Tag Archives: Art Expectations

Art Expectations 385 Estella’s Portrait

Estella's Portrait by Julie Flandorfer

LAST PAGE! {Day 385 Page 412}

Estella and Pip are sitting at dusk near the old Satis House property, which now belongs to Estella. This is the first time they’ve spoken or seen each other in about 15 years. (They are both single, by the way!) She asks if he still lives abroad. He tells her he works hard for a “sufficient living”. She tells him she has thought of him more and more lately. Over the years she has tried hard not to think of what she thew away. Meaning a happy life with Pip, accepting his love and friendship. She plans to leave him again, as before, but hopefully this time as friends. “We are friends,” Pip replies. They walk away from the ruined place holding hands. I must stop here and mention that there are two endings:

– Dickens’ original, somewhat unhappy, ending where Pip and Estella meet after about 17-18 years on a street in London, not at Satis House as mentioned above. She is married to a doctor (after Drummle died from the horse incident). They are not wealthy and there is no mention of her having had children. Pip sees sadness in her eyes and believes that she now understands how he felt about her. They part and that’s it. End of story.

– The second is a more favorable ending, as mentioned above, where they meet up at Satis House. This ending implies that they remain together for the rest of their days. The very last sentence ends with “…I saw no shadow of another parting from her.” He never sees her shadow because she never leaves his side again. Dickens did not go on and tell of marriage or children or even a happy life together. That is up to your imagination!

Although this is the last page of the book, this will not be my last post. I plan to do at least one more, sort of an overall piece to end this almost-five-year-long project. I want to thank everyone who encouraged me along the way. I welcome any and all critiques, good or bad!

 

Art Expectations 384 Magwitch

Magwitch Portrait by Julie Flandorfer

ONLY ONE MORE PAGE TO GO! After this one, of course. I’ve been doing portraits of the main characters. So here is Magwitch.
{Day 384 Page 411}  Pip walks the old Satis House property, tracing the long-gone, crumbling walls in his mind. He notices a solitary figure there, a woman, also walking the property. He calls out, “Estella!” She says she is surprised he recognized her after all these years. (I’m guessing it’s been about 15 years.) Her youthful beauty is indeed gone, but she’s still regal and retains her indescribable charm. But now he sees sadness in her eyes. The touch of her hand is more friendly than it ever was. They both admit that this is their first time back to the old place. What a coincidence! As they sit on a nearby bench, Pip is thinking of his last words to Magwitch. As he lay dying, Pip told him he knew his daughter, Estella. She was alive and he loved her. (About to cry!) “The silvery mist was touched with the first rays of the moonlight…” Pip sees a tear drop from her eyes. She tells him this is the last thing she owns, this property. But it’s been sold and will soon be built upon with some other structure.

This portrait is bleak, I know. Even though I feel that Magwitch turned his life around, he lead a grey, sad, hard life of work, loss and prison. He did good by Pip. Cared deeply for him and truly missed his long-lost daughter. So sad that they did not see each other before he died. ONE more page!

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Art Expectations 381 Extinct

Art Journal Art Expectations by Julie Flandorfer

{Day 381, Page 407} Pip recovers from the shock of finding out about Joe and Biddy’s marriage. He says he’s very happy for both of them. And that they couldn’t have done better. He thanks them for paying off his debt which kept him out of prison. He is planning to leave in an hour (change of plans since he will no longer be courting Biddy). He plans to go abroad and work to repay them. He hopes that they have children to love. Perhaps a little boy like himself to sit by the fire with Joe, as Pip had once done. He asks that they not tell the child that Pip had been ungenerous and unjust. Joe would never think of it. He asks for their forgiveness. Joe says there is nothing to forgive. Biddy says yes. Pip goes up to look at his old little room upstairs. He informs them that after dinner and drinks he’ll be on his way. Of course if Joe and Biddy hadn’t married, Pip would be staying longer. To win over her heart. Too late, Pip!

I found these pictures of the extinct Dodo bird and incorporated them into this art journal spread in an old book. (I was experimenting with my newest, latest, greatest art supply: Gelatos!) Pip must feel like they did, not extinct, but very, very lonely. Will he ever find love?

