Great Expectations Day 46

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Miss Havisham

Miss H admits that she wants a diversion and that she has a “sick fancy to see some play.” (This sounds really perverted!) Pip is unable to play on-the-spot and tells her so. He feels uncomfortable in this new, unfamiliar environment. Miss H has Pip call Estella back, the pretty young lady, to come play cards with him. Estella is reluctant to play with a common labour-boy, but once Miss H tells her she can break his heart she sits down to play. Poor Pip!

I did this quick portrait of Miss H, an old, thin, withered lady wearing a faded bridal veil. At the bottom, I placed part of an Old Maid playing card (found at an antique shop in McKinney Texas), a torn bit of paper that looks like lace and a bit of a skeleton illustration found in a book published in 1851. LOVE this book! And I also love downtown McKinney, such cute little shops and beautiful homes. The ones near the courthouse were mostly built in the 1890s. So charming!

Great Expectations Day 34

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[Page 37… a year has passed since the events on Christmas Day with the convict.]

On the page before we found out that Pip attends a night school taught by Mr Wopsle’s great-aunt. She also has a general store in the same room as the classroom, which is run by Biddy, her grand-daughter. (I’m confused by everyone’s relation to one another, and I believe Pip is too!) Biddy is an orphan like Pip and needs some “tending to”… cleaning up. But she does look nice on Sundays for church and she helps Pip learn to read and write.

Pip writes a letter to Joe to show off what he has learned. (It’s really pretty bad… poor spelling and grammar. But at least he’s making an effort.) In the letter he tells Joe that he soon hopes to teach him reading and writing and mentions something about becoming an apprentice to him also. It’s written so poorly, it’s hard to understand!

My next few pieces will be part of an altered book; a triptych using old children’s board books. They start out like this:

As cute as they are, these books have been chewed on, slobbered on, scribbled on (by babies and dogs) and it’s time to give them a NEW life! I took several different ones, of varying sizes and cut them apart. Then coated the pages with the primer Gesso, let dry. I coated some panels with black acrylic paint. Then chose three panels to tape together. I used black electrical tape.

First I glue on a page (page 37 that I scanned and printed from the book that I am reading). This gives me a base to work with and the text adds some texture. I use Matte Gel Medium to adhere the paper items on.

To start the really fun part: I glued on an old “Old Maid” playing card that I found at an antique store. It has a picture of a little boy that looks like Pip. Then I drew a picture of Dickens as a young lad with pencil and black pastel. Next, stamped a pig (since a few days ago Pip was likened to a swine) and some other designs. Then some black paint and blue scribbles to finish it off! I’ll work on the other panels over the next few days. This will be fun!