I’m on Day 86. I had originally planned to read a page a day of Great Expectations by Dickens and create a piece of art a day that somehow relates to what I read. This project has been more of a commitment than I had originally planned. Well, I just didn’t think it all the way through. The book is 412 pages after all!
My original goals were to read the whole book along with my son, carving out a little time each day to be creative, learning some new techniques and trying a few new styles of art and illustration. Even though I am not working on this every day, I feel I am accomplishing those goals. Can’t wait until I finish the book so that I can watch every Great Expectations movie ever made!
Back to the story, page 95:
We are introduced to Orlick, Joe’s journeyman. I wasn’t sure what a journeyman was so I looked it up.
noun, plural jour·ney·men.
1. a person who has served an apprenticeship at a trade or handicraft and is certified to work at it assisting or under another person.
2. any experienced, competent but routine worker or performer.
3. a person hired to do work for another, usually for a day at a time.
I believe in this case, it’s definition No. 2 or 3. (Thank you Dictionary.com)
Orlick and Pip do not like each other. When Pip was young, Orlick told him that the Devil lived in a dark corner of the forge. How scary is that?!? Orlick also told Pip that every seven years they have to start the fire in the blacksmith shop with a live boy! Poor PIP! He probably lived in fear of when the next 7th year would be. Orlick is no friendlier with Pip now that Pip is an official apprentice. In fact, Orlick still beats his sparks in Pip’s direction.
I really had fun creating this altered book piece! I worked on it for about 5 days, a little every day. I trimmed out the pages to be the profile of a bird’s body. LOTS of cutting, and had to replace the knife blade once. I then did some drawing, painting and collage on the inside covers. Coated it all with matte gel medium. And… ta da… done!
Pip is still considering a visit to Miss Havisham’s. (He hasn’t seen her OR Estella in a year.) Joe seems to be talking him out of it. Or at least making sure Pip understands that she may think he is expecting something more from her. Joe suggests that Pip take a thank you gift, something that he himself has learned to make in his first year of training as a blacksmith. Joe suggests some horse shoes, a toasting-fork, screws or perhaps a gridiron. Pip does NOT want to make or take her a gift at all! He is like a little bird wanting to fly away.
Have you tried altering a book? If so, send me link to see what you’ve done!
Pip teaches Joe everything he learns from Biddy, Mr Wopsle and Mr Wopsle’s great-aunt. Not because he is truly concerned about Joe’s education, but because he is ashamed of Joe’s commonness. He doesn’t want Joe to appear ignorant in the eyes of Estella and Miss Havisham. So Pip schools Joe down at the battery in the marshes by the river. (Not sure why he doesn’t do it at home. It could be because Mrs Joe would not like Joe becoming smarter than herself!) It’s nice here, though, on the river in the marshes. Pip sees Estella and Miss H in everything beautiful that he looks upon here… the green lush marshes, blue calm river and the sails on the water. Peaceful, beautiful and quiet. He wonders, aloud, if he should pay a visit to Miss H and Estella.
Below also is a little something I did recently for my father’s birthday. It’s a collage containing some old Sears Roebuck catalog paper, ransom-like letters cut out of magazines and an old pickup truck that I painted in black acrylic and colored in Photoshop. I love that front tire!
I’m ONLY on page 92??? I still have a ways to go. But getting there. I’ll celebrate when I get to page 100!
I decided to play with type this time, taking a quote from earlier in the book. It was fun, but took some time to get it just right.
Pip is now ashamed of his home. He often imagines the fine, beautiful Estella peeping in at him at work in the forge, doing his most coarsest work, covered in black soot. Pip’s schooling at Mr Wopsle’s great-aunt’s is terminated. He has outgrown the school (learned as much as he can from her). He does admit that most of his learning came from Biddy anyway. She taught him many things. I hope he is grateful to her!
Pip now sees his former life as coarse and common. (Partly because Estella called him this.) He no longer sees the forge “as the glowing road to manhood and independence.” But sees it as weighing him down and holding him back from the finer things in life, of which he got a taste of at Miss Havisham’s. He never mentions this to Joe, but continues on with his blacksmithing apprenticeship. A heavy, blank curtain has dropped upon his life as he looks toward his future as a blacksmith. This is a dark time for Pip. So bleak!
I took a piece of unwanted junk mail, gessoed it and then drew and collaged on top. I really like the Dr. Suess quote at the top. I won a contest on Carla Sonheim’s blog http://carlasonheim.wordpress.com/ for a $25 gift certificate to Joggles http://www.joggles.com/. With it I purchased some Derwent Inktense colored pencils. They are really great! I just recently started using my watercolor pencils, even though I have had a nice set of Derwent ones for more than 20 years. These Inktense ones are… well, more intense, of course. It’s so much fun to play around with new tools!
I tried doing a monoprint. I have done this a few times before with kids in my art class. We would carve out designs on flat sheets of styrofoam, roll on some acrylic paint, print onto paper, and TA-DA… really cool prints were made. Today I tried painting with oil paint onto a sheet of glass and then making the print from that. Didn’t turn out so well. I realized my mistake (NO mistakes in art!)… I used the wrong kind of paper. I used a watercolor paper that had a very rough (cold press) texture. I should have used a smoother sheet of paper. I did like how the design looked on the glass so I took a picture of that. I was planning to wipe it off afterwards to be able to use this glass again, but I may leave it and let it dry.
The print made onto paper, was very splotchy, due to the bumps on the rough paper. Not at all what I had hoped for. But it was still workable, so I painted on top of it with more oil paint and came out with a pleasing result. Lessons learned!
Back to the story: Pip is not enjoying his celebration with the adults at the Blue Boar. They keep telling him to “Stay awake” and “Cheer up”. They are making so much noise that the other patrons are complaining that the Blue Boar is not a circus.
An important bit of information is revealed: Pip realizes for the first time that he no longer wants to be a blacksmith. I believe he has higher aspirations now, after meeting Miss Havisham and Estella.
Day 80, although I am actually on page 89 (due to some pages with illustrations; also combined a few pages):
Pip and his family, including Mr Pumblechook, celebrate the 25 guineas from Miss Havisham, by heading out to the Blue Boar for a meal, a rare treat for sure. But before they go, Mr P insists on taking Pip to the Justices in the Town Hall to be officially apprenticed to Joe as a blacksmith. As they enter the busy building, the townsfolk gathered there assume that Pip has done something wrong and is there to be punished. (Or at least this is what is going on in Pip’s little mind.)
Pip is officially apprenticed to Joe and everyone is in good spirits as they head out to the Blue Boar. (I was pretty sure Mrs Joe did NOT want Pip to be a blacksmith. I think her mood has been altered temporarily by the money!)
I created a drawing/painting using my water soluble crayons (Neocolor II). I really like using them! I first built up layers alternating color with Gesso. The quote “To be read in my cell” is on a pamphlet Pip is handed as he walks in the Town Hall. Maybe they do think he is going to jail!