If you want a happy ending that depends , of course, on where you stop your story.
The month of April is now over and my contribution to INTERNATIONAL FAKE JOURNAL MONTH is complete! You can travel through this image yourself HERE.
I spent this month wandering through Breugel’s Hunters in the Snow with some colored pencils and a bit of imagination. All the entries will not be posted online, but some have been chosen to make the journey obvious.
Hunters in the Snow can be viewed on Wikipedia commons, along with many other works of art. Using the zoom function, I noticed intimate details that were never apparent before. Inserting the character into each scene was amusing and made Breugel’s world a true mind-space. This month, I found a world within a world and some interesting facts through research.
THE LITTLE ICE AGE!
The winter of 1565 was particularly harsh. The LITTLE ICE AGE followed a period of global warming.
THE GREAT SEIGE OF MALTA!
“Nothing is better known that the Siege of Malta.” VOLTAIRE
Sorry Voltaire, but I am pretty sure this event was not covered in my high school history class. Human heads were used as cannonballs according to some sources. I would have remembered that little fact for sure. YIPES.
THE PENCIL MAKES A STAND!
Apparently 1565 marked the documentation of the pencil by CONRAD GESNER! How fitting, given the choice of pencil to sketch!
Breugel and Gesner both died of plague. In 1565, 25% of the population in Bergen died of this illness or cluster of illnesses. Breugel lived for 4 years after this painting was completed.
THE GOVERNOR OF THE NETHERLANDS WAS A WOMAN!
Margaret of Parma prohibited the import of cloth from London to Antwerp based on concerns that plague would be imported from England. GO MARGARET! Too bad she was a little late to the game, since mortality was high. My reading made it clear that the plague or plagues bouncing around Europe at the time are still not well understood by scientists. Some theories pose the possibility that an ebola-like illness may well have been the source of the BLACK DEATH. Apparently fleas may not have to take the whole rap!
Spending a month in this painting was a strange and compelling way to travel without luggage. The tiny booklet I chose was perfect for the amount of free time available. It was filled to completion with little sketches and notes by the end of the month. Gifting myself with new supplies was an added incentive to dig deep fast, experimenting with layered colors and simple combinations. International Fake Journal Month has proved to be a creative way to spend another April!