Art Expectations The End! (not really)



YES! I have finally finished Dickens’ Great Expectations and my art-per-page project. I do want to keep this blog going, but as of now, unsure what I will tackle next. I’ll think of something soon! My reasons for creating this blog and this particular project:

  • Re-read Great Expectations:  DONE! (I enjoyed it in high school and it’s as good and timeless as it has ever been.)
  • Experiment with new materials:  DONE! (Pan Pastels, alcohol inks, distress inks, Gelatos, stencils, sprays, marbling, gelli plate printing, stamp carving, altered books, collage, 3D printing, clay, various paints, inks, markers, pens and substrates)
  • Experiment with different styles:  DONE! (I have my own “look” but I wanted to branch out and try different styles. So it may look as if I have multiple personalities! That may be true anyway  :0)
  • Admired Matt Kish’s Moby-Dick and Heart of Darkness projects. I borrowed this idea from him. So I want to give credit to his ingenious idea and amazing work. Check him out here:

Thank you to everyone who has followed, commented and critiqued along the way. Till next time, let no shadows part between us!


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 333 Guilt


333 Greatexp Guilt 150

[Day 333, Page 356]  Pip stayed on the coach. He didn’t bail. He’ll meet the mystery person (and maybe his maker) in the marshes at 9:00 that night. Once in town, he checks into a nondescript inn, not the usual Blue Boar Inn. He’s keeping a low profile. The first thing he does is to go visit Miss Havisham at Satis House. She is somewhat improved but still very ill. (She caught on fire in her tattered wedding gown from sparks from her fireplace. Pip saved her by wrapping his arms around her and putting out the flames. His arms and hands became badly burnt also and he’s still recovering.) He goes back to his inn for some dinner. He asks the landlord to help him cut his meat and they start chatting. The landlord knows Pumblechook. He also talks of a young man who is ungrateful and never visits those that made him and cared for him. Hmmm, wonder who he’s talking about? Pip becomes sullen, thinking about Joe and Biddy. He hasn’t visited them in a long while. He often goes back home, but only stops by to see Miss Havisham and especially Estella.

Here is a watercolor doodle. Very quick sketch. On the road still!

Art Expectations 216&7 Flying Money & Drowning




Two days in one! I took last week off from my blog. Just didn’t feel like doing it. My daughter was sick one day and that threw me for a loop. Plus it was so cold here in Texas (I know, I know, it was much much colder elsewhere) that I had trouble getting out from under my electric blanket! Now, back to business… er, fun….

{Page 216} Pip is now spending about half his time in Hammersmith to be closer to Estella in Richmond. He describes his life with Herbert more:
– they spend as much money as they can
– getting as little as possible for it
– and are all generally miserable (this includes their friends)

They appear to be constantly having the time of their lives. But Pip admits they really aren’t. Herbert goes in to his no-where job every day, looking about him for more opportunity and finding none. They are both getting deeper in debt. This surprises me because I thought Pip had plenty of money. I guess he’s charging things all over London before he has received any actual money from his guardian, Jaggers. And possibly he’s afraid to ask Jaggers for more.

{Page 217} Pip seems to be getting more stressed about his money situation. One morning he lifts the Avenger (his servant) up by his collar, shaking him so that he looks like a booted cupid! (WHY does he still have the Avenger?!) Every now and then Herbert and Pip decide to confront their money issues. They plan a special dinner (expensive food and wine, of course) and start to tally up their debts on paper. These meetings are very satisfying to Pip and just by writing down his debts he feels as if he has actually paid them! (Uh oh, doesn’t work that way!) I think most young adults have money troubles at some point early on. It’s very liberating to all of a sudden have money (first job salary or inheritance) to spend… on whatever you want. No adult or parent to tell you to watch your money or say “do you really need that?!” Hopefully Pip will figure it all out before he snowballs out of control!

Art Expectations Day 101


Summer Sunset on the Marsh

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: 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!

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 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 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!

Art Expectations Day 77


Day 77 Page 86

Miss Havisham continues to question Joe about Pip’s blacksmithing apprenticeship. Joe continues to direct his answers to Pip, ignoring Miss H. This really embarrasses Pip, especially in front of Estella.

Miss H offers Joe some money (25 guineas) for Pip’s work (play?) with her at her house. So, Pip’s future is still in-the-air… undecided. Mrs Joe is hoping Miss H will “take on” Pip to provide him some great fortune and a prosperous future. Joe would love for Pip to stay with him and take on the family blacksmithing business. But Joe also does not want to stand in the way of Pip’s future, if Pip is better off doing something else. Pip, I believe at this point, would be happy as a clam being a blacksmith with Joe.

Happy Reading!

Art Expectations Day 75


Yeah, Day 75!

Pages 81 & 82:

Pip teaches Estella and Miss Havisham an old blacksmithing folk song. They sing it together as he pushes Miss H around in the garden-chair. It’s really quite catchy:

… hammer boys round – Old Clem!
With a thump and a sound – Old Clem!
Beat it out, beat it out – Old Clem!
With a clink for the stout – Old Clem!
Blow the fire, blow the fire – Old Clem!
Roaring dryer, soaring higher – Old Clem!

Pip admits to not discussing the details of his visits at Miss H’s with his family. He does, however, tell Biddy everything! She seems to have a deep concern for what he tells her. (hmmm….)

Mr Pumblechook often visits Pip’s home to discuss Pip’s future with Mrs Joe. Pip should be apprenticed to Joe as a blacksmith by now. But Mrs Joe and Mr P have other plans for Pip. Joe and Pip have no say  in the matter. Mr Pumblechook supervises Pip as if he is the architect of Pip’s fortune and future.