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Art Expectations 348 Setting Sun

River Sun by Julie Flandorfer

{Day 348 Page 372} Sun Setting on the River
As the tide is strong, they make good time down the river. They pass Gravesend. Since Provis is hidden in his cloak, Pip bravely passes close to the floating Custom House, near two emigrant ships and under the “bows of a large transport with troops on the forecastle looking down” at them. The tide turns and they try to stay out of the way as a fleet of ships crowd around them. The take a short break to eat on the muddy shore. As Pip looks around, he notices that this part of the river looks like his childhood home in the marshes. “Flat with a dim horizon”, a winding river. Everything (slimy stakes, shiny stones, red landmarks and tidemarks, a roofless building) seems stagnate and stuck. Stuck in the mud. Stuck in time. They start off again. It’s much harder now going against the tide. Herbert and Startop row and row until sundown. (Pip can’t help because his hands and arms are still injured from the fire at Satis House.) There is a purple haze around the red setting sun. All black except for a “melancholy gull”. They decide that they’ll stop at the first lonely tavern they spot.

Here is the third in my little series of small abstract acrylic paintings. I’m on a roll this week. Hopefully I can keep it up!

Art Expectations 345 Starting Off

Great River Thames watercolor

[Day 345 Page 369]
Pip, Startop and Herbert start out rowing at 8:30 am on a Wednesday in March. They plan to row all day and into the night, after picking up Provis of course. They’ll stop along the banks at a public-house to rest and dine that night. They plan to catch one of two steamers the next day. Headed where? No one really knows yet.

There are many other boaters on the Thames that day. But that was normal and not a problem. Pip names off the landmarks as they pass down the river: Old London Bridge, Old Billingsgate Market, White Tower, Traitor’s Gate and shipyards where steamers are unloading and loading. They are now approaching Mill Pond Bank and the stairs where they’ll take Provis onboard their little rowboat.

Here is a small quick watercolor of the river. You can just see their boat off to the left coming into view. I knocked off FOUR pages and artworks this morning! I’ll try to get all of them posted soon. I’ve gotten behind (so what’s new?!). Mainly because I’ve been working on some other projects. (Plus also been binging on Mr Selfridge, the PBS series starring Jeremy Piven. So good. Hey, I needed something to fill the Downton Abbey hole in my schedule!) The other things I’ve been working on are an art guitar for the Wildflower Festival in Richardson Texas, lots of marbling practice for a workshop and also paper flower making for another workshop. So, as you can see, I’ve been very busy!

Art Expectations 335 Captured

Pip is Caught! by Julie Flandorfer

[Day 335, Page 358]  Pip has approached the meeting place in the marsh and knocked on the door. He notices that there is light coming from inside the sluice-house but no one answers the door. He finds the door unlocked and steps inside. There is a candle burning on a table. He calls out and still, no one answers. By now it’s pouring rain outside. Should he wait longer inside the house or head back to town in the rain? Just as he has about decided to wait it out, a noose is thrown over his head from behind! “Now, I’ve got you!” The candle is blown out and Pip struggles to free himself in the dark, crying out for help. Oh my! Pip’s burnt arms are bound tightly to something at his sides causing great pain. He then sees a glimpse of a man trying to relight the candle with a flint and steel. He strains to see who it is. It’s getting exciting! Who is this man?

Here is a quick sketch done while on the road. These are very small doodles created with minimal materials. Before leaving for our trip, I created backgrounds with various media so that I could then add art on top easily in the car. This is watercolor on watercolor paper. Then I doodled on top with pen. Lastly adding watercolor pencils on top. It’s a cartoon Pip head being tied down in the marshes. Tune in to see who has captured him!

Art Expectations 318-20 Singed

Singed

Here are THREE days in one! I did all three of these in a little paper accordion book.
{Day 318 Page 340}  Pip has been visiting Miss Havisham and settling up (with money and feelings). Pip is wandering the ruined grounds of Satis House. Before walking out through the rotting gate, for perhaps the last time, he looks back and has a vision of her hanging from a beam. Horrified, he runs back in, up to her room, to check on her. She seems fine still sitting by the fire. But all of a sudden she bursts up and toward him on fire! Her brittle bridal gown has caught on fire. He covers her with his coats (he has on two) and rolls on the ground to put out the flames. He also pulls the dusty tablecloth off the great table, disturbing the moldy cake, to cover her. The fire is out. He looks to the side and sees beetles and spiders scampering away and bits of singed bridal dress floating in air.

