Monthly Archives: March 2012

Great Expectations Day 56

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.


Great Expectations Day 55

Pip admits to Joe in the forge that everything he said about his visit with Miss Havisham was a lie. All lies! Joe asks “Why?” Joe tells Pip that “lies is lies” and “they come from the father of lies.” Pip admits to wishing he weren’t so common. Joe doesn’t understand this – he thinks Pip is uncommon.

Miss Havisham, Pip, and Estella, in art from t...
Miss Havisham, Pip, and Estella, in art from the Imperial Edition of Charles Dickens's Great Expectations. Art by H. M. Brock. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I did a pastel devil and then added some text in Photoshop. Until tomorrow! Here is a drawing from the book, very old. Notice the quote at the bottom: “Well? You can break his heart.”

Great Expectations Day 54

Pip continues to describe (lie) about the events at Miss Havisham’s to Mrs Joe and Uncle Pumblechook. He describes waving flags and swords out of the coach window. He thinks about telling them there is a balloon in her backyard and a bear in the brewery, but decides against it. Joe comes in from the forge for a short break (afternoon tea) and the three adults debate about what Miss Havisham has planned for Pip… what good fortune will come to him from gaining her good favour.

This started out as a little collage of old torn papers. Then I added the ink drawings on top, some traditional and some in Photoshop. The flags read: “High Society” – “Here we come”. I am pleased with this simple little piece!

Great Expectations Day 53

I created this collage using a copyright-free photo of Charles Dickens taken in 1860. This was taken at the time that he was writing Great Expectations!

Pip tells more lies about his first visit with Miss Havisham to his sister, Mrs Joe, and Uncle Pumblechook. (I love to say Pumblechook, but hate typing it!) He says that he, Miss H and Estella ate cake and drank wine in a black velvet coach which was in Miss H’s dressing room (no horses, of course). He goes on to say (lie) that there were four immense dogs eating out of a silver basket and that he played with flags (not cards). Uncle P admits that has never “clapped eyes” on Miss Havisham, only spoken with her through her slightly ajar door.

I used Photoshop, applying various brushes, textures and layering techniques to the original pic. It was fun!

Great Expectations Day 52

Here is Pip in a chair, in Miss Joe’s kitchen being interrogated by Uncle Pumblechook about his visit to Miss Havisham’s. He doesn’t want to share with them the truth. So basically he is keeping his mouth shut. Miss Joe is roughing him up for this. From Pip’s point of view, they are being cruel. And maybe they are. But possibly they are thinking of his best interest and thinking that if Pip gets in good with Miss Havisham, his future could change for the better.

Pip tells them that Miss H is tall and dark, which she isn’t. When Uncle P agrees with this, Pip realizes that he has never actually met her. Interesting!

I did this background acrylic painting a while back to use simply as background art when needed. I scanned it in, drew a white silhouette of Pip on the chair and grunged it up a bit too.

Great Expectations Day 51

I had so much fun drawing this one! Done entirely in Illustrator. I used images that I was thinking about… well, actually that Pip was thinking about: his thick boots, course hands, Estella causing him to cry (tears) and his questioning himself and his upbringing.

As Estella lets Pip out of the yard at Manor House, she tells him that she can tell that he was crying. She laughs as she pushes him out of the gate. As he walks the four miles home, he obsesses about his hands, boots and his way of life up to this point. He has never known any other way of life – that anything different ever existed. He describes his life as being “in a low-lived, bad way.”

Once home, his sister badgers him to get answers to what went on at Miss Havisham’s. He says as little as possible and gets his face shoved against the kitchen wall.

Great Expectations Day 50!

Pip is still exploring Miss Havisham’s neglected courtyard and the deserted brewery next door. He peers over a short old wall into the weedy overgrown garden of Manor House. He sees Estella walking there down a worn path. He then starts walking on top of overturned beer casks, and sees Estella also doing the same thing off in the distance. He enters the large empty brewery and looks up to see Estella climbing some very high iron stairs. To his right, he spots someone else. It’s Miss H hanging by her neck in all her faded-wilted glory. GRUESOME!

He realizes he is imagining these things. Whew! Is it the beer impairing his vision and mind? Little kids shouldn’t drink! Is it illegal for children to drink alcohol in private homes? In the States? What about in Europe? I’ll look it up!

The laws apparently vary widely by country determining legal drinking age and where it can be consumed, in public places or private homes, and different kinds of alcoholic drinks. Most laws apply only to drinking in public places. The U.K. is the only country that has a minimum legal drinking age for drinking alcohol in the home. That’s interesting. In England it is against the law for any child under age 5 to be given alcohol unless under medical supervision or an emergency. (What emergency?) For ages 5-17 in England: it is legal for them to consume alcohol at home or a friend’s house with parent’s permission. In the U.S. before 1984 it varied by state. But a national law was passed in 1984 that made the legal drinking age 21. Only a few states have laws prohibiting under age children from drinking in private residences.

Enough about that! There are so many different laws, even within the U.S. and each state, that it is very confusing! (17 states do not ban underage consumption at all! Can that be correct?)

Anyway, here is my little art for today. I did a complex collage yesterday, so decided to go with simple today. Just black ink on white bristol board: a sketch of the overgrown garden, Manor House and a ghost of Miss Havisham floating above in her wedding gown.

Great Expectations Day 49

Pip feels many emotions – humiliated, hurt, spurned, offended, angry and sorry. He starts to cry, but when Estella notices and smiles, he forces himself to stop. That is, until she leaves him alone. Then he wails, pulling his hair and kicking a wall behind a fence gate. He thinks of how his sister raised him, by hand, cruelly, never showing any love. And Pip, never knowing the love of a mother. He gains control of himself and starts to look about the deserted brewery next door to Miss Havisham’s house.

Here is a collage I created yesterday on top of an old watercolor painting I did many years ago. I had grown tired of it and it needed a new life. It was of a bee hive with some pretty flowers growing around it. There are pieces of it peeking through the paper I glued on top to give myself a new working ground. I was thinking of canons firing, the new birth of factories popping up in England at this time, Pip’s sister and his loneliness. I think things are about to seriously change for Pip… for better or for worse!

Great Expectations Day 48

PIP drinks some BEER (not his first time)

Estella beats Pip at cards. (She’s so mean!) Miss Havisham asks Pip to come back in 6 days to “play” some more. She sends the two children away with instructions for Estella to give Pip a meal. Estella takes Pip back outside and leaves him in the courtyard by the side door. She comes back with meat, bread and beer for him.

Sketch of Pip with his mug of beer and names of the people who have influenced him. (I left off his sister!)