I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I can easily say that I have now had my fill of turkey.
Back to Great Expectations…
I’m on page 116 of the book and Day 106 of reading a page a day and 106 pieces of artwork! On page 116, we find out that the stranger in the bar is Jaggers, a well known lawyer from London. He walks with Pip and Joe to their home to discuss some private business with them. He says he is there only to represent a confident agent (a client of his).
He tells Joe that he has an offer to take Pip from his apprenticeship. Does Joe care to stand in Pip’s way? No, of course not.
Here is my little humble artwork for the day, completely drawn with some very old Prismacolor markers. Most are 25 years old, and still work! This shows a sad Joe and a slightly happy younger Pip.
The stranger at the bar continues to put Mr Wopsle on the spot for assuming that the suspect in the murder case was guilty before having his day in court. Then the stranger asks aloud for Joe, the blacksmith and then for Pip. “I am here!” says Pip. Wonder what he wants?
That’s it! Pretty boring page, nothing much happening. BUT I can’t wait to see what the stranger wants from them. Is he the convict from several years past?
I did an acrylic painting, letting some of the paint run, drawing on top with a thin white paint pen. I looked at one of the ink drawings by F. W. Pailthorpe in the book for my reference for Pip and Joe. (It’s below.) Pip is in the bar with Joe awaiting the strangers request.
Mr Wopsle tells the stranger in The Three Jolly Bargemen that he thinks the suspect in the murder case (that he’d just read out loud from the newspaper) is “Guilty.” The stranger argues with him, making the poor flustered Mr Wopsle look like a fool.
“Innocent until proven guilty,” says the stranger. They are all too eager, sitting in their comfy, cozy warm bar, to assume that any suspect HAS to be guilty.
I’ve created a collage – no paint today! I wanted the word LAW to be kind of kidden and not easily recognizable at first.
I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, here in the States. I will try to do at least one other post before Thursday, but it’s a busy week for me, so we’ll see!
Pip, at times, believes he could be happy living the life of a blacksmith and settling down with Biddy. But then, thoughts of Miss Havisham and especially Estella, enter his mind and all is lost. He’s very confused, as most kids his age are. I am guessing that this is about 5-6 years after the event in the marshes with the convict. So Pip is probably an early teenager by now. What teenager knows what they want?! Things haven’t changed all that much.
Four years into his apprenticeship, Pip is at The Three Jolly Bargemen listening to Mr Wopsle give a recount of a murder case as he reads out of the newspaper to a crowd. At the end, a stranger questions Mr Wopsle about the verdict. He has an expression of contempt on his face as he asks Mr Wopsle if the suspect is Guilty or Not Guilty?
Here is a little painting of a leaf I did with acrylics and paint markers. I’ve just rediscovered paint markers. I used them when they first came out… in the 80s(?) They work better now than they used to and they allow me to sketch with paint rather than using a brush. Fun!
Will Pip turn over a new leaf and leave the forge, fly away to find Estella? Or will he be able to become content again with his blacksmithing life?
Pip discovers that Orlick has a crush on Biddy. He is not happy about that and tries to intervene. It seems he doesn’t want anyone else to like her, even though he has already confessed his love of Estella. He is confused by these emotions. Why does he care what happens to Biddy? She tells Pip that Orlick’s feelings for her should make no difference to him. But they do.
I did this very quick sketch on another board book panel that I painted black. Remember as a kid when you would color very hardly on construction paper, then paint it black all over on top? After the paint dried, you’d scratch designs into the black, revealing the bits of color underneath. That was always so cool and created a nice, surprising effect every time. Well, this is similar to that childhood art technique. I used the end of a paperclip to scratch in Estella, trying to make it unpleasant looking. Then tried to paint Biddy in pretty, sweet, innocent colors on top of pure, white rose sketches. This got me thinking, I bet Estella isn’t really so bad. Or maybe she is also a puppet of Miss Havisham and her choices in life are limited too, as Pip’s are. Who knows her back story… what tragedies she’s encountered. I am sure some of this will unfold as the story goes on.
(Are you wondering what the weird shape is on the board? I believe this was from a kid’s book about snow or penguins. I thought the snow window was fitting underneath Estella’s name.)
I celebrated my 100th day by painting a ton of other (non-Great Expectations) art. I was thinking about doing some paintings for my etsy site and started pricing small, about 4×4 inch, canvases. I wanted to buy a bunch. Then, a flash light went off in my head! I’ve been wanting to do something with all those 3.5 inch computer diskettes taking up space in my office. So I primed about 10 of them and started painting right away.
The one above is for Day 101, page 110: (I’ll show you the rest at the bottom. They are on my etsy site: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JulieFlando. Check it out please and let me know what you think.)
Pip wishes he could fall in love with Biddy (he says this outloud to her!) and stop playing “beggar my neighbor by candlelight in the room with the stopped clocks.” I love the way Dickens phrased that! Biddy tells Pip he will never love her.
They walk on more through the marsh. Near the churchyard they come upon some “ooze” and amongst that ooze is Orlick. He says he’ll see them home. So off they go. I can’t imagine that they want to be escourted by that gruff, rough (probably smelly) fellow!
Finally, Day 100! I need to post more frequently or this is going to take me forever! I am on page 109 and this is what’s going on:
Biddy tells Pip that if he wants to be a gentleman to gain Estella over, then she is not worth gaining over. (Estella has insulted Pip by calling him common and by treating him poorly.) Pip agrees, “It may be all quite true, but I admire her dreadfully.” Pip throws a little pitty-party, crying and pulling his hair. How old is he now, anyway??? I’m guessing he’s an early teenager, maybe 14 or 15. Biddy comforts him and tells him that she is glad he has confided in her and she will tell no one. Pip hugs and kisses her saying he’ll always tell her everything. Awww, poor Biddy, she’s just a friend to him, nothing more.
I created this on another panel of the board book Altered Book. I worked right on top of the white Gesso primer, doodling and writing. In the center is a dandy fellow holding a blacksmithing tool with the word “Biddy” going up in smoke. See you SOON, I hope!
Sitting on the bank of the river, Pip confesses more of his true feelings to Biddy about his life in the forge. He asks Biddy if he’d have been good enough for her? She replies, ” Yes, I am not over-particular.” This is a stab at him because he is unintentionally hurting her feelings by implying that she is not good enough for him. He doesn’t see this because he is so smitten with Estella. He admits to Biddy that he wants to be a gentleman FOR Estella.
I created this black and white sketch also on a board book page. (It is attached to the previous day’s art on a board book. So I guess I am making another Altered Book piece of art!) The silver charm in his right eye has LOVE carved into it. He’s blinded by love and can’t see how Biddy feels for him or how he’s hurting her. I don’t feel so sorry for Pip any more!
Pip recalls turning to Biddy for help in his education and realizes he has taken her for granted. So he offers to take her on a long Sunday walk and talk. It’s summer-time, and beautiful weather, as they walk past the village, the church and out onto the marshes. They end up sitting on the banks of the river watching the sails go by. Pip confides in Biddy that he wants to be a gentleman. She says, “Don’t you think you are happier as you are?” He replies, “Don’t be absurd!”
I created this painting on an old board book panel. (That’s why it has a strange shape!) I first gessoed the panel (it’s left over from a workshop), and then started by painting the marsh scene in the middle. Little Biddy stands on top as Pip reads to her. He thinks he is smarter than her (all his studying has gone to his head… well, you know what I mean). This may be partly because she is a girl and girls often at that time in history didn’t receive an education. Or it could be that he has to study so hard and he never sees her studying.
I’m getting close to 100 days, 100 pages and 100 pieces of Great Expectations art!