Gandalf trundles forward on a horse and cart heading for Bag end and Bilbo’s birthday preparations, sheep being hastily driven before him. The cart laden with his famous fireworks is followed by a gathering crowd of Hobbit children and much to the delight of the young Hobbits he lets loose an exploding fire cracker its smoke billowing out far behind him.
Adult Hobbits pretending to go about their every day business can’t help but come out of their holes for a closer look, while the more wary children peer through windows or from the safety of the hedgerow.
In the distance The water mill overlooks the busy Hobbit farmers collecting hay (overseen by Farmer Maggot and Grip). One of the farmers too excited to continue work can be seen running for all he’s worth trying to catch up with with the cart.
Inspired by the opening chapter of The Fellowship Of The Ring (A Long Expected Party) and also paying a huge nod to Peter Jackson’s film version; the painting depicts Gandalf laden with fireworks heading for Hobbiton and Bilbo’s birthday preparations.