Page 155 finds Pip listening to Herbert Pocket tell more of the story of Miss Havisham’s life:
The man Miss H fell in love with was NO gentleman. He was not a true gentleman at heart but tried to appear as one. “No varnish can hide the grain of the wood; and that the more varnish you put on, the more the grain will express itself.”
Miss H fell hard for him. He swindled her out of large sums of money, all the while professing his love for her and the promise of marriage. Plans were made, a wedding dress purchased, guests invited. They arrived on the date, everyone but the bridegroom. Miss H received a letter from him while she was dressing for the wedding, at twenty minutes to nine. (This is the time that all the clocks at her home have been stopped at.) No one knows what the letter said exactly, but the wedding was off and no one has seen the man since!
Hello! I have been so busy with freelance work and taxes. (Freelance
on-going, that’s good and taxes DONE… even better!) I did find time
to do three sketches together in an altered board book. Below is my
version of Great Expectations pages 151-153 by Charles Dickens:
Herbert Pocket tells Pip that he, too, had been brought before Miss
Havisham on a “trial” visit to see if he was suitable for a good
fortune and possibly an engagement to Estella. This surprises Pip and
even more so that Herbert is not upset in the least that he did not
win the fortune (or Estella). Herbert tells Pip that Estella is “hard, haughty,
capricious and set out to wreak revenge on all the male sex.” He hit
the nail on the head! But why is she like this? Influenced by Miss
Havisham? (page 151)
Pip observes that Herbert has a very frank, open and honest way about
him. He is very likeable. He also guesses that Herbert will never be
successful or wealthy. Just a hunch. Herbert does wear his tattered
old suit better than Pip wears his new one though. Pip asks Herbert
to help him out in social situations if he notices that Pip is
doing something wrong. Pip is afraid is country roots will show!
Herbert asks Pip if he can call him “Handel” instead of Pip. Pip
agrees, but remember, in Pip’s contract, he is supposed to always go
by the name Pip. Their dinner arrives from the coffee-house. The
apartment is so small that it seems to Pip that food is spread
everywhere, even butter on the armchair, bread on the bookcase and
boiled fowl on his bed! Herbert tells Pip more about Estella. She was
spoiled as a child by her widowed father. (Her mom died when Estella
was a baby.) Her father was a brewer and denied her nothing. (page 153)
I’ll post again soon, so please check back! Happy Spring!
Jaggers makes it clear that he only “mentions” Mr Matthew Pocket as a possible suitable tutor. He is in NO way RECOMMENDING him. This is weird. This Jaggers is weird.
He gives Pip money (20 guineas) for new clothes before Pip makes his trip to London. Was this a lot of money back then? I tried to figure out what that amount would be today. The gold one guinea coin was last minted in 1813, but was still used long after that. It was replaced by the gold Sovereign coin in 1817. One guinea in the late 1800s would have the same purchasing power of about 66 pounds today.
So, ONE late 1800s guinea = 66 pounds today = $104 US dollars today.
20 guineas in 1800 x $104 = $2080!!! That’s a lot of money for Pip for clothes! My little altered book page is of a “Pip” guinea in a pocket.
Finally, Day 100! I need to post more frequently or this is going to take me forever! I am on page 109 and this is what’s going on:
Biddy tells Pip that if he wants to be a gentleman to gain Estella over, then she is not worth gaining over. (Estella has insulted Pip by calling him common and by treating him poorly.) Pip agrees, “It may be all quite true, but I admire her dreadfully.” Pip throws a little pitty-party, crying and pulling his hair. How old is he now, anyway??? I’m guessing he’s an early teenager, maybe 14 or 15. Biddy comforts him and tells him that she is glad he has confided in her and she will tell no one. Pip hugs and kisses her saying he’ll always tell her everything. Awww, poor Biddy, she’s just a friend to him, nothing more.
I created this on another panel of the board book Altered Book. I worked right on top of the white Gesso primer, doodling and writing. In the center is a dandy fellow holding a blacksmithing tool with the word “Biddy” going up in smoke. See you SOON, I hope!
Sitting on the bank of the river, Pip confesses more of his true feelings to Biddy about his life in the forge. He asks Biddy if he’d have been good enough for her? She replies, ” Yes, I am not over-particular.” This is a stab at him because he is unintentionally hurting her feelings by implying that she is not good enough for him. He doesn’t see this because he is so smitten with Estella. He admits to Biddy that he wants to be a gentleman FOR Estella.
I created this black and white sketch also on a board book page. (It is attached to the previous day’s art on a board book. So I guess I am making another Altered Book piece of art!) The silver charm in his right eye has LOVE carved into it. He’s blinded by love and can’t see how Biddy feels for him or how he’s hurting her. I don’t feel so sorry for Pip any more!
