Tag Archives: Great Expectations

Art Expectations The End! (not really)

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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: http://www.matt-kish.com/

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

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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 383 Pip’s Portrait

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{Day 383 Page 410}  This is the third to last post on this project… three pages to go. Back to the book – let’s wrap this up…
Pip is visiting his childhood home after being away for eleven years. Joe and Biddy have two children, a boy named after Pip and a baby girl. The little Pip reminds big Pip of himself. He takes him out for a walk to the church graveyard in the marshes where his mother and father are buried. (Pip’s parents were Pirrip and Georgiana.) After dinner that night, Biddy tells Pip he should marry. He says he has become an old bachelor, living with Herbert and Clara. She asks him if he’s gotten over Estella. He says no, but it was all a poor dream. Through the grapevine he’s heard that she had a miserable marriage to Drummle. Drummle was cruel and abusive to her. He died two years ago in an accident with a horse. And Pip has not heard anything of her since. Later that night, Pip slips off to town to visit the location of the old Satis House, where he spent many hours tending to the old, frail Miss Havisham and pining over the beautiful, cruel Estella. The house and brewery are long gone. All that remains is the old crumbling garden wall and the ivy. It’s dusk and there is a silvery mist with stars shining in the sky.

Here is a large portrait of Pip, all green to represent his Great Expectations, the money he received from Magwitch. This money funded most of his adult life, allowing him to live well, buying fancy shoes and furnishings. It also funded his friend and roommate, Herbert Pocket’s business. Pip now works for Herbert at that business. Stay tuned to see whose portrait I do next!

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 380 Wedding Day

Art Journal Great Expectations by Julie Flandorfer

Pip continues his walk toward his childhood home to see Joe and reconnect (romantically) with Biddy. He expects to hear Joe’s hammer clinking and clanking in his shop, but hears nothing. There are sweet green lime trees and chestnut trees with leaves rustling in the breeze. But no hammer sounds. As he approaches he sees that the forge is all shut up. That’s unusual. Biddy and Joe spot Pip approaching and run to greet him. They weep and embrace. Pip has not been back in a very long time. Biddy looks fresh and pleasant. She says, “It’s my wedding day” and “I am married to Joe!” What?! (I guess I did see that coming. But Pip did not.) He must have fainted because he woke up with his head on the table in the house. They are both overjoyed to see him. So delighted and proud. His coming on this very day, their wedding day, was a grand surprise. Back in London when Joe was nursing him back to health, Pip had almost told Joe about his plans with Biddy. Thank goodness he had not! That would have been very awkward for them all.

I’ve been working more on art journaling. So here is an entry in one of my on-going books. This illustration is based on a tutorial in Staci Swider’s Acrylic Expressions book. https://www.amazon.com/Acrylic-Expressions-Painting-Authentic-Vocabulary/dp/1440344485/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1476899701&sr=1-1&keywords=mixed+media+painting+swider

Fun book with great ideas! Acrylic paint and an old book page. Only FIVE pages to go!

Art Expectations 379 Windy Donky

Windy Donkey & Lark

Pip describes Mr Pumblechook as a windy donkey. He can’t believe Mr P has the gall to speak to him this way! They argue some more about whether Mr P was a benefactor of Pip’s or not. Mr P leaves angrily, telling the Blue Boar staff that they are free to tell the whole town of Pip’s ungratefulness. As Pip heads home to see Joe and Biddy he passes by Mr P’s shop in town. Mr P and other townsfolk gathered around give Pip the stink-eye. He doesn’t care. Joe and Biddy will understand. He feels “a sense of increasing relief” as he draws nearer to them, leaving arrogance and untruthfulness behind him. (I think he’s referring to Mr P and not his own arrogance and lies.) It’s June, the sky is blue and larks soar over the green corn. Pip notices the beauty of the countryside. It’s been a long time since he’s walked this path. He passes Biddy’s schoolhouse hoping to see her there. But it’s all closed up. He continues his walk.

I’ve been doing some art journaling. Was having trouble getting into it. I’m not a writer! I don’t “journal”. But I’ve kept at it, working on three recycled (upcycled) old books at once. I keep telling myself that it’s just a sketchbook. I can write if I want to, but it’s not necessary. I am enjoying it. The pressure of doing something good on a big, blank, white (expensive) canvas is off! So it is freeing to work this way. I hope I can keep it up! This page is from one of those art journals. It’s on the inside cover of a discarded hard bound book. More to come!

Art Expectations 378 Pig Headed Pip

Pig Headed Pip by Julie Flandorfer

{Day 378 Page 404}  Mr Pumblechook steps back from Pip and the teapot. Talking to the waiter and landlord of the Blue Boar, but so Pip can hear, he says that Pip is the very same person that he played with in happy infancy. He attended the wedding of Pip’s sister and Joe. He watched as they raised him. He’s shaming Pip for having forgotten where he came from, his background. He goes on to claim having been Pip’s FIRST benefactor. But, yet he’s never received any thanks or monetary appreciation from Pip. Pip never shared any of his Great Expectations with Mr P. (Or for that matter, with Joe either.) Pip disagrees that Mr P was ever a benefactor of his. Mr P was the one who put Pip together with Miss Havisham. But, remember that she was not the true benefactor of Pip. The money never came from her. It came instead from Magwitch, the prisoner whom Pip helped out, in secret, as a child. Even though the monetary Great Expectations did not come from Miss H, Pip did benefit from having known her. After all, that’s how he met Estella, the love of his life. Mr P calls Pip ungrateful and pig-headed. It’s true that Pip should have kept in touch with his “roots” and helped his family out in some way. If not with money, then with visiting them from time to time.

Art Expectations 376 Same Dreams

Same Dreams by Julie Flandorfer

{Day 376 Page 402}  Can you believe I only have about ten pages to go?! And I’m having a hard time doing these last few pages. Do I not want it to end? It can’t be that. Just busy I suppose. I am ready to move on to other things… other projects. Maybe do another book? NO!

As I read this page of Dickens’ Great Expectations, I couldn’t help but think of all the violence against American police officers and the unnecessary deaths of black people. Is there violence on this page? No, but he tells how Pip is having the same dreams that he had when he was rich. He is also being treated differently since having lost his great expectations. So, no matter who we are, rich or poor, black or white, great expectations or no expectations at all… don’t we all want the same things? We have the same dreams. We all have feelings, love for our children and want to see them grow up to succeed. Fathers, who happen to be policemen or black men caught by police maybe doing something illegal, often not, want to provide for their children, love their wives and live a long safe life. Hopefully this madness will end soon. Here’s my take on page 376…

Pip is still making his plans to go back home, confess all to Joe and his love for Biddy. He hopes he can work at the forge. Or maybe he and Biddy can go away to live and work elsewhere. He’s assuming she still pines for him. I feel more heartbreak coming for Pip!
(Chapter 58) Pip has traveled back home and is staying at the Blue Boar Inn. He realizes that news of his diminishing fortune has preceded him. The Boar staff are cool to him. And they don’t have his usual room available, the finest in the Inn. He sleeps instead in a room off the yard with the carriages and pigeons. He makes a surprising discovery. He sleeps just as well in this room and has the exact same dreams as he did in the finest room and when he was rich! In the morning he walks over to Satis House, Miss Havisham’s old home. (She passed away after being burned when her tattered gown caught fire from her fireplace several months ago.) He sees an auctioneer marking up her home. Items are to be sold and the house torn down. He feels like a stranger looking on.

I did this watercolor sketch pretty quickly on Sunday, July 17 after hearing about the shooting of the policemen in Baton Rouge that morning. It’s one of those where I had no doubt what to do, just had to get it out of my head and onto the paper! Sorry for the long mini-novel today. Next day will be shorter. And on to the end…..

 

Art Expectations 374-5 Best Buds & Biddy

Joe and Pip

Biddy Revisited

Quick sketches! I’m rounding the bend. In the final stretch!

{Day 374 Page 400}  Pip tells Joe one day while out walking that he’s now strong enough to walk back on his own without leaning on Joe. Joe says to not overdo it but that he’ll also be happy for Pip to be fully recovered. Pip is annoyed by his response. So Pip walks a short distance and then pretends to be weak, needing Joe’s help again. He debates about telling Joe of his dire financial situation. But he knows Joe will try to help him with his meager savings. Pip decides that on Monday morning, he’ll talk to Joe, confessing everything. He tells Joe that he’ll never forget this time they’ve had together. He’s glad he fell ill for this to happen. To bring them back together.

{Day 375 Page 401}  That night, Sunday night, Joe asks Pip if he’s still feeling strong. Pip says yes. Then, “good-night!” In the morning Pip wakes refreshed and ready to set everything straight with Joe. He’ll do it before breakfast even. But he finds that Joe is gone. He left a short note. Basically stating that he wished to not intrude on Pip’s life. Pip will be better off without him. It’s signed “P.S. Ever the best of friends”. With the note is a receipt for Pip’s debt and the cost of the arrest. Joe had paid it. Pip decides there is nothing left to do but to follow Joe back home and explain everything to him there. And he wishes to speak with Biddy. He hopes she’ll forgive him and that maybe she still likes him. She liked him once, right? Hopefully she can again. I think Pip is in for a big surprise!