Ceramic poodles?! REALLY?!!? Pip’s home is described in more detail. It’s actually Mrs Joe’s home. (She wears the pants and pretty much runs everything.) She has four white ceramic poodles on the mantel, each carrying a basket in their teeth. I got the impression that Mrs Joe was a no-nonsense, no-frills, hearty-stock kind of a woman. Not the type to have little ceramic poodles on the mantel! I just couldn’t get this image out of my mind… so I did a painting of a kitschy ceramic poodle. These must have been popular at the time. Cute!
Also had a different image in my mind while reading this page. So here’s another, a quick Illustrator piece. The wings I drew two years ago for a different project. (Recycling!)
Pip and Joe are heading into church on Christmas Day, both wearing ill-fitting clothes. (Mrs Joe picks out their clothing. No surprise there!) Pip is thinking of confessing his sins during the service, but he doesn’t. He is terrified and remorseful. Poor kid. But hey, it’s Christmas Day! Merry Christmas!
Pip is very curious about convicts and the gun fire that he hears. (Or it may be cannon fire, Dickens doesn’t really say which.) Either way, Joe and Mrs Joe explain to Pip that the Hulks (not the big green guy… but a hulk is a ship that is afloat, but incapable of going to sea) are firing on the escaped convicts. Mrs Joe thumps Pip on the head with a thimble. She tells him he is on the way to becoming a convict for asking too many questions!
My art is about being labeled. Hopefully Pip won’t become a convict… even though he HAS stolen bread from his sister! I used acrylic paint and an old Sears catalog page from 1902. (Love this paper!)
Joe notices that Pip’s bread is gone and he thinks Pip has swallowed it whole (“a bolting his food”). Mrs Joe gives Pip Tar-water to drink to make him either digest the bread better or to help it come up and out. Poor Pip. The bread is in his pant leg! She also makes Joe drink some too, just for good measure, I suppose. She calls Joe a “staring great stuck pig!”
“Tar-water is a Medieval medicine consisting of pine tar and water. It was foul tasting and so slowly dropped in popularity, but was revived in the Victorian era. The use of the medicine is mentioned in Great Expectations, Chapter 2 by Charles Dickens. Young Pip and his brother in law Joe were often force fed it by Mrs. Joe, Pip’s elder sister, whether they were ill or not, as sort of cruel punishment.” (Thanks wikipedia.)
I whipped out this very quick little watercolor of the Tar-water bottle. My son is having difficulty reading the book. In other words, he just can’t get into it. So I got him the audio book from the library (http://www.cor.net/library/). He’s not using it. We’ll see what happens! Hopefully something will click and he’ll start to like it. I’ll be back tomorrow for Day 9.