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!


Art Expectations 383 Pip’s Portrait



{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 342 Injured Soul


Injured Soul by Julie Flandorfer

[Day 342 Page 366] As Pip is helped along by Herbert he recalls saying a prayer on his way to the sluice-house. Now he says a thanksgiving on his way back from there and back from near death. Pip finds out the story of how they found and rescued him. He had accidentally dropped the mysterious letter beckoning him to go there back in their apartment. Herbert, finding the letter, figured that was where Pip had disappeared to. And he decided to head there to help him. He takes Startop along. Once in the little town, they look around for Pip at the Blue Boar, Satis House and back at the hotel. Not finding him, they ask Trabb’s boy to lead them to the sluice-house. Upon approaching the sluice-house Herbert hears Pip cry out. He bursts in with Startop and Trabb’s boy close behind. (Just in the nick of time!) Now that they are on their way back to town, Herbert wants to report this incident to the police and get a warrant for Orlick’s arrest. Pip persuades him that starting a hunt for Orlick would interfere with their plans on Wednesday (in two days) to get Provis out of town.

I haven’t used watercolor in a while. I am not sure why, because I love to paint with it! I’ve actually used gouache  here combined with pen and ink. This is a portrait of Pip with his bandaged arms, just saved from being killed by Orlick and after having lost the love of his life. I hope things look up for him soon!

Art Expectations 311 Molly’s Strength


311 GreatExp Molly 150

{Day 311 Page 333}  As Pip and Wemmick continue walking after dinner, Wemmick begins to tell Pip the story of Molly, Jaggers’ maid. (Pip is starting to suspect that Molly is Estella’s real mother.) Many years ago, Molly was tried for murder. She was beautiful so this caused quite a stir around London town. This was also Jaggers’ first big case, early in his career. The murdered person was a woman about ten years older than Molly. Molly, the woman and the dead woman’s husband all “led tramping lives”. I’m guessing they were all gypsies. This was a love triangle. So I am thinking Molly was having an affair with the husband, or maybe the wife was just jealous, suspecting something. There was a fight between the two women in a barn. Molly won the fight, and strangled the woman to death with her bare hands. (Pip recalls Jaggers pointing out Molly’s strong wrists and hands at a dinner party years earlier.) At the trial, Jaggers had her dress very daintily with her arms covered. The scratches on her hands were said to be from walking through a thicket of brambles.

I finally had time to sit and work on the next page. I did a painting of Molly in acrylic. This is larger than what I have done recently (all those car-sketches!) I was ready to do something more detailed. I got some new pencils in the mail (addicted to art supplies!) earlier this summer so I think my next one will be a pencil sketch. Back to the basics!

Great Expectations Day 46


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!