Art Expectations 339 Pounce

Great Expectations sketch

Orlick is still threatening Pip’s life as he’s tied to the ladder. Pip watches his every move. Orlick is like a tiger waiting to pounce on his prey. He does spring forward toward Pip with the candle in his hand. He tells Pip that he was the person hiding on his stairs outside Pip’s London house the night that Magwitch/Provis showed up with his “good” news. (The night that Magwitch told Pip that HE was the benefactor, not Miss Havisham.) So Orlick has been following Pip around London. He’s been waiting for the right moment to get him. Over the years, after leaving Satis House (Pip got him fired from there, I believe), Orlick has worked for other people and made some friends. As Orlick talks on and threatens, Pip sees the “swift stream” of his “life running out to sea.” Orlick discovered that Pip had an uncle. (Not really, Pip told everyone that Magwitch was his uncle to avoid questions.) Orlick also realized that this “uncle” was the same criminal in the marshes long ago. Orlick had helped Joe file the leg-iron for this criminal. It’s all coming around! I wonder if Orlick knows that Magwitch gave Pip all his money, the Great Expectations?

I’ve been learning to marble paper! It’s been fun. I bought a kit from Marble Art in Oklahoma. Everything to get started was included, except paint, which I purchased separately. I did the sketch above on a piece of experimental marbling on an old dictionary page. Below are some other marbling samples. My 14 year old daughter has been doing them with me, so some are hers. It’s been fun learning this ancient technique together with her!

Marbled paper by Julie Flandorfer Marbled paper by Julie Flandorfer Marbled paper by Julie Flandorfer Marbled paper by Julie Flandorfer Marbled paper by Julie Flandorfer Marbled paper by Julie Flandorfer

 

Art Expectations 338 Last Drop

Every Last Drop

Even as Pip knows he’s a goner, he will not beg Orlick for his life. He still detests this man. He’d kill him now even if it meant dying himself. He notices that Orlick is a wee bit tipsy, often taking swigs from a bottle hung around his neck. Orlick tells Pip he is the one who attacked Pip’s sister, which led to her death later. No one had ever been blamed or tried for this. But Pip always suspected Orlick to be the one who did it. Orlick tells Pip it’s all Pip’s fault though, the reason he attacked Mrs Joe. Pip was the preferred, privileged one. And Orlick was the bullied and beat one. Orlick drinks more from the bottle. “I knew that every drop it held, was a drop of my life” Pip thought. He sees himself drifting off in the vapors of the lonely marsh.

Here is a quick little sketch using alcohol inks on glossy paper.

Art Expectations 337 Sluiced

Pip at the Sluice House

Pip is still lashed to the ladder in the sluice-house in the marshes with Orlick threatening his life. Orlick blames Pip for always getting in the way and ruining his life. He tells Pip he plans to kill him and put his body in the kiln so there’ll be no trace of him. Pip starts to worry about what people will think after he’s gone. He figures they will all believe him to be a coward, running from his problems. No one knows about this letter and this meeting in the marshes. If he disappears, they may all think he ran away. He is more worried about how he’ll be remembered than of actually dying. He doesn’t want his friends and family to think poorly of him. Who does, I suppose? He did give up a good portion of his “freely gained money” to help out Herbert. He was kind for the most part, especially to Miss Havisham, the lonely old widow. Too bad he did not keep in contact with Joe and Biddy. If he survives this, hopefully he’ll see to remedying that!

Art Expectations 336 The Big O

Great Expectations Sketch by Julie Flandorfer

It’s not what you think! OR, who you may think! [Day 336, Page 359]
Pip has been tied up, captured, by someone in the sluice-house in the marshes.

