I put in the last details on my Wildflower Guitar: grey gear and vines in the very center, a few other grey swirls around and added a piece of an original illustration by F.W. Pailthorpe which appears in my copy of the book. I am happy with the outcome! There are lots of things to look at and I hope it is interesting to other people.
We learn the names of most of the people that are talking together in the detached room behind Manor House: Camilla, Cousin Raymond, Sarah Pocket and one other unnamed woman, plus Estella is still there. Camilla is telling everyone that she begged a Mr. Tom to allow her to go buy some things for the poor children. After all her begging, he gives in and tells her to go do it. So she goes out in the rain and buys the things. (No mention of who she is talking about or what she actually bought.) A distant bell is heard and Estella says to Pip, “Now, boy!” They leave the group and the little house to go back into Manor House.
All I have left to do is put a gloss varnish over everything. I might also add some things to the back, such as this blog address and “Charles Dickens”. Yeah, almost done!
MORE Wildflower Festival Guitar!! I am getting pretty close to being finished. Yeah!
Today, I read page 68 and worked more on the little pig, Estella’s right eye (argh, can’t get it right), painted the year 1860 and pasted on text from the first page of the book, Chapter 1. Lastly I will need to coat this book paper with a varnish (matte medium) to protect it. Actually I will coat the whole front of the guitar with this varnish when I finish painting.
But on to page 68:
Pip is lead by the lovely Estella into a detached house at the back of the property. They walk through the back courtyard to get to it. She tells him to wait by a window until he is needed. I guess he is not allowed to participate in the conversation that is being held by three ladies and one gentleman. He is feeling uncomfortable, as if he is being scrutinized by the group. He stares out the window at the neglected courtyard. The people in the room are described as being “toadies and humbugs.” That doesn’t sound like a compliment!
I’ve worked on my guitar some more. I did not like how Estella’s right eye looked, so I painted over it and recreated it. I want her to have a dull, unfeeling look. I think I achieved that! For Pip I had quickly painted him in a more stylized way. I then painted an outline of Manor House, Miss Havisham’s home, right over Pip’s head. I also worked on the little piggie a bit and added some more details to the abstract shapes along the right side. So far, so good! I wish I could keep this one. Maybe I will have to go to the festival and bid on it!
Day 62, page 67:
Once home, Pip’s sister, in a rare good mood, discovers that the new shilling was wrapped in TWO one-pound notes! Thinking this a mistake, Joe runs off with the notes to the pub to return them to the stranger, who was, of course, no longer there. Back home, they hide the notes under a teapot for the time being.
Pip has a fitful night full of nightmares about the convict/stranger and the file coming at him as if to stab him!
Chapter 11 begins, still on page 67:
It’s the following Wednesday, and Pip is back at Miss Havisham’s for his second visit. Estella lets him into the yard and leads him down a different passageway in the house. Almost done with the guitar! I’ll work on it some more tomorrow and read page 68. Thanks for stopping by!
Happy Accidents! As my daughter was leaning over my shoulder watching me work on the guitar last night, her hair swooshed over a part that was still very wet with oil paint. It left a beautiful scratchy mark in the paint that can only be done by accident. She thought I’d be upset, but “NO!” I loved it. After making sure I got any oil paint out of her hair, I tried to replicate the look with my own hair. But it didn’t work. So I used a large course bristle brush in some of the wet areas and got a similar result as with the accident “daughter’s-hair” brush. Yeah!
Since the paint was still so very wet, I could not paint the little objects onto the area that I wanted to. Not wanting to wait until the paint was dry, I decided to try scratching (drawing) the objects into the wet paint. (see above photo) Tried a toothpick first, but it was too small of a point. The handle end of a paint brush worked just fine. I drew in images that I thought about when reading Great Expectations. (These were used in a previous sketch I did.)
Now, what I read today, on page 64:
The stranger in the Three Jolly Bargemen orders rum “all around” at his expense (just for himself, Joe and Mr Wopsle). The stranger is described as wearing a large brimmed floppy hat and under it a tied handkerchief covering all of his hair, if he has any at all. That’s it! Not much today. Probably find out who this stranger is tomorrow or Monday. Have a great weekend!
Dickens gives a beautiful description of how just one day can make a difference in one’s whole life… of how one thing can happen on just one day and that thing changes the course of that person’s life forever. The first link in a chain of events (“a chain of iron, gold, thorns or flowers”) gets started one day and continues to grow and alters a life.
Pip is referring to the start of a chain of events that he suspects will grow and continue to alter the course of his life. And that first link in the chain of events was his visit with Miss Havisham, set up by Uncle Pumblechook. Pip was called “common” by the beautiful young Estella at this visit. So he decides that day to become “uncommon” and asks Biddy to teach him everything she knows.
I did a floral watercolor chain in the shape of the word common. I wanted “common” to be anything but common.
I am still thinking about my designs for the Richardson Wildflower Festival guitar. Here are two ideas. One is more traditional with images of the main characters and a horse and carriage. The other is more graphic and “design-y”. I like both, but just need to decide. Please help me! Let me know which you prefer. THANKS!
Guitar Design A:
Guitar Design B
Joe encourages Pip by telling him he has accomplished a lot of learning already (writing a whole letter in print) and that everyone, even the king, had to start somewhere (literally, at the beginning of the alphabet with the letter “A”). He also tells Pip that he will not become uncommon by telling lies and he should never to do it again. Pip falls asleep that night thinking of the differences in his life and Estella’s and Miss Havisham’s.
For the next week, or so, I will be working on an art guitar to be auctioned off at the Wildflower Festival in Richardson Texas! This is where I take an ordinary guitar, preferably acoustic, and paint, collage, cut it up, whatever… just make it cool. The proceeds from the auction go to the Network of Community Ministries and to the high school fine art programs of the local school district! Yeah, I like that. I did one last year, my first, so this will be my second guitar to do. The festival is May 18-20, so I have until about May 16 to be done. YIKES! It’s almost April!
Here is the guitar I did last year, with a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Jules Verne theme. I love that book, the story and the movie made back in 1954… so cool. (I did not see it in 1954… wasn’t around then!)
My plan this year is… you guessed it… to do a Dickens/Great Expectations themed guitar. I will post my progress here and continue reading the book as I go along. Here is what the blank guitar looks like right now, before being altered:
Can’t wait to start on it. Here is a little sketch of my plan:
It doesn’t look like much yet. I’ll work on a more refined sketch in the next few days. But I won’t spend too much time on that. I like to just jump right in, start painting and let it come together as I go along. I do want some 3D elements, maybe top hat and feathers on top. Not sure.
Here is a link to the festival’s guitar auction page. (Mine is featured there!) I’d say they had about 20 guitars total last year.