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 81



Day 81!

I tried doing a monoprint. I have done this a few times before with kids in my art class. We would carve out designs on flat sheets of styrofoam, roll on some acrylic paint, print onto paper, and TA-DA… really cool prints were made. Today I tried painting with oil paint onto a sheet of glass and then making the print from that. Didn’t turn out so well. I realized my mistake (NO mistakes in art!)… I used the wrong kind of paper. I used a watercolor paper that had a very rough (cold press) texture. I should have used a smoother sheet of paper. I did like how the design looked on the glass so I took a picture of that. I was planning to wipe it off afterwards to be able to use this glass again, but I may leave it and let it dry.

The print made onto paper, was very splotchy, due to the bumps on the rough paper. Not at all what I had hoped for. But it was still workable, so I painted on top of it with more oil paint and came out with a pleasing result. Lessons learned!

Back to the story:    Pip is not enjoying his celebration with the adults at the Blue Boar. They keep telling him to “Stay awake” and “Cheer up”. They are making so much noise that the other patrons are complaining that the Blue Boar is not a circus.

An important bit of information is revealed: Pip realizes for the first time that he no longer wants to be a blacksmith. I believe he has higher aspirations now, after meeting Miss Havisham and Estella.

Day 80, Art Expectations


Day 80, although I am actually on page 89 (due to some pages with illustrations; also combined a few pages):

Pip and his family, including Mr Pumblechook, celebrate the 25 guineas from Miss Havisham, by heading out to the Blue Boar for a meal, a rare treat for sure. But before they go, Mr P insists on taking Pip to the Justices in the Town Hall to be officially apprenticed to Joe as a blacksmith. As they enter the busy building, the townsfolk gathered there assume that Pip has done something wrong and is there to be punished. (Or at least this is what is going on in Pip’s little mind.)

Pip is officially apprenticed to Joe and everyone is in good spirits as they head out to the Blue Boar. (I was pretty sure Mrs Joe did NOT want Pip to be a blacksmith. I think her mood has been altered temporarily by the money!)

I created a drawing/painting using my water soluble crayons (Neocolor II). I really like using them! I first built up layers alternating color with Gesso. The quote “To be read in my cell” is on a pamphlet Pip is handed as he walks in the Town Hall. Maybe they do think he is going to jail! 

Great Expectations Day 36


Is this Day 36 or 37??? Yesterday, actual Day 36, I posted photos of my other Altered Books. (You can see those if you click on the tab above.) I’m going to go ahead and keep this as Day 36.

Joe continues to explain his childhood to Pip. He had an abusive, alcoholic father. Joe and his mother would occasionally escape from him and settle down elsewhere. She’d find work and put Joe in school. But, the dad would find them, drag them back home and “hammer them” some more. This is why Joe never received an education or learned to read and write. Instead, he took up blacksmithing, his father’s trade. Joe “kep” (cared for?) his father until he died of a “purple leptic fit”. There was no money to engrave a poem Joe had written for his father’s gravestone. His mother died soon after. Joe becomes teary-eyed as he tells his story to Pip.

Here is another panel of my triptych altered book. I glued down a portion of page 39 out of the book. (I scanned it in and made a print out. This is not the actual page!) Then I painted purple circles all over. This reminds me of the “purple leptic fit” Joe’s dad had. It’s interesting how Dickens describes the fit with a color. I took some of the rest of the page paper and made loops to glue down. (I used Surebonder 9001 glue but could have used a regular white glue.) I had first thought of making a paper chain to glue on, but decided that was too obvious. (The chains that bind us all:  the prisoner’s actual leg irons, Joe’s dad, Pip’s sister.) I like these 3D loops where you can read some of the text of the story. Lastly, I painted on a gray acrylic hammer and two white figures at the bottom.

Great Expectations Day 29


Happy Day 29! I’ve been doing this for almost a month now! I’ll tell you what’s going on in the story (Great Expectations… I’m on page 32) first and then explain my work of art.

The soldiers have caught up with the convicts, whom they found fighting in a ditch. The sergeant orders the torches lit and they head off toward the prison-ship. (Night has fallen.) The convict finally spots Pip in the crowd and gives him an unusual look. Pip does not understand it, but is relieved that the convict does not expose him and reveal Pip’s secret. (The thievery.) As they march along in the marsh, three cannons are heard. The sergeant tells Pip’s convict that he is wanted on board.

I love Carla Sonheim’s approach to art and her book Drawing Lab. Recently she has been playing around with gesso and drawing into it while wet, creating work similar to mine above. Actually mine is similar to HERS, as I followed her tutorial on this technique. Check it out! Her book has some great ideas to help you play with your art, learn some new techniques and spur your creativity. My piece above represents the three cannons heard fired in the marsh. I made the piece a little gloomy, since it’s night-time while they march off in the marsh with two convicts in tow and cannons booming off! (I think it’s still Christmas Day in the story. What a long day this has been!)

Here’s a sample of Carla’s work: