Magwitch did many things, all of which lead to little money and lots of trouble. A deserted soldier in hiding taught him to read. A traveling giant (from a freak show?) taught him to write. But still, in and out of jail. The man Magwitch fought in the marshes was named Compeyson. This fellow was brought up a gentleman, with boarding school, a watch and chain, ring and brooch, and good-looking to boot. Compeyson took Magwitch on as a partner. His business was forging stolen bank-notes and such. He kept out of jail by having someone else (Magwitch) do the dirty work. He’s described as heartless, “cold as death” and as having the “head of the devil”. I based my alcohol ink painting on a liquor poster of a devil uncorking a bottle. This famous poster was painted in Paris by Capiello in 1906. I’ve always loved that poster!
I want to share with you another altered book I created in the last two weeks. I started it during the middle of October so Halloween and the Day of the Dead holidays were both on my mind. Some coworkers were talking about this topic, that during the Victorian days, people took unusual, somewhat creepy photos of their newly deceased, often children, posing them as if still alive. Stacey explained to me that since the childhood mortality rate was so much higher back then, people were not as shocked by it (or creeped out). To have a portrait commissioned by a photographer was a rare, expensive thing to do. So often this was the one and only picture ever taken of their child who has passed away. It’s a fascinating topic but also very sad. Have to admit I was a little emotional looking at all the children who passed away way before they should have. Something to think about for sure. Hope you like my work!
Magwitch gives them the short version of his life: in jail, out of jail, in jail, out of jail, in jail, out of jail. This was his life up until he got shipped off to America “after Pip stood my friend.” He does begin to expand on his past experiences. As a child he was abandoned by someone, it’s not clear – a man. Maybe his father? He was left cold and alone, and very young. He stole turnips to feed himself. When people saw him as a starving, thieving, abandoned child, they either drove him away or took him in. He went from home to home. People judged him, saying he’d be no good, ending up in prison. His life was full of “tramping, begging, thieving, working sometimes.” Work was hard to find though, due to his unkempt appearances. Well, that’s just sad! Poor young Magwitch.
Here’s a very quick sketch on glossy paper with alcohol ink and regular india ink. Have a great day!
I recently held another Mixed Media Altered Book Workshop at the Richardson Public Library. It was fun! Here are a few recent altered book creations:
– some fun things I remember from my childhood
– a nature treasure book with a few items I’ve collected recently from hikes outdoors
– interior pages from the nature treasure book
– a Happy Home made from Sears (can all be ordered through the mail from Sears!)
– a traveling journal book (In the niche I placed a small portable watercolor palette, pencil & sponge. I hope to put this to good use!)
Day 272, Page 292
In the morning, while having breakfast, Magwitch is very excited to discuss Pip’s plans on becoming more of a gentleman. He had left his pocketbook with Pip the night before to spend as he wishes. He tells Pip to find a “fashionable crib near Hyde Park.” (Dickens said “crib!”) Pip asks Magwitch if they (he and Herbert) can know more about him. For instance, who and what was the scuffle about in the marshes when the police found him? Magwitch agrees to tell his story as long as they swear to silence. Anyway, what he did has all been “worked out and paid for.” He thinks for a few moments, staring at the fire, then begins. This should be interesting!
I’m about 3/4 through this project! Yeah! For this illustration, I was influenced by the Cubist works of Picasso and Matisse. This is an acrylic painting on canvas. I have been busy with some other projects: making several altered books and teaching a workshop. I’ll post pics of those soon! Till next time….