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 318-20 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 Day 306 – 100 Doors


306 GreatExp 100 doors 150

[Day 306, Page 328]   The man Wopsle saw in the audience at the theatre seated behind Pip was Compeyson, the convict Magwitch was beating up in the ditch way back when Pip was a child. He is the very one who jilted Miss Havisham at the altar, leaving her heart-broken and wallet-broken. Pip tries to act surprised when Wopsle tells Pip who the man was. Inwardly, he felt as if he “had shut an avenue of a hundred doors to keep him out, and then found him at his (my) elbow.” Pip gets back home at The Temple between midnight and 1:00 am. He saw no one following him. He tells Herbert about Compeyson and the theatre. He then writes to Wemmick with the news and reminding him that they still await instructions from him.

Art Expectations 305 Stalker


305 GreatExp 150

{Day 305 Page 327}
Walking away from the theatre, Wopsle tells Pip that the person he saw behind Pip in the audience left before the play ended. He asks Pip if he remembers one Christmas Day when he was little and they were dining at his house with Mrs Joe and Joe. Some soldiers had stopped by to have Joe repair some handcuffs in his blacksmith shop. Oh yeah, Pip remembers. The men had also joined with the soldiers in hunting down some escaped convicts that night. Oh boy, does Pip remember. They found the two convicts in a ditch fighting. (Pip now knows that they were Magwitch and Compeyson.) Wopsle tells Pip that the man in the audience behind Pip was one of those convicts. Well, we’re pretty sure it wasn’t Magwitch! (He’s still in hiding.)

Here is another on-the-road piece, a pencil sketch of the theatre audience.

Art Expectations 303 & 304 Chance Encounter


303 greatExp Wopsle 150

304 GreatExp 150

[Day 303 Page 325]  Pip has been busy rowing up and down the river. One afternoon in February, he pulls ashore, leaving his boat to be delivered to him later. It was a night of low tide and high fog. He decides to treat himself to dinner and a show. He goes to a play at the theatre where he once saw Mr Wopsle perform. Pip had not heard from nor seen Wopsle since that flop of a performance. The play he sees tonight is a light comedy containing crude remarks about sailors. Low and behold, Wopsle is in this play also! He’s wearing a star and orders the sailors to all go to prison.

[Day 304 Page 326]  During the play at a point where Wopsle is seated on stage looking out at the audience, he spots Pip. During the second play, he is dressed in an embarrassing lady’s costume, crawling around on stage. During all of this he stares alarmingly at Pip in the audience. Once the play is over, Pip and Wopsle meet up outside and walk together. He tells Pip he saw someone else that he recognized sitting right behind Pip! Who?! Maybe Pip IS being followed.

Here are two more “quickies” that I created en route to Colorado… long car ride… lots of desert, but pretty… and very few art supplies with me. I am so glad I got to read a small chunk of the book and get back into it. Onward!

Art Expectations 272 Magwitch’s Story


272 GreatExp The Story150

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….

Art Expectations 252 Realization



Pip gets out his purse (wallet) intending to give the two one-pound notes BACK to the convict, thinking he could use the money again. And also probably hoping to not get robbed! The convict gently folds the money and burns it in the lamp-fire! He asks Pip exactly HOW he has done so well. Pip says he was chosen to succeed to some property. “What property, from whom, and how much?” the convict wants to know. But then he starts to guess at the answers…
– “5 since coming of age” CORRECT
– a guardian, a lawyer, name starting with a “J” CORRECT

WHAT?! It looks like the convict has perhaps been the source of Pip’s success all this time. But what about Miss Havisham? What has been her part in all this? Pip struggles for his breath. Wow, I kind of saw this coming. Or maybe it was that I had a vague memory of it from when I read it many years ago. Exciting! Wow, glad something finally happened though!


[Day 249, Page 268]
Pip lets the man he found on his staircase during the stormy night in to his apartment. He does not recognize the older, balding, browned, weathered man. But the man seems to know him well. And glad to see him, reaching both his hands out to Pip. Pip does not take them. He does let the man sit by his fire to warm himself. {Here’s a peak at the stormy sea outside Pip’s door at the bottom of the stairs.}

[Day 250, Page 270] Page 269 contains an illustration of Pip on the stairs along with the outstretched hands of the older man in the book. As Pip studies the weathered man more, he comes to the sick realization that he is the CONVICT from many years ago! As a boy, Pip was threatened by this man and helped him by bringing him some drink, food and money while he was hiding from the law. Now, many years later, the convict takes Pip’s hands in his and kisses them. He tells Pip he shall never forget Pip’s noble act. Pip says there’s no need for a thank-you and he hopes the criminal has changed his ways. I am sure Pip is more than a little scared for his life and belongings right now! {I did a quick sketch of the convict’s weathered all-knowing (all-seeing) hands.}

[Day 251, Page 271]
Pip offers the weary and wet convict a drink but makes clear that he can’t stay the night. The man becomes teary-eyed which softens Pip. He apologizes for being so harsh to him and asks what he has been up to all these years. He tells Pip he has done very well as a sheep-farmer, a stock-breeder and various other trades in the new world. Pip recalls how he had given the convict 2 one-pound notes long ago. And then he was re-paid this amount from the convict by a messenger. {A quick sketch with paint-pens and acrylic. I was going to paint the mushroom red, but decided I liked it chalky white. I gave myself a limited palette of 3 colors, plus the black of the background. It’s refreshing to sometimes limit yourself!}


Art Expectations 235 Sly Wemmick



[I’m back! I finished my taxes and so hope to get moving on this project again. Hooray!]

As the Aged reads the paper out loud, Wemmick has to occasionally save him from catching his hair or the newspaper on fire from the nearby candles. Wemmick sits very close to Miss Skiffins and slowly inches his arm around her waist. (Wemmick is making his move!) As he does this, his mouth slowly spreads into a wide grin. She quietly removes his arm and places it on the table beside them. This happens several times as Pip watches on and listens to the Aged read. They all have a warm drink and Pip notices that Wemmick and Miss Skiffins drink from the same glass. Maybe they’ll get married?

Art Expectations Day 203 Estella Noose



[Page 220] Wopsle asks Pip if he noticed a heckler in the audience. (Only ONE?!) Pip feels sorry for Wopsle and asks him back to Barnard’s Inn with them for some supper. (I thought “supper” was used only here in the States, in the Deep South. Dickens used it in England in the mid-1800s!) Wopsle stays until 2:00 am, talking of his plans to revive the Drama. Pip goes to bed and dreams of having to give up his fortune, losing Estella, marrying Herbert’s Clara and having to perform Hamlet to Miss Havisham’s ghost!

{Chapter 32} This page ends with a note from Estella which Pip excitedly receives in the post (mail). She’s coming to London! She says Miss H expects Pip to meet her. Signed, “Yours, Estella”.

I created a watercolor on my Yupo paper… so smooth.