Art Expectations 382 Joe’s Portrait

Mixed Media Portrait by Julie Flandorfer

With only FOUR pages to go, I decided to do four portraits: Joe, Pip, Magwitch and Estella. Here is Joe. {Day 382, Page 408}

Dickens tells of the next phase of Pip’s life:
– he sold all his belongings
– started paying off his creditors
– left England
– went to work for Herbert and Clarriker (this is the business he secretly helped get started using his “great expectations” money from Magwitch)
– he goes to live with Herbert and Clara (her father passed away)
– he begins to write regularly to Joe and Biddy

He works hard to become a third (partner?) in the firm. Clarriker says he can no longer hide the secret. He tells Herbert where the money came from. Instead of becoming angry at Pip for secretly funding his career and not believing that he could make it on his own, their friendship grows stronger. Herbert is moved and amazed at Pip’s generosity. Their business continues to do well, not making “mints of money”, but well enough.
Chapter 59:   After eleven years of all this hard work, Pip finally returns home to find Joe, Biddy, a little boy and a baby girl all sitting by the fire. They have named their boy Pip.


Art Expectations 381 Extinct

Art Journal Art Expectations by Julie Flandorfer

{Day 381, Page 407} Pip recovers from the shock of finding out about Joe and Biddy’s marriage. He says he’s very happy for both of them. And that they couldn’t have done better. He thanks them for paying off his debt which kept him out of prison. He is planning to leave in an hour (change of plans since he will no longer be courting Biddy). He plans to go abroad and work to repay them. He hopes that they have children to love. Perhaps a little boy like himself to sit by the fire with Joe, as Pip had once done. He asks that they not tell the child that Pip had been ungenerous and unjust. Joe would never think of it. He asks for their forgiveness. Joe says there is nothing to forgive. Biddy says yes. Pip goes up to look at his old little room upstairs. He informs them that after dinner and drinks he’ll be on his way. Of course if Joe and Biddy hadn’t married, Pip would be staying longer. To win over her heart. Too late, Pip!

I found these pictures of the extinct Dodo bird and incorporated them into this art journal spread in an old book. (I was experimenting with my newest, latest, greatest art supply: Gelatos!) Pip must feel like they did, not extinct, but very, very lonely. Will he ever find love?


Art Expectations 380 Wedding Day

Art Journal Great Expectations by Julie Flandorfer

Pip continues his walk toward his childhood home to see Joe and reconnect (romantically) with Biddy. He expects to hear Joe’s hammer clinking and clanking in his shop, but hears nothing. There are sweet green lime trees and chestnut trees with leaves rustling in the breeze. But no hammer sounds. As he approaches he sees that the forge is all shut up. That’s unusual. Biddy and Joe spot Pip approaching and run to greet him. They weep and embrace. Pip has not been back in a very long time. Biddy looks fresh and pleasant. She says, “It’s my wedding day” and “I am married to Joe!” What?! (I guess I did see that coming. But Pip did not.) He must have fainted because he woke up with his head on the table in the house. They are both overjoyed to see him. So delighted and proud. His coming on this very day, their wedding day, was a grand surprise. Back in London when Joe was nursing him back to health, Pip had almost told Joe about his plans with Biddy. Thank goodness he had not! That would have been very awkward for them all.

I’ve been working more on art journaling. So here is an entry in one of my on-going books. This illustration is based on a tutorial in Staci Swider’s Acrylic Expressions book.

Fun book with great ideas! Acrylic paint and an old book page. Only FIVE pages to go!

Art Expectations 379 Windy Donky

Windy Donkey & Lark

Pip describes Mr Pumblechook as a windy donkey. He can’t believe Mr P has the gall to speak to him this way! They argue some more about whether Mr P was a benefactor of Pip’s or not. Mr P leaves angrily, telling the Blue Boar staff that they are free to tell the whole town of Pip’s ungratefulness. As Pip heads home to see Joe and Biddy he passes by Mr P’s shop in town. Mr P and other townsfolk gathered around give Pip the stink-eye. He doesn’t care. Joe and Biddy will understand. He feels “a sense of increasing relief” as he draws nearer to them, leaving arrogance and untruthfulness behind him. (I think he’s referring to Mr P and not his own arrogance and lies.) It’s June, the sky is blue and larks soar over the green corn. Pip notices the beauty of the countryside. It’s been a long time since he’s walked this path. He passes Biddy’s schoolhouse hoping to see her there. But it’s all closed up. He continues his walk.

I’ve been doing some art journaling. Was having trouble getting into it. I’m not a writer! I don’t “journal”. But I’ve kept at it, working on three recycled (upcycled) old books at once. I keep telling myself that it’s just a sketchbook. I can write if I want to, but it’s not necessary. I am enjoying it. The pressure of doing something good on a big, blank, white (expensive) canvas is off! So it is freeing to work this way. I hope I can keep it up! This page is from one of those art journals. It’s on the inside cover of a discarded hard bound book. More to come!