So, what is a sluice-house? I was wondering that myself. Here is what I found out at dickens.stanford.edu: “A sluice-house is a building named for, because near or associated with, a sluice. A sluice is a mechanism for regulating the flow of water — “A structure of wood or masonry, a dam or embankment, for impounding the water of a river, canal, etc., provided with an adjustable gate or gates by which the volume of water is regulated or controlled” 

Eventually a small flare of candlelight flashes up and Pip sees that his captor is Orlick! (Remember him? He worked for Joe, the blacksmith. Joe was married to Pip’s sister and the two of them were raising Pip. Pip always believed Orlick was the one who attacked his sister, eventually leading to her death. Orlick later worked for Miss Havisham. I believe Pip had a hand in getting Orlick fired from that job. Pip never liked or trusted the man.) ORLICK?! With the little bit of light now, Pip sees that he’s been strapped to a ladder that leads up to a loft in the little house. Orlick sits at the table in front of him. He repeats, “Now, I’ve got you!” Pip screams back, “Unbind me. Let me go!” Orlick says something about one person keeping a secret better than two. He calls Pip an enemy and pulls out a gun. He claims Pip came between him and a young woman he liked. Is he talking about Biddy? Or Estella?

Here is the last of the quick little sketches I did in the car while on the road. I thought we’d seen the last of Orlick. But here he is again, to cause problems for Pip, and possibly end his life!

Art Expectations 335 Captured

Pip is Caught! by Julie Flandorfer

[Day 335, Page 358]  Pip has approached the meeting place in the marsh and knocked on the door. He notices that there is light coming from inside the sluice-house but no one answers the door. He finds the door unlocked and steps inside. There is a candle burning on a table. He calls out and still, no one answers. By now it’s pouring rain outside. Should he wait longer inside the house or head back to town in the rain? Just as he has about decided to wait it out, a noose is thrown over his head from behind! “Now, I’ve got you!” The candle is blown out and Pip struggles to free himself in the dark, crying out for help. Oh my! Pip’s burnt arms are bound tightly to something at his sides causing great pain. He then sees a glimpse of a man trying to relight the candle with a flint and steel. He strains to see who it is. It’s getting exciting! Who is this man?

Here is a quick sketch done while on the road. These are very small doodles created with minimal materials. Before leaving for our trip, I created backgrounds with various media so that I could then add art on top easily in the car. This is watercolor on watercolor paper. Then I doodled on top with pen. Lastly adding watercolor pencils on top. It’s a cartoon Pip head being tied down in the marshes. Tune in to see who has captured him!

ArtExpectations 334 Marsh at Dusk

Marshland at Sunset

[Day 334, Page 357]
Pip is back in his hometown to meet with someone about Provis. After mulling over his thanklessness to Joe, Pip heads out toward the marshes to see who sent the letter regarding Provis.  {Chapter 53} Dickens begins this chapter with a vivid description of the marshes as Pip heads out: a full red moon, mountains of clouds with a clear ribbon of sky over a black horizon. Pip has to gingerly step over and around sleeping cows by the gates. “There was a melancholy wind, and the marshes were very dismal.” Despite the dark, oppressive marshes and against his better judgement, Pip trudges toward the meeting spot. He passes through a stone quarry and by a smelly lime kiln. He arrives at the sluice-house (the meeting spot) and knocks on the door.

Here is a photo I took while on vacation back in my hometown a few weeks ago. Traveling down a highway in the country, just south of Tupelo, I snapped this photo of the sun setting over a flooded creek by the road. We’d had a lot of rain that week!

Art Expectations 333 Guilt

333 Greatexp Guilt 150

[Day 333, Page 356]  Pip stayed on the coach. He didn’t bail. He’ll meet the mystery person (and maybe his maker) in the marshes at 9:00 that night. Once in town, he checks into a nondescript inn, not the usual Blue Boar Inn. He’s keeping a low profile. The first thing he does is to go visit Miss Havisham at Satis House. She is somewhat improved but still very ill. (She caught on fire in her tattered wedding gown from sparks from her fireplace. Pip saved her by wrapping his arms around her and putting out the flames. His arms and hands became badly burnt also and he’s still recovering.) He goes back to his inn for some dinner. He asks the landlord to help him cut his meat and they start chatting. The landlord knows Pumblechook. He also talks of a young man who is ungrateful and never visits those that made him and cared for him. Hmmm, wonder who he’s talking about? Pip becomes sullen, thinking about Joe and Biddy. He hasn’t visited them in a long while. He often goes back home, but only stops by to see Miss Havisham and especially Estella.

Here is a watercolor doodle. Very quick sketch. On the road still!

Art Expectations 332 Two Letters

332 Greatexp 2 Letters 150

[Day 332, Page 355] Pip is back at the Temple after making the arrangements for getting Provis (also known as Magwitch) out of England. He finds a letter waiting for him in his home. The letter is unsigned and asks Pip to come to the old marshes that night or the next at 9:00 pm. It states to come alone for information about “your uncle Provis”. Scary! Is it from Compeyson? Pip had enough to worry about already. And now this. He decides to go right away, catching the last coach of the day, leaving in 30 minutes. He leaves a note for Herbert stating that he’s going home to check on Miss Havisham. Lies. So, TWO letters. The first was from Wemmick telling of the need to now get Provis out of town. This letter was received with relief to finally be making a move. The second letter, mentioned above, was unexpected and weighs heavily on him. On the ride back to his hometown in the coach, he wonders who that letter was from. Maybe he shouldn’t have come? Should he jump out of the coach now and back out of this mysterious, possibly dangerous, meeting?

Here is another “on the road” piece depicting Pip with two letters. I used a discarded diskette. At least I wasn’t riding in a bumpy coach, but a mini van with heat!

Art Expectations 331 Heads Stacked

Stacked and Ready

Stacked and ready to go. Welcome back! It was a busy holiday season with family in town for Thanksgiving and out of town for us for Christmas. I did the next six days/pages on the road. Seriously, in the car, going down the highway. (I wasn’t driving!)

[Day 331, Page 354]  Pip has received a note from Wemmick to start planning to get Provis out of town, quick. The jig is up! They’ll take him down the river as far as they can. Then catch a steamer to some far away place: Hamburg, Rotterdam or perhaps, Antwerp. Sounds exciting! Pip obtains passports and Herbert asks Startop to help with the rowing (since Pip’s arms and hands are still badly burned from the fire at Satis House). Startop agrees. All is set. Herbert and Startop will row. Pip will steer and Provis will just sit quietly. They make their get-away plan for the following Wednesday.  Herbert will get Provis from Mill Pond Bank (Clara’s family home where he’s been hiding out).

Happy New Year to you all! It’s now been four years since I started this project. About three years longer than I thought it’d take! Getting close to the end now, so close.

Art Expectations Day 330 Good Deed

Great Expectations collage bu Julie Flandorfer

Chapter 52 begins…
[Day 330 Page 353}
Pip takes the check from Jaggers (money from Miss Havisham) to settle the debt with Herbert’s business partner. (Remember, all along Pip thought that his money, his Great Expectations, was coming from Miss H. Including the money has was using to help Herbert in his business. But it was actually coming from the criminal that he helped out in the graveyard near his childhood home when he was a child. But this time, this check, is from her.) He goes to Herbert’s business partner, Clarriker, right away to settle the debt. Pip says to himself that this is the one and only good thing he’s done. He set Herbert up in his business, got him a respectable career with a promising future so that he could marry his love, Clara Barley. Pip’s a little sad now because he realizes he’ll soon lose Herbert along with having lost Estella.

After a short time, he receives the long-awaited letter from  Wemmick implying that it’s finally time to get Provis out of London and perhaps, England. Pip’s arms and hands are still too injured from the fire at Miss H’s to do any rowing. He and Herbert decide to ask their friend Startop to help with this task. They’ll be very careful how much they reveal to him.

Finally, they’ll move Provis out of Clara’s home! Here is the last of the three panels I did. They are all on hardboard, 6×6 inches. I used collage (old dictionary pages and bits of doodles) along with acrylic paint.