not painting, I'm at work, and if I'm not exhausted I fit yoga class in there. But sitting and painting for long periods of time can be a little boring and sometimes I get bored of listening to music, or the radio. So for these special times I watch movies or Tv on my laptop. This month I've been watching/listening to the Tudors, and the lives of Henry the 8th and all of his unfortunate wives!
So it's not surprising that when I finished my last raft painting on May Day that I would be inspired both by all of the fabulous costume design of the Tudors and by the May Day celebrations in my home town. (Except these queens are young grade six girls and get to keep their heads when their reign of a year is over!)
May Day happens over Canada's Victoria Day Long weekend in May (Queen Victoria's Birthday). I have participated in May day as a flower girl, a Maypole dancer, a pole sitter (to make sure the maypoles wouldn't fall over) a contestant in the bike decoration contest and as a spectator.
In fact, I found this little video below which shows the celebrations of May Day and was pleasantly surprised to see the Soap box racing takes place next to the house in which I grew up- But then the next shot of the parade you can see my sister and I taking photos- I'm the one in the blue shirt!
I may do one of Maypole dancing but I haven't come up with a sketch I'm happy with yet. I decided wanted to do a painting that didn't involve a landcape and I wanted to capture the fun moments of May Day, which is really a celebration that summer is just around the corner. It's the first sunburn of the year, the first dunk in the lake even though we all know it's way too cold, dancing the birdie dance with your community of Naramatians at the Queen's Ball in the early evening. It's a great little celebration to acknowledge Naramata's colourful past. As I sit and write this from the depths of big city Vancouver I can tell you it's something hard to come by these days and it's quite special.
See you at Cafe NeverMatters in July!
340 Robinson Ave, Naramata