Monthly Archives: October 2012

ArtExpectations Day 97

Pip begins to take notice of Biddy, how now her shoe heels have become higher, her hair brighter, her hands cleaner. She’s not beautiful, like Estella. But she’s pleasant, wholesome and sweet-tempered – unlike Estella, Miss Havisham and his sister, the only other women he’s known.

He asks Biddy how she can seem to know as much as him. (How is she so wise?) He never sees her studying, as he does most nights after his work in the forge. Pip has been trying to increase his knowledge on his own and has become a little arrogant about it.

She reminds him that she was his first teacher. He believes he sees a tear from her as she continues her needlework.


Art Expectations Day 96

Great expectations Collage Painting
Time Flies Even When You’re NOT Having Fun

Mrs Joe is surprisingly very pleased to see Orlick. She asks for him daily after this, drawing the crooked hammer on her slate. Her behavior is a mystery to everyone, including Orlick!

Life as a blacksmithing apprentice continues on for Pip. He returns to visit Miss Havisham on his birthday. Nothing has changed there – time has stood still. Even though time stands still for Miss Havisham, it seems to fly by for Pip and probably also for Estella, wherever she is. Pip’s hatred for his trade and simple home continues to grow with each visit to the Manor.

I whipped out this 8×10 painting this afternoon in acrylic. I played a bit more with the fluid acrylics. They sure are convenient, being already liquid enough without having to mix with water and so easy to pop open that little cap, squeezing out a dab of bright, colorful wonderfulness!

Art Expectations Day 95

I am SERIOUSLY celebrating when I hit Day 100! (My 100th page read and 100th piece of artwork on Great Expectations.) So here I am on Page 104, Day 95 of the book (some pages had no text, only illustrations.) Here’s what happens: not much. But Biddy does come to live with them, helping out greatly around the house and with Mrs Joe, who is not herself after being attacked. The attacker is still unknown. Mrs Joe has been communicating by writing, in her poor English, with chalk on a slate. She has been scribbling some kind of shape that looks like a misshapen “T”. They finally figure out that it’s a HAMMER… Orlick’s hammer! Is he the culprit of the crime against Mrs Joe? Pip and Biddy go to the forge to fetch him for Mrs Joe.

Since one of my reasons for doing this project is to experiment with different mediums, techniques and styles, I decided to try Golden Fluid Acrylics. These are very expensive! About $15 for one bottle of just one color… and only 4 ounces! Of course, you need more than one color. I found a small – I’m talking TINY – set of eight 1/2 ounce bottles on eBay. I ordered the set on Tuesday and got it today, Thursday. I opened them immediately and did the painting above on the outside cover of  a sketchbook. They are really different from other paints I’ve used so it will take some getting used to, but by then my tiny bottles will have run out! I am having fun with them anyway, trying something new! Till next time…

Art Expectations Day 94

Sometimes I just don’t understand Dickens at all! I totally did not get what he was saying on the top of page 103. It’s that old English, I guess. Anyway, Pip is tormented by the secret he has long held from Joe about his aiding the convict. Detectives hang around the house and the Three Jolly Bargemen for weeks trying to frame someone for the crime upon Mrs Joe. No one is found guilty. But wait – ah, ha! Mrs Joe is NOT dead! But “very ill in bed.” Her sight, hearing, speech and memory are disturbed.

To communicate with Joe and Pip, she writes on a slate what she wants. It’s a problem sometimes because she has very bad spelling and Joe is such a poor reader. So things get mixed up. (Hilarious!) Such as: administration of mutton instead of medicine, the baker is mistaken for bacon. Her temper is better though and she’s more patient. This goes on for months…

White chalk on dark grey acrylic paint on paper. I wasn’t even sure what mutton was! I thought it was beef or maybe moose-meat! LOL We just don’t eat that here in the States or at least we don’t call it that. It’s meat from a mature sheep apparently. Not a very appetizing name. Baaaaaaa

Art Expectations Day 93

Nothing seems to be stolen from Pip’s home after the attack on Mrs Joe. The only thing unusual found was a convict’s leg-iron that seems to have been cut-off a while back (not recent). Pip believes his convict (the one he aided at the beginning of the story) is not responsible for this crime. In his opinion the attacker was either Orlick or the strange man at the Three Jolly Bargemen who showed him the file. Most likely not Orlick, as he was seen about town that evening on his half-holiday. Pip feels horrible as he ponders the fact that he may have helped provide the weapon used on his sister!

I created a collage using two of my favorite colors: yellow ochre and blue-gray. I glued on a bit of a photo of Poe’s grave site (just because I love this picture and it was handy when I reached out for something to use). Then I did a print of a tombstone I carved out of styrofoam, drew around that and added more yellow ochre acrylic paint. Still not sure if Mrs Joe is alive or dead!

Art Expectations Day 92

WHOA! A bit of excitement…

(page 101 of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens)

As Pip, Mr Wopsle and Orlick make their way home on the dark misty night, they pass by the Three Jolly Bargemen and notice that something seems strange. Mr Wopsle finds out that there has been an intrusion at Pip’s home while Mrs Joe (his sister) was home alone. They race home to find all the village people on the lawn and in the kitchen. They crowd around Mrs Joe who lies on the floor. She is described as never being able to go on the Rampage again. Does that mean she’s dead???

I was at a loss as to what to draw for this page, so I went with my initial little sketchbook sketch of Mrs Joe lying in a casket holding onto her beloved Tickler, the weapon she used on Joe and Pip when she went on Rampages. I am sure I will find out on the next page or two about the future of Mrs Joe, if there is one, and also the plans for Pip’s future!

Altered Book Workshop Exito!

folded altered book
My latest book creation

My Altered Book Workshop was on September 22 and was a success (exito)! This workshop was a brief (2.5 hours), hands-on intro into the world of Altered Books, covering many techniques. Hopefully particiants took the new skills they obtained home and continued creating on their altered book projects.

Here is the library’s site where I had the workshop:

It’s a great library! Maybe the one in your town is too. If you don’t know, go check it out! Now… or tomorrow… but soon.

teaching altered book workshop
Work in Progress (the book and me!)

Participants busy working:

Their works in progress:


Look at all these materials! Each participant received 2 chapter books and 1 board book to alter. Then on each workstation the following items were placed for their use during the workshop: stamps and ink pads, glue sticks, scissors, bowl of water for transfers, packing tape to share, drawing utensils (colored pencils, markers, pens, pencils), old dictionary pages, other paper ephemera (collage papers), various envelopes, fabric, wax paper and paper napkins – to dab up any little messes! On another table in the back: plenty more paper pieces to choose from (some cool old maps), more drawing utensils including pastels, embellishments (ribbons, buttons, sequins) and stronger glues.

It seemed like everyone had a good time and hopefully learned a few things. Plus got their creativity stirred up a bit! 

Fun stuff to play with