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!

Art Expectations 364-366 Fever Dreams



She's Alive!

Great Expectations Sketch

It’s a lot to take in, three pages at once. These three sketches are also from the road. Getting closer to the end!

{Day 364 Page 389} The 32 accused are all formally doomed, sentenced to death. Some need help walking out, some saunter out with haggard bravery and some shake hands with others. The audience looks down on them, pointing and accusing. Pip prays that Magwitch will die on his own before the sentence is carried out. In the meantime, Pip spends his time writing appeals, explaining that Magwitch came back to London on his behalf. He reaches out to men of authority, the Home Secretary of State and even to the Crown. He is restless and wanders the streets at night, hoping his letters of appeal are working. He is not able to visit Magwitch as much now. The guards are not hard on him or on Magwitch. What would be the point? They chat with Pip about Magwitch’s worsening condition.

{Day 365 Page 390} Magwitch lies in his cell looking placidly at the ceiling. Sometimes he is unable to speak. Ten days have passed since his sentencing. He thanks Pip for not deserting him. Pip lays his hand on Magwitch’s chest and tells him there is something he must tell him. ‘You had a child once, whom you loved and lost.’ Magwitch squeezes Pip’s hand in acknowledgment. ‘She lived and found powerful friends. She is living now. She is a lady and very beautiful. And I love her!’ Remember that Magwitch is Estella’s father. Her mother is the maid for Jaggers. Wow. It’s a little confusing.

{Day 366 Page 391} After Pip tells Magwitch that his daughter is alive and well, Magwitch raises Pip’s hand to his lips and then back on his chest. A placid look comes again to his face and he passes away. Hopefully he died happy. Pip says, ‘O Lord, be merciful to him, a sinner.’  Chapter 57 starts. Pip gives notice of his plan to leave his home at the Temple. He won’t be able to afford it much longer. He starts to look seriously at his debt (finally!) and becomes alarmed. He has ignored his own health while caring for Magwitch. And the stress has taken its toll on him.  He falls into a fitful sleep, having feverish dreams. He dreams of groping for his boat in the dark (it’s sunk at the bottom of the river), someone coming up the stairs after him and seeing Miss Havisham burning in his fireplace. Horrific!

Art Expectations Day 362-3 Sorrowful Souls


Herd of Accused

Judgement Day

Did I use that title already??? This project has taken so long, I’m sure I am starting to repeat myself. I look back at some of the artwork I did at the beginning and don’t even recognize them! No recollection of doing them. Scary. Anyhoo…

{Day 362 Page 387} Chapter 56:  Magwitch is so ill (two broken ribs and a punctured lung) that he is moved from the prison to the infirmary while waiting his trial. Pip’s daily short visits see him wasting away, growing worse every day. When attendants made comments about his dire condition, Magwitch just smiled.  He looks to Pip with trust and hope that Pip sees some redeeming qualities in him. At last the “Sessions come round” – trial starts. Pip is allowed to sit right next to Magwitch, holding his hand. The trial is short and very clear. He’s found guilty. On sentencing day, 32 men and women are put before the judge all together to receive their sentences at once.

{Day 363 Page 388} On that April day, raindrops glitter in the rays of sunlight on the courtroom windows. Some of the 32 accused appear stricken with terror, sobbing. Some are defiant, some stare gloomily around. A large audience looks on as if at a theatre. The judge singles out Magwitch, not calling him by name, but we all know who he is talking about. He lists out Magwitch’s crimes, his escapes, his quiet peaceful honest life and then his return to London and his killing of Compeyson. The judge says he “must prepare himself to Die.” A broad shaft of sunlight cuts between the 32 accused and the Judge. Magwitch rises and accepts his sentence of Death.

Two more quick car sketches in the paper sample book. I’m also doing art on the outside of this little book and those will be posted soon. I can see the end!

Art Expectations Days 359-61 Wemmick’s Unusual Plans


Great Expectations sketch

I do! A Dickens Wedding

Wemmick is Married

Three days, three pages, three quick sketches!

{Day 359 Page 384}  Wemmick is still visiting Pip at Pip’s home. He says there was really no way to save Magwitch from Compeyson going after him. But perhaps the portable property could have been saved. (Again with the portable property!) Wemmick asks Pip to go on a walk with him on Monday morning. He’s being very vague as usual. Pip doesn’t really feel up to it but decides to go, knowing he owes Wemmick for helping him all these years. On Monday morning Pip goes to Wemmick’s home, the Castle. Pip notices that the Aged (Wemmick’s father) is not there. Weird. They have a quick snack of rum with milk and biscuits. As they head out, Wemmick grabs a fishing pole. Also unusual.

