Monthly Archives: September 2013

Art Expectations Day 170

170 GreatExp chairs150

A letter from Biddy arrives announcing that Joe and Mr Wopsle are coming to London for a visit with Pip. This letter arrives on a Monday and they are coming the very next day, Tuesday, at 9 am! Pip confesses that he is not pleased by this news. He would rather pay money to keep them away. I think he’s embarrassed by Joe’s country ways. He doesn’t want his new city friends to see where he comes from.

He tells how he has vastly changed the rooms at Barnard’s Inn where he resides with Herbert. He’s purchased many new furnishings. I’m sure his place is a far cry from his meager beginnings with Joe and his sister in the country. Could it be that he doesn’t want them to see how much he has changed?

I created a tissue drawing contrasting two chairs. Can’t wait to hear what Joe has to say about the “new” Pip!

Check out my etsy site here:

And my freelance work site here:

Happy Fall! Hope everyone is getting some cooler weather here in the Southern States. I’m ready to bake some pies!


Art Expectations Day 169



[Still having dinner at Jaggers’s house] Pip and the boys argue a bit more. Drummle, about to hurl a glass at someone, is stopped by Jaggers, who announces that the party is over.

Pip watches as Startop and Drummle head off toward home. Drummle is still so angry he won’t walk on the same side of the street as Startop! (They are going to the same place. Both are tenants at the Pocket’s home in Hammersmith.)

Pip quickly runs back inside to apologize for their bad behavior. Jaggers says, “Pooh! It’s nothing, Pip.” He tells Pip that he likes Spider (Drummle’s nickname) but warns Pip to stay clear of him.

I decided to create a tiny accordion picture book with dominos. I’m sure you’ve seen these on the internet. Here is my version, with a Great Expectations twist. I’ll be teaching a workshop at the Richardson Library showing how to make these. Hands On – everyone gets to make one!

Art Expectations Day 168

168 GreatExp drunk150

The gang took too much wine and talked way too much during dinner at Jaggers’s house. Pip and Drummle start to argue, Pip starting most of it. I think Pip is jealous that Jaggers is showing so much interest in Drummle. He is really acting like an ass! He points out to everyone that he saw Drummle borrowing money from Startop. Drummle admits it, but also says he’ll pay Startop back. Drummle whispers to no one in particular, “that Pip and Herbert might both go to the devil and shake themselves!” Startop tries to intervene to break it up. We’re left at that, at the bottom of page 184.

I gave the Yupo paper another try, this time with watercolor, not ink. It worked beautifully! Here is a drunken bottle, watercolor on yupo.

Thanks to all of you who are following my blog; my meager little quest at illustrating Great Expectations. I’ve learned and grown a lot during this exercise over the past year and a half. It’s been a fun ride. But it’s not over until I read page 412!

Art Expectations Day 167

167 GreatExp wrists150

tissue collage painting150

The boys are still boasting about who is the strongest, when Jaggers grabs the housekeeper’s wrists, insisting that she show them. She has rather strong, scarred wrists. (There is a story behind this mysterious housekeeper, I’m sure of it!) We find that her name is Molly. Maybe we will hear more about her background as the pages turn!

Here is a collage, using ink, acylic paint and transfers of old medical muscle illustrations on page 45 from my book.

I also experimented with creating a “painting” using mostly torn tissue paper. I did use a little acylic paint and pieces of other paper, but it’s mostly gift-wrap type of tissue. Had fun!

Art Expectations Day 166

166 GreatExp floating in money150

Dinner at Jaggers’s is going smoothly, so far, as they enjoy several courses: fish, mutton and fowl, along with sauces and wine. Pip notices that Jaggers seems to “wrench” out the weakest part of each of them as they speak. For Pip, he goes on and on admitting his tendency for lavish spending and boasts about his great prospects. (He is aware that he is saying this, but can’t seem to stop himself!) During the cheese course, they all start to compare their rowing skills and their muscles. Sounds like it’s going to get rowdy!

I got some new art supplies in the mail. Yippee! I ordered some Yupo paper, some new ink pads and re-inkers. Plus a Sta-wet palette. I tried them all! I had been hearing about re-inkers and wasn’t even sure what they were. They are little bottles of highly concentrated ink used for loading up empty ink pads. Here is what I learned: re-inkers do not dry on Yupo paper! I painted this illustration with the ink a week ago and it’s STILL wet! Obviously I don’t know what I am doing. I have since learned that watercolor does dry on Yupo paper and works beautifully. And re-inkers are being mainly used by artists, mixed with glazing mediums to paint with. I’ll give that a try soon. Here is Pip, floating in money – still wet!

