I am taking an on-line class (my first!) taught by the wonderfully talented Carla Sonheim. While working on her project yesterday I decided to “kill two birds with one stone” or “two arts with one gelli pad!” The piece above was done using her techniques and my brand-spanking new Gelli Printing Plate! You can see her class info here:
It started yesterday, but anyone can sign up at any time and work at their own pace. This works great for me, because I’m busy, busy, busy. I still have dependants who depend on me! Young teenagers, who often don’t want to hear my opinions but still needy when it comes to rides, money and food!
Page 158 of Great Expectations finds Pip going for a late evening walk with Herbert Pocket then to see a Theatre show at half-price. This is still Pip’s first day in London, Saturday. In the morning they go to church at Westminster Abbey and then another walk in The Parks. There are many horses there which remind Pip of his step-father Joe, who helped raise him. (Joe is a blacksmith and often makes horseshoes.) He starts to feel sad about all he’s left behind, the country, Joe, Biddy too, I’m sure. It all seems so far away, even though he was there just this morning, saying his good-byes.
Monday morning arrives and Herbert starts his work-week. I think Pip is going to tag along.
My Gelli print is of Westminster Abbey. I had fun using this new mono-printing technique for the first time on this piece. I used acrylic paint. If you are interested in learning about it, sign up for Carla’s class!
Here’s what’s happening on Page 156:
Pip, Handel according to Herbert, finds out that Miss Havisham’s half-brother was in on the cruel scheme with her fiancé to swindle her out of her fortune. (Poor Miss H!) Herbert does not know where the two men are today. They seem to have disappeared. Estella was adopted by Miss H at some point – also something Herbert knows little about. Maybe we will find out later.
In the meantime, Pip and Herbert agree that they both now know the exact same information about Miss H.
How horrible to be ready for the wedding, in the gown, cake on the table, only to find out that it was all a cruel joke, a mean scheme!
Miss Havisham (not Estella) is the one who lost her mother, young,
and grew up spoiled by her brewer father. (I got confused and thought
Herbert was talking about Estella. Easy to do with Dickens!) Miss
Havisham’s father dies, leaving her a wealthy heiress with a wasteful
and extravagant half-brother.
As Herbert tells Pip all about Miss Havisham, he throws in bits of
advice on how one holds his silverware, wine-tumbler and dinner-
napkin properly. Pip is not insulted ain the least and they both
giggle at Pip’s ignorance in these things.
Herbert continues: Twenty-five years ago young Miss Havisham meets
and falls in love with a man.
Jaggers eats a quick lunch, standing and drinking sherry from a flask. (He’s a very busy man, too busy to sit for lunch!) He informs Pip of his sleeping arrangements for the coming week: a few days with young Pocket, then on to his father’s place. (Young Pocket’s father or Jaggers’s father? This is not clear.)
Pip is also told what his allowance will be (VERY generous – lucky Pip!) and where to shop. While walking with Wemmick (Jaggers’s clerk) to his first place to hang out, Pip sizes up Wemmick: he’s a dry, short man with a wooden square face, probably a bachelor, judging by his frayed clothing.
I’m glad to be back to posting, from my short Spring Break. I plan to get back to posting regularly, despite the fact that I HAVE to get started on my taxes! argh
Pip and Pumblechook eat, drink and “get merry.” Pumblechook offers Pip the best cuts of meat. They both become flushed in the face, Pip “steeped in wine”. Pumblechook talks to the chicken in the dish which they are devouring, saying that the fledgling had no idea what was in store for him. (Hmmm… he’s talking about the chicken, right? Or maybe about Pip!)
You should go see this exhibit! It ends tomorrow, January 20, at the Dallas Museum of Art. Go if you live nearby and can get there! I went this morning (a little crowded) but so worth it. Amazing! A whole room full of Toulouse-Lautrec original posters! (Ok, so they are lithographic prints, but still original prints!) The exhibit also includes many other poster artists from the late 1800s, such as Jules Chéret and Alphonse Mucha. Beautiful work!
I was very influenced by these posters and artists about 20 years ago (still am actually). I created a few paintings in a style similar to theirs. I tried anyway! Here they are (they now hang, framed, in my bedroom):
Pip walks further on, out to the battery. He ponders whether Miss Havisham (he’s assuming she’s his benefactor) intends him to marry Estella. Such lovely thoughts!
He drifts off to sleep and awakes to find Joe sitting beside him. Pip tells Joe and Biddy (separately) that he’ll never forget them. He asks Biddy a favor, that she be OK with him helping Joe become less dull, more civilized and more of a gentleman, like he is to become.
Joe is obviously comfortable with who he is, but Pip is not (with himself or with Joe). If Pip had never met Miss Havisham and Estella, he’d have been perfectly happy being a blacksmith, a commoner and possibly marrying sweet Biddy.
I decided to do a portrait of the future gentleman Pip, in his new attire. I purposefully stretched him out to be bigger than himself, his head up in the clouds, his nose in the air, above all those he knows. Maybe he will redeem himself someday or London will put him in his place! Surely he’s going to London in the next few pages!!!
Jaggers calls Pip, Mr. Pip. He’s never been called that before. More details of the arrangement of PIp’s education are revealed:
1) Jaggers will be his guardian
2) Pip will receive a large sum of money to pay for his education and maintenance
3) Pip will need a tutor
Jaggers makes it very clear that he, Jaggers, is being paid for his services. (He is not doing this of his own good will or choice.) The tutor that Jaggers mentions for Pip is a Mr. Matthew Pocket.
I wanted to do a painting that reflects Pip’s leaving of the natural world (his life in the country and working at the forge/outdoors, wandering through the marshes) and heading to the big city where he will become refined and not use his hands for work. He’ll become educated, a gentleman, and his life will revolve around the finer things in life and culture. (I assume all of this!)
Pip will be moving to London soon. How exciting! Anyone out there reading this live in London? Now, or in the past, maybe future plans to live there?
The stranger at the bar continues to put Mr Wopsle on the spot for assuming that the suspect in the murder case was guilty before having his day in court. Then the stranger asks aloud for Joe, the blacksmith and then for Pip. “I am here!” says Pip. Wonder what he wants?
That’s it! Pretty boring page, nothing much happening. BUT I can’t wait to see what the stranger wants from them. Is he the convict from several years past?
I did an acrylic painting, letting some of the paint run, drawing on top with a thin white paint pen. I looked at one of the ink drawings by F. W. Pailthorpe in the book for my reference for Pip and Joe. (It’s below.) Pip is in the bar with Joe awaiting the strangers request.