{Day 319 Page 341}  Servants rush in to see Pip still on top of Miss H. “Patches of tinder that had been her garments, no longer alight but falling in a black shower around us.” A doctor is called to come tend to her wounds. They make a bed for her on top of the great table. (Many years ago she claimed that she’d lie deceased on that table some day!) She’s not dead yet, just seriously burned. Her bridal dress is gone but replaced by more white cloth, gauze and sheets. Pip informs her family, the Pockets. The doctor is left to tell Estella, who was at that time in Paris. Miss H deliriously repeats her last words to Pip. “What have I done!” And the statement about meaning to save Estella from the same misery she has felt. Also asking Pip to forgive her, which he did.

{Day 320 Page 342}  Pip leaves early in the morning about 6:00 a.m. after giving Miss H a farewell kiss.
Chapter 50:  Pip was badly burned on his arms and hands. He is bandaged up to his shoulder on one arm and elbow on the other. Back at the Temple in London, Herbert helps Pip with his injuries. Pip is deeply grateful. He finds his memories of the fire, the smell and cries, more painful than the actual wounds. Herbert informs Pip that all is well down the river, meaning Magwitch (also known as Provis). With Pip’s arms and hands injured now he won’t be able to continue with the rowing to prepare for sneaking Magwitch out of town on the river.

I’m still moving slowly on this long project. I don’t think I’ll be finished by end of this year BUT I’m getting close! I’ve been wanting to try traditional marbling of paper. So I think I will order myself some new supplies today and give that a try. I’ll incorporate that into my work if successful. See you soon!

Art Expectations 289 & 290 Sleepless

289 & 90 GreatExp 150

I first created the flat limited-color landscape of Pip walking all the way back to London for page 310. But it was lacking something. So I added in the many-eyed Argos monster mentioned on page 311. And wha-la! That was it. So here you go, two pages in one piece of work.

{Day 289 Page 310} After finding out about Estella’s impending marriage to Drummle, Pip walks all the way back to London! It must not be too far because he arrives just after midnight. He’s weary and muddy. The night watchman at the gate to his flat stops him, handing him a note. Pip is informed that he must read it right then and there. It’s from Wemmick and states, “Don’t go home.” Scary! (Chapter 45) He immediately leaves, rents a hackney chariot and heads to a hotel in Covent Garden. He is checked into a tiny room at the back, which contains an enormous bed, almost protruding into the hallway. There’s a sorry excuse for a night-light: a candle placed in a tall tin tower with holes punched in it. It makes a “staringly wide-awake pattern” on the walls. I take it Pip does not get much sleep this night!

{Day 290 Page 311} It’s true, Pip doesn’t sleep much. “I could no more close my own eyes than I could close the eyes of this foolish Argus.” (the Greek mythological creature with many eyes) He imagines hearing noises all night and bugs falling on him. He drifts off to a fitful sleep with the phrase “don’t go home” playing over and over in his head. His mind drifts between his unhappy parting with Estella earlier in the day and why he can’t go home. That has something to do with Magwitch most likely. “Do not thou go home, let him not go home, let us not go home, do not ye or you go home… I might not, could not, would not and should not go home.” Poor Pip.

Art Expectations 242 Pile of Grey

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[Day 242 Page 261]

Same night, same argument:  Estella tells Miss Havisham she has no one to blame but herself as to how she, Estella, turned out. Estella was taught to be cold and unloving. Miss H ends up lying on the floor in a pile of grey hair and tattered clothing. Pip can’t take this anymore and leaves to walk the grounds. He motions to Estella to help Miss H. When he returns an hour later, Estella sits at the knee of Miss H, mending a piece of her dress. Later, she and Pip play cards then go to bed. Separately of course.

Watercolor on Yupo paper and brush dipped in bottle of black ink for the linework. 

Art Expectations 212 Two-Faced

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After tea, Pip and Estella board a coach to head for Surrey Richmond. They pass Newgate Prison and start to speak of Jaggers. Estella admits to knowing him since before she can remember (as a very young child), but not closely. (Jaggers basically ignored her during dinner at Miss Havisham’s back home. It was obvious enough for Pip to take notice.) She seems interested in Pip’s relationship with Jaggers, but maybe she’s just making conversation. Pip is pleased to see her making an effort to be charming for him. At least she’s not being wicked like she was when they were younger!