Monthly Archives: April 2012

Art Expectations Day 64

Finished Guitar:

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.

Page 69:

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!


Art Expectations Day 63

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!

Art Expectations Day 62

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!


Art Expectations Day 61

Hello, I took a week off to get my tax return done. And it is ALL DONE. Hallelujah! Hope yours wasn’t as difficult as mine.

I am back to working on my Wildflower Festival guitar to be auctioned off. It’s for a good cause – high school arts programs in the neighborhood and the Network of Community Ministries. Plus, this festival is a lot of fun. Check it out at:

I moved the guitar to my easel. I was having trouble painting on the drafting table. The guitar is kind of an awkward shape to paint and my table was not big enough. l added the first line of the last paragraph in the book, “I took her hand in mine, and we went out of the ruined place”. Then I started painting Estella. I spent some time on her (even though she is not yet done) so when it came time to paint Pip, I did him really quickly. It’s a work-in-progress!

On Day 61, I read page 66:

At the Three Jolly Bargemen (local pub), the stranger stares at Pip as he stirs and sips his rum. Stirring, staring, sipping. Pip realizes the stranger is stirring his drink with the VERY SAME file that Pip took from Joe’s shop and gave to the convict in the marsh to saw off his leg iron!!! Yikes! Joe and Mr Wopsle do not see the file; the stranger slips it away. As they are all leaving the pub (rum has run out), the stranger gives Pip a bright new shilling wrapped in crumpled paper. I wonder if there is anything on that piece of paper?

Great Expectations Day 60, Pip and Pipe

I did a collage yesterday, Easter Sunday, after I read page 65 in my Great Expectations book. The characters are taking long drags of their pipes in the Three Jolly Bargemen pub as they contemplate each other’s questions. (Well, Pip is not smoking a pipe. Joe, Mr Wopsle and the stranger are.) The stranger is asking Joe about his relation to Pip. Mr Wopsle joins in with a quote from Shakespeare. Joe tells the stranger about their hunt a year ago for a convict in the marshes. The stranger seems amused by this.

I started out with an old dictionary page which I had glued onto a piece of scrap cardboard. Then I added bits of paper, painted acrylic rust-colored ovals and drew on an old pipe with a Sharpie. It still needed “something”, so I painted on grey-blue puffs of smoke and for extra color, the lime-green flowers.

The guitar is coming along. Right now, I am waiting for it to dry a bit more before adding the next part. Hopefully I will get to it tomorrow. HOWEVER… I HAVE to finish my taxes this week!!! So I may have less posts than usual as I tend to this horrible task.

Great Expectations Day 59 Wildflower Guitar

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!

Great Expectations Day 58


I’m working on my Great Expectations guitar for the Wildflower festival finally! I could not decide between the two designs I had sketched out, so obviously they were just not right. I couldn’t get excited about either one. This new design came to me really quickly. I sketched it out and got started right away.

First, back to the story (look further down to see the progression of my guitar painting):

Pip describes the night classes he attends at Mr Wopsle’s great-aunt’s shop. (It’s also her bed-chamber and she pretty much just dozes off the whole time!) Here is his description of what goes on: the children toss an old book around, fighting, great-aunt sleeps, Biddy reads aloud and they try to follow along and it’s very dark during the winter in the shop so it’s hard to even see.

After class, Pip stops by the Three Jolly Bargemen, the local public-house, to fetch Joe and take him home. Joe is by the fire, smoking his pipe, with Mr Wopsle and a stranger. I wonder if the word “pub” comes from public-house? Yes, it does. Here are some facts about how pubs got started from Wikipedia:

Guitar work:

(I am painting in oils directly on the guitar. This will not be the most exciting guitar at the event! And I am OK with this. There will be some amazing pieces there, especially ones that are more like sculpture, greatly altered…. really cool. But I feel strongly that I want my guitars to still be playable – to still function as a guitar.)



Great Expectations Day 57

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