Art Expectations Side Trip


Above is my own interpretation of Snow White, based on the lessons from the Ever After class: It’s been a lot of fun! I decided to give her snow white hair and a black dress. She looks a little depressed😦

Below is my Snow White on the left that was influenced by Annie Hamman’s on the right (she’s so talented! love her work):
IMG_3796       Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 9.58.02 PM

The Handless Maiden, mine on the left (with a more ethnic look, Indian perhaps) and Gaila Alena’s on the right. Her work is beautiful, maybe not my style, but it’s so nicely done.
IMG_4235       Screen Shot 2016-09-03 at 9.58.52 PM

I am so behind on this Great Expectations project! But I haven’t been lollygagging about. Oh no. This is ONE of the reasons I’ve been preoccupied, neglecting my poor Pip:  I’ve signed up for this four month long online class called Ever After. I posted my Little Mermaid (based on Tamara Laport’s art) and my Beauty & the Beast (based on Andrea Gomoll’s art) earlier. I promise I’ll get back to Pip soon, but it may have to wait until this class is over!Save

Art Expectations 378 Pig Headed Pip

Pig Headed Pip by Julie Flandorfer

{Day 378 Page 404}  Mr Pumblechook steps back from Pip and the teapot. Talking to the waiter and landlord of the Blue Boar, but so Pip can hear, he says that Pip is the very same person that he played with in happy infancy. He attended the wedding of Pip’s sister and Joe. He watched as they raised him. He’s shaming Pip for having forgotten where he came from, his background. He goes on to claim having been Pip’s FIRST benefactor. But, yet he’s never received any thanks or monetary appreciation from Pip. Pip never shared any of his Great Expectations with Mr P. (Or for that matter, with Joe either.) Pip disagrees that Mr P was ever a benefactor of his. Mr P was the one who put Pip together with Miss Havisham. But, remember that she was not the true benefactor of Pip. The money never came from her. It came instead from Magwitch, the prisoner whom Pip helped out, in secret, as a child. Even though the monetary Great Expectations did not come from Miss H, Pip did benefit from having known her. After all, that’s how he met Estella, the love of his life. Mr P calls Pip ungrateful and pig-headed. It’s true that Pip should have kept in touch with his “roots” and helped his family out in some way. If not with money, then with visiting them from time to time.

Art Expectations 377 Mr P. Pours Tea

Art Expectations by Julie Flandorfer

{Day 377 Page 403}  Pip arrives back at the Blue Boar for his breakfast. He finds Mr Pumblechook waiting for him. He says he’s sorry to see Pip down-and-out. “But what else could be expected!” He makes a great scene of pouring Pip’s tea, pretending to be alarmed that “it has come to this”. He asks the waiter for salt for Pip’s tea because surely Pip can’t afford the sugar and milk that he once had with his tea. Back when he had “great expectations.” (It seems as if Mr P is rubbing it in. Almost gloating in Pip’s downfall.)  He asks Pip if he’ll be going to visit Joe while in town. Pip snaps back asking what does it matter to HIM where he’s going!? (Remember Pip has not been back to visit Joe since he moved to London and became wealthy. He has been back to his childhood town plenty of times in the past, but only to see Miss Havisham and Estella.) Pip snaps, “Leave that teapot alone.” He realizes right away that he shouldn’t have let Mr P upset him. But, dang it, Mr P was getting on his last nerve!

Played around with my new Pan Pastels! Watched a few You Tube videos for some technique tips. They are very smooth and creamy, less chalk dust than with normal stick pastels. Don’t quite have the hang of them yet. More playing needed!

Art Expectations 376 Same Dreams

Same Dreams by Julie Flandorfer

{Day 376 Page 402}  Can you believe I only have about ten pages to go?! And I’m having a hard time doing these last few pages. Do I not want it to end? It can’t be that. Just busy I suppose. I am ready to move on to other things… other projects. Maybe do another book? NO!

As I read this page of Dickens’ Great Expectations, I couldn’t help but think of all the violence against American police officers and the unnecessary deaths of black people. Is there violence on this page? No, but he tells how Pip is having the same dreams that he had when he was rich. He is also being treated differently since having lost his great expectations. So, no matter who we are, rich or poor, black or white, great expectations or no expectations at all… don’t we all want the same things? We have the same dreams. We all have feelings, love for our children and want to see them grow up to succeed. Fathers, who happen to be policemen or black men caught by police maybe doing something illegal, often not, want to provide for their children, love their wives and live a long safe life. Hopefully this madness will end soon. Here’s my take on page 376…

Pip is still making his plans to go back home, confess all to Joe and his love for Biddy. He hopes he can work at the forge. Or maybe he and Biddy can go away to live and work elsewhere. He’s assuming she still pines for him. I feel more heartbreak coming for Pip!
(Chapter 58) Pip has traveled back home and is staying at the Blue Boar Inn. He realizes that news of his diminishing fortune has preceded him. The Boar staff are cool to him. And they don’t have his usual room available, the finest in the Inn. He sleeps instead in a room off the yard with the carriages and pigeons. He makes a surprising discovery. He sleeps just as well in this room and has the exact same dreams as he did in the finest room and when he was rich! In the morning he walks over to Satis House, Miss Havisham’s old home. (She passed away after being burned when her tattered gown caught fire from her fireplace several months ago.) He sees an auctioneer marking up her home. Items are to be sold and the house torn down. He feels like a stranger looking on.

I did this watercolor sketch pretty quickly on Sunday, July 17 after hearing about the shooting of the policemen in Baton Rouge that morning. It’s one of those where I had no doubt what to do, just had to get it out of my head and onto the paper! Sorry for the long mini-novel today. Next day will be shorter. And on to the end…..


Art Expectations – A Short Break

Sharing with you the work I’ve been doing in the Ever After online class. It’s been fun! I’m three weeks in on this four month class. It’s not my usual subject matter (fairy tales) or my usual way of working (painting in someone else’s style).  BUT, I’ve learned a lot about myself and how I do like to work. Take a look below and see the online class if you’re interested. (See link below my pics)


beauty beast final

Snow White in progress:

snow white in progress

Check out the class: