Art Expectations Day 161 (only 161?!)


161 GreatExp Wemmicks animals150

Wemmick’s place has a drawbridge (over a small ditch) which can be raised and lowered. There is also a tall flag pole and a turret. Sounds fantastic! Wemmick is very proud of his majestic, albeit tiny home. He keeps a pig, fowl, rabbits and a small garden out back. If he’s ever attacked, he can hold his own!

He leads Pip down a twisted path to a small ornamental lake where their punch is cooling. In the middle of the lake is a small island which appears to contain their salad. Oh, and there’s a fountain. (Wow, I want to live here!) Pip compliments Wemmick on his engineering, carpentry, plumbing and gardening skills. “I’m a Jack of all Trades, ” says Wemmick. They head into the “castle” to meet the Aged. Wemmick’s mother or father?

Here is a quick sketch I did showing Pig the Plumber, Jack Rabbit the Gardener and the Carpenter Cock (the rooster, that is!)

I hope everyone here in the States is enjoying a nice Labor Day!

Great Expectations Day 38


Again… here is the slightly pornographic black shape with “Tickler” written across it! Yikes! This really is very innocent… a penguin’s fin and Tickler is the knobby cane Mrs Joe uses to keep Joe and Pip in-line. This is what Dickens chose to call it!

Here is panel 5 of the Altered Book I am creating as I read along in my copy of Great Expectations. In this part of the story, Joe tells Pip that Mrs Joe is given to government… the government of Joe and Pip! She won’t like it if Joe becomes a scholar because he might rebel against her and her governing. Joe puts up with her because he sees his poor mother in her and all her suffering and slaving away. Pip develops a new respect and admiration for Joe.

For this panel, I decided to play with printing. I tore apart some cardboard and painted the inside with gray paint. Then used it like a stamp to print. Just wanted some interesting texture.

Next I made a stamp with that awful environment-hating styrofoam. It works great for carving and printing.

I made a little Pip holding a bottle of tar-water. (Another method of Mrs Joe’s to keep the boys in-line!) I painted this stamp with the same gray acrylic paint and made three prints with it. Pip walking around the Tickler.

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 35


Pip watches as Joe tries to read his letter. He remembers that at church last Sunday, he (Pip) accidentally held the Prayer Book upside down and Joe seemed perfectly fine with it. Apparently Joe can only read two letters: “J” and “O”, for his name Joe. Pip asks Joe if he got any schooling at all as a child. Joe starts to explain his childhood to Pip. His father was an abusive drunk who treated his mother and himself badly. (I think he continues explaining on the next page.)

On my second panel of the Altered Book triptych, I glued a copy of page 38 of my Great Expectations book down on top of a board book page with a flap on it. (I had previously painted this whole panel including the flap with black acrylic paint.) I cut out the part of the page where the flap was and glued it down under the flap. I use an acrylic matt medium for gluing paper.

I then scratched out a little humble house and two primitive-looking letters “J” and “O” on the outside of the flap. On the inside of the flap I started drawing swirls with a 6B pencil. I was listening to Adele on my ipod while working. (Love her! Who doesn’t?!) In her song came the phrase “time flies”. I felt that this was appropriate for this part of the story as Joe describes his childhood to Pip and Pip is growing up. My own two children are growing up WAY too fast! I am happy with how this spread of the altered book came out. Today, I’ll work on the next panel. There will be six altogether, since I am doing both sides of the triptych. See ya tomorrow!

Great Expectations Day 30


Hello! Yeah, It’s Friday! Here’s what is happening on page 33:

The group of soldiers, the two convicts, Pip, Joe and Mr Wopsle continue along through the marsh, walking along the river. There are tiny windmills on a dyke. (What is a dyke exactly? I checked  an embankment or wall built to confine a river to a particular course; to protect, enclose, or drain (land) with a dyke.)

After an hour or so of walking, they come to a hut with soldiers stationed there and a fire going. They stop off here. The soldiers there send off the “other” convict to be taken to the prison-ship. Next, it’s Pip’s convict’s turn. But before he goes, while warming himself by the fire, he tells everyone that he took some wittles, a dram of liquor and a pork pie from the blacksmith. Joe is alarmed and looks at Pip saying ‘Hollo, Pip!’ Will the convict rat Pip out? He’s the bad guy, not Pip!

I applied modeling paste to a piece of cardboard for this piece. This gave me some strong textures to start with. Then I painted a marsh landscape with a hut (actually looks more like a nice house though) and a windmill with acrylic paint. The river runs down in front.  I’m happy with how this came out, even though it’s not my usual style. Just experimenting!

I’m thinking of switching to reading 5 pages at a time and doing art for those 5 pages. It’s just taking forever! And I want to find out what’s going to happen to Pip sooner. (I’m impatient.) Plus, readers might want the story to move along a little faster. We’ll see… I’ll decide this weekend. Have a great weekend yourself!

Great Expectations Day 28


The two convicts (Pip’s convict and the “other” convict) have been pulled out of the ditch by the soldiers. They argue back and forth. Pip’s convict claims to have captured the “other” one for the soldiers. The “other” convict claims that Pip’s convict tried to murder him. This goes back and forth.

I’ve had this idea in mind for a few weeks now, since I started this project. Using white cutouts against a white background and letting the shadows create the art. I like the strings and the holes made. On the background is a scratchy pencil line and some large silver nails. I thought these added to the effect. Hope you like it! (My son, the one reading Great Expectations for school, helped hold up the letters while I took the photo.)

Great Expectations Day 26


A very watery watercolor! Happy Monday and President’s Day, especially for those who have it off!

Pip, Joe, Mr Wopsle (having trouble keeping up) and all the soldiers are tromping off through the marshes looking for the convicts. They go through the graveyard by the church where Pip’s family is buried. (This is Mrs Joe’s family also. I keep forgetting she is his sister and not his biological mother!) Pip gets a piggy-back ride from Joe.

He is very worried that if they find the convicts, the one convict he fed will recognize him and think he lead the soldiers to him. The scenery is described as a “watery lead color.” The sun is starting to set and there is no mist as in the morning. (This is still the same day, right, that Pip took the food to the convict? Yes, it is… Christmas Day!)

I am not completely happy with this very quick little watercolor. I did one similar to this about 20 years ago, but it was much larger, spent more time on it and it was more abstract. Oh well, the way I see it, not every piece will be a “hit.” Some will be “misses.” I’ll post anyway. Tomorrow, hopefully better! (Maybe I will redo this and take a little more time on it.)

Great Expectations Day 25!


Hello, sorry I missed yesterday. I was off learning how to cook an entire meal outdoors, on a fire, in the rain! (Girl Scout training) It was fun but exhausting. Here I am back today… yeah!

The soldiers are still in Joe’s blacksmith shop. He’s busy hammering and clinking with the soldiers busy drinking up all the wine! Mr Pumblechook is offering it up freely. Even Pip gets a taste of wine in all the celebrating. (It is still Christmas Day plus there is much excitement with having the soldiers in the house.) Pip, noticing the murky shadows dancing menacingly on the walls caused by the flames, starts to feel sorry for the convicts.

When Joe is done with fixing the handcuffs, he, Pip and Mr Wopsle decide to tag along with the soldiers to see all the excitement of the capture (or killing?) of the convicts in the marsh.

This is a quick pastel sketch. I tried to convey the idea of dancing shadows produced from a fire. Hope I succeeded!

Great Expectations Day 14


I did this VERY quick little painting on a piece of junk mail I received. I like to recycle when I can! I first painted the pork pie and then the bottle of Brandy. But instead of doing a still life on a table top (the convict is actually enjoying these treats in the battery not in a kitchen anyway) I did a landscape of what the trees in the marsh might look like. The painting appears very rough and primitive to me. I would normally consider this a “study” rather than a finished piece of art. But I still like it!

As the convict is enjoying the food, Pip thinks he looks like a dog, wolfing and biting and gulping food and worrying about intruders coming to take it away. The convict does thank Pip, in a round-about way. Pip tells the convict that he saw the “other” younger man. The convict seems started by this.