Art Expectations Day 165

165 GreatExp dumbwaiter150

Pip discribes Jaggers’s dining room as having a dumb waiter loaded with drinks and fruit and a small law library where Jaggers can bring work home. (Nothing as unusal or ornamental as at Wemmick’s place.)

Of all three of Pip’s friends, Drummle is the one that Jaggers is the most interested in. (This baffles Pip as he does not particularly like Drummle.) The tall, lithe housekeeper come in with the first dish. Jaggers does most of the serving himself from the dumb waiter.

Art Expectations Day 165

Pip gets his invitation to Jaggers’s house for dinner handed to him 164 GreatExp faucet150personally by Jaggers. While in his office, Pip notices that Jaggers washes himself “clean” of his clients in a closet (water closet, aka bathroom) installed in his office. Hmmm… germaphobe?

Jaggers, Pip and his friends walk to Jaggers’s home. Pip is surprised to find his stately house in dire need of a paint job and a window-washing! Inside, Pip imagines he sees nooses in the eloborate carved wooden garlands on the walls. Hopefully there’s no noose involved in Pip’s future!

Art Expectations Day 163

163 GreatExp curiosities150

The Stinger (Wemmick’s gun) goes off precisely at 9 pm, shaking every last glass and teacup. Shaking the Aged, who holds onto his armchair, screaming with delight. Pip gets a tour of Wemmick’s curiosities, agreeably scattered throughout the tiny castle “among specimens of china and glass.”

He stays the night in a tiny turret, feeling as if he is balancing the tall flagpole (mounted on top of the turret outside) on his forehead all night.

In the morning, Wemmick, after cleaning Pip’s boots, heads out to the small yard to do a bit of gardening. Then they both head back to the office, Wemmick becoming “dryer and harder” as they get closer, leaving his homemade paradise behind him for another day.

I made another stamp, getting lots of inspiration from a book by Geninne D. Zlatkis. It’s called “Making an Impression” (see pic below). She includes some of her wonderful designs and advice on how to carve your own stamps. I love her work and her blog! Check her out here:

163 GreatExp stampbook

163 GreatExp stamp

Here’s my stamp. The first sketch I drew was WAY too complicated to carve. (Thank goodness I realized that before I started carving!) So I tried a new sketch, simplifying it a bit. I also realized I need new ink pads!

Have a great weekend!

Art Expectations Day 162

162 GreatExp wemmick150

Pip meets the Aged, Wemmick’s father, who proudly lights the poker used for setting off the gun at precisely 9:00 pm. Wemmick tells Pip that Jaggers knows nothing about his private life… not about the Aged or his fantastical mini castle.

“The office is one thing, and private life is another,” says Wemmick.

I have to say that I am REALLY reading Great Expectations. What I mean by that, is that by reading only a page a day (or every few days) and seriously thinking about each and every single page and its meaning, I believe I may just be becoming an expert on Great Expectations! That was not my original plan! Certainly I did not read it this thoroughly in high school. (Yes, I read the book in high school, but since I am such a slow reader, to keep up with class, I had to supplement with the Cliff Notes. I am ashamed to admit it, but it’s the truth!) Slow reader, yes, but I could have made a killer diorama!

Art Expectations Day 161 (only 161?!)

161 GreatExp Wemmicks animals150

Wemmick’s place has a drawbridge (over a small ditch) which can be raised and lowered. There is also a tall flag pole and a turret. Sounds fantastic! Wemmick is very proud of his majestic, albeit tiny home. He keeps a pig, fowl, rabbits and a small garden out back. If he’s ever attacked, he can hold his own!

He leads Pip down a twisted path to a small ornamental lake where their punch is cooling. In the middle of the lake is a small island which appears to contain their salad. Oh, and there’s a fountain. (Wow, I want to live here!) Pip compliments Wemmick on his engineering, carpentry, plumbing and gardening skills. “I’m a Jack of all Trades, ” says Wemmick. They head into the “castle” to meet the Aged. Wemmick’s mother or father?

Here is a quick sketch I did showing Pig the Plumber, Jack Rabbit the Gardener and the Carpenter Cock (the rooster, that is!)

I hope everyone here in the States is enjoying a nice Labor Day!