My next piece will be on DAY 100!
Pip recalls turning to Biddy for help in his education and realizes he has taken her for granted. So he offers to take her on a long Sunday walk and talk. It’s summer-time, and beautiful weather, as they walk past the village, the church and out onto the marshes. They end up sitting on the banks of the river watching the sails go by. Pip confides in Biddy that he wants to be a gentleman. She says, “Don’t you think you are happier as you are?” He replies, “Don’t be absurd!”
I created this painting on an old board book panel. (That’s why it has a strange shape!) I first gessoed the panel (it’s left over from a workshop), and then started by painting the marsh scene in the middle. Little Biddy stands on top as Pip reads to her. He thinks he is smarter than her (all his studying has gone to his head… well, you know what I mean). This may be partly because she is a girl and girls often at that time in history didn’t receive an education. Or it could be that he has to study so hard and he never sees her studying.
I’m getting close to 100 days, 100 pages and 100 pieces of Great Expectations art!
My Altered Book Workshop was on September 22 and was a success (exito)! This workshop was a brief (2.5 hours), hands-on intro into the world of Altered Books, covering many techniques. Hopefully particiants took the new skills they obtained home and continued creating on their altered book projects.
Here is the library’s site where I had the workshop: http://www.cor.net/index.aspx?page=18
It’s a great library! Maybe the one in your town is too. If you don’t know, go check it out! Now… or tomorrow… but soon.
Participants busy working:
Their works in progress:
Look at all these materials! Each participant received 2 chapter books and 1 board book to alter. Then on each workstation the following items were placed for their use during the workshop: stamps and ink pads, glue sticks, scissors, bowl of water for transfers, packing tape to share, drawing utensils (colored pencils, markers, pens, pencils), old dictionary pages, other paper ephemera (collage papers), various envelopes, fabric, wax paper and paper napkins – to dab up any little messes! On another table in the back: plenty more paper pieces to choose from (some cool old maps), more drawing utensils including pastels, embellishments (ribbons, buttons, sequins) and stronger glues.
It seemed like everyone had a good time and hopefully learned a few things. Plus got their creativity stirred up a bit!
I have been creating several new altered books lately, getting ready for my next Altered Book Workshop. I feel that in order to teach a workshop that I’ve taught before I need to learn new techniques to find out what to teach/what to change. I want it to be fresh and new, not just for the participants, but for myself also. And the best way to learn new techniques is to do them, rather than only to read about them.
Here I have created a block out of a large square chapter book. Then I cut out shapes right out of the book to create a 3D altered book. I’m please with it!
Mrs Joe calls Joe “the dunder-headed King of the noodles!!!” (I HAVE to do an illustration of this at some point!) She calls Orlick the “blackest-looking and the worst rogue between here (England) and France.” Orlick talks back to her. Joe whispers under his breath to “let her alone.” He knows the consequences he’ll pay with his wife. Mrs Joe freaks out and goes into a frenzy. How can Orlick speak to her that way, and with her husband standing by??? So, Joe and Orlick start fighting and soon Orlick is “among the coal-dust.” Joe, having won, carries Mrs Joe into the house. Pip is a witness to it all! Hopefully, soon Pip will take his half-holiday up-town to visit Miss Havisham and Estella.
I am busy planning my next workshop! It’ll be in Richardson Texas, at the Richardson Public Library, on September 22, from 10:30 am – 1 pm. If you want to come, please let me know.
http://www.cor.net/index.aspx?page=18 (Just north of Dallas)
This is my fourth workshop here and we have always had a lot of fun. Check out samples on my Altered Book Tab above. I’ll post more soon. (I’ve been busy!)
Pip asks Joe for a half-holiday (half day off). He plans to go up-town to visit Estella and Miss Havisham. Orlick, the journeyman (blacksmithing assistant), also asks for a half-holiday, saying that Joe should not choose favorites. (He feels threatened by Pip if you ask me.) Orlick loses his temper, scaring Pip by pretending to stab Pip with a red-hot bar right out of the furnace. Joe tells him to “cool down” before he’ll give them his answer about the holiday.
Joe’s decision? A half-holiday for everyone! (Mrs Joe overhears and is not happy!)
For this piece, I cut out a page of an old board book for children. I coated it with white acrylic to start with, but left some of the original book showing. (It’s a circus scene.) I painted half of the word “holiday” right under a flap. Then added a very quickly drawn Estella, complete with red eyes. Painted Miss Havisham’s house on the outside of the flap, an anvil on the inside with the word “Bye!” (Pip might be saying good-bye to his blacksmithing days… trading them in for days up-town with more refined folk. Can’t wait to see what happens when Pip shows up at Miss H’s house!