{Day 360 Page 385}  As they walk along through town, they come upon a church. Wemmick seems surprised, even though it’s not uncommon to see a church here. The next few minutes go like this (verbiage from Wemmick):
Look a church!
Let’s go inside!
Why, here’s a pair of white gloves. Let’s put them on!
(The Aged then appears from a side door with Miss Skiffins, Wemmick’s girlfriend. She also puts on a pair of white gloves.)
Hello! Let’s have a wedding!
Look, a ring! (pulled from Wemmick’s pocket)
(Pip and Wemmick struggle to get gloves on the Aged. A clerk and clergyman appear and start the wedding ceremony. Apparently Pip is to be best man!)

{Day 361 Page 386}  The weird wedding ceremony between Wemmick and Miss Skiffins is complete. They are married! The small wedding party heads off to a pleasant little tavern for breakfast. They have an excellent time, eating good food and toasting the happy couple. Pip notices that Miss Skiffins (now Mrs Wemmick) no longer pushes Wemmick’s hands away as he tries to hold her. Everyone seems very happy. Pip takes his leave, shaking hands with Wemmick and wishing him happiness. Wemmick whispers, “this is altogether a Walworth (where Wemmick lives) sentiment, please.” Meaning, keep it to yourself, Pip. He does not wish Jaggers and his coworkers to find out about the events of the day. He is afraid Jaggers will think his “brain was softening”.

Art Expectations 351-2 Spies


Spies in the NIght


{Day 351 Page 376}  At the hotel on the river…  Pip sends Provis (Magwitch) up to bed. He and the other two men go outside to have a meeting to decide what to do next. Should they leave first thing in the morning? Or wait until about 1:00 just in time to catch the next steamer? They decide on the latter and head up to bed. Pip awakens after a few hours by the banging of the hotel sign outside. He goes to look out the window and sees two men starring into their boat! In the middle of the night! Pip watches until the men walk away into the darkness. He eventually falls back to sleep. In the morning he tells the others what he saw. As usual, Provis is the least concerned. A change of plans: Pip and Provis will head out on foot immediately after breakfast, not telling anyone at the hotel. They’ll walk down the river bank and later meet up with Herbert and Startop in the boat, around noon.

{Day 352 Page 377}  Pip and Provis start out on foot as planned. They walk quietly along the shore staying out of sight. Provis still seems very content and untroubled. He seems to console Pip, even though he’s the real one in trouble (running from the law). They reach the meeting point and eventually Herbert picks them up in the boat. The continue on the river. They soon spot smoke from the first steamer. Then they see both of the steamers. The first one is headed toward Hamburg. As they proceed toward this one, Pip spots another small boat pulling up next to their boat. It seems to have been hiding, waiting for them. Two men are on this boat. One tells them he knows who the man hiding in the cloak is. It’s Abel Magwitch also known as Provis. He plans to apprehend him and he should go ahead and surrender. Oh no, they’ve been caught!

Great Expectations Day 50!


Pip is still exploring Miss Havisham’s neglected courtyard and the deserted brewery next door. He peers over a short old wall into the weedy overgrown garden of Manor House. He sees Estella walking there down a worn path. He then starts walking on top of overturned beer casks, and sees Estella also doing the same thing off in the distance. He enters the large empty brewery and looks up to see Estella climbing some very high iron stairs. To his right, he spots someone else. It’s Miss H hanging by her neck in all her faded-wilted glory. GRUESOME!

He realizes he is imagining these things. Whew! Is it the beer impairing his vision and mind? Little kids shouldn’t drink! Is it illegal for children to drink alcohol in private homes? In the States? What about in Europe? I’ll look it up!

The laws apparently vary widely by country determining legal drinking age and where it can be consumed, in public places or private homes, and different kinds of alcoholic drinks. Most laws apply only to drinking in public places. The U.K. is the only country that has a minimum legal drinking age for drinking alcohol in the home. That’s interesting. In England it is against the law for any child under age 5 to be given alcohol unless under medical supervision or an emergency. (What emergency?) For ages 5-17 in England: it is legal for them to consume alcohol at home or a friend’s house with parent’s permission. In the U.S. before 1984 it varied by state. But a national law was passed in 1984 that made the legal drinking age 21. Only a few states have laws prohibiting under age children from drinking in private residences.

Enough about that! There are so many different laws, even within the U.S. and each state, that it is very confusing! (17 states do not ban underage consumption at all! Can that be correct?)

Anyway, here is my little art for today. I did a complex collage yesterday, so decided to go with simple today. Just black ink on white bristol board: a sketch of the overgrown garden, Manor House and a ghost of Miss Havisham floating above in her wedding gown.