Art Expectations Day 202 Hamlet



“This above all: to thine own self be true.”
– Shakespeare

BE YOURSELF! Apparently the play was Hamlet and Wopsle was playing the leading character. Backstage, he asks Pip and Herbert for their opinion of his performance. (Pretty sure Hamlet wasn’t meant to be a comedy!) Herbert, speaking first, followed by Pip repeating his exact words, says, “Capitally” and “Massive and concrete”. Wopsle gets a little criticism from his dresser though, who is now stripping Wopsle of his fine stockings. Wopsle says his style is too classic and thoughtful for this audience. I guess that’s his excuse for all the laughter!

I decided to look up where Hamlet takes place. (I did read it in high school but I can’t remember a thing about it!) The story takes place in a castle in Denmark. Most people believe it to be the Kronborg Castle in Elsinore, even though the name was never mentioned. I found an old drawing of a battle that took place at this castle and used it to fill up my skull sketch. The skull plays an important part, I believe. But I am NO EXPERT on Shakespeare! Here is the title page from the copy of the play that I read in school:


Art Expectations Day 199!



See my art above. Is it a masterpiece? NO! Is it the best work I’ve ever done? NO! Did I do it in less than 30 minutes? YES! AND it pertains to Page 216 of Great Expectations. Let me explain…

Herbert and Pip hurriedly put out the candles, the fire, shake hands on their mutual confidences (just discussed: Pip’s love of Estella and Herbert’s engagement to Clara) and they head out to the theatre to see Wopsle perform.

Chapter 31 starts with some confusing language from Dickens. But here is what I gather:
– the play has something to do with Danish nobiiity
– Wopsle’s character stands off to the side of the stage with his arms folded
– one actor has a bad cough, even while dead
– another actor has the script hanging around his body and refers to it regularly
– the buxom Queen’s character wears a lot of brass  
So, not exactly a perfect performance. Wopsle is not perfect and often my art is not perfect. I created the piece above using some irregular Jelly Belly jelly beans sent to my family by my sister-in-law Leslie. (Thanks Leslie!) These jelly beans, called Belly Flops (hilarious), taste as good as the normal pefect ones, but didn’t make the cut. I love them! So yummy… and who cares what they look like?!

Art Expectations Day 104


Hiding from the LAW

Mr Wopsle tells the stranger in The Three Jolly Bargemen that he thinks the suspect in the murder case (that he’d just read out loud from the newspaper) is “Guilty.” The stranger argues with him, making the poor flustered Mr Wopsle look like a fool.

“Innocent until proven guilty,” says the stranger. They are all too eager, sitting in their comfy, cozy warm bar, to assume that any suspect HAS to be guilty.

I’ve created a collage – no paint today! I wanted the word LAW to be kind of kidden and not easily recognizable at first.

I hope everyone has a safe and Happy Thanksgiving, here in the States. I will try to do at least one other post before Thursday, but it’s a busy week for me, so we’ll see!

Art Expectations Day 91


Jail Bird

It’s a very dark, wet, misty and muddy night as Mr Wopsle and Pip make their way home from having tea in town. They run into Orlick who has also spent his half-holiday in town and is looking for company on his way home, so he says. He sings loudly and Pip thinks he is drunk, but he isn’t.

As the three walk on together they hear guns going off down in the marshes by the river. More escaped convicts. Orlick says, “There’s some of the birds flown from the cages … We’d be puzzled how to bring down a jail-bird on the wing, tonight.” Meaning, I think, that it’s a miserable, difficult night to try to hunt down escapees.

I created this cute jail-bird in Illustrator. I think he has escaped!

Great Expectations Day 32


Pip decides not to confess to Joe. He is worried that if Joe knew, he’d always be suspecting Pip of watering down his beer and wondering what is missing from the pantry. They are on their way home through the marshes after the convict is put back on the prison-ship. Pip rides piggy-back on Joe. It’s very late and everyone is tired. Mr Wopsle has a hard time of it, sitting often to rest on the wet ground. This soaks his pants through and through.

Back home, Pip awakens fully when his sister, Mrs Joe, gives him a heavy thump on his back. They all sit around discussing how the convict broke into the house and stole the wittles from the pantry. It is decided by Mr Pumblechook that the convict climbed onto the roof and came down the chimney into the kitchen. Lucky for Pip, no one suspects him of aiding the convict at all!

A quick contour drawing with marker: mostly one-line, not picking the marker up (once or twice maybe) except to switch to a blue marker to show the convict’s hand in the pantry. This was a fun, easy one! I love doing contour one-line drawings.

Great Expectations Day 31


A coooollage! Day 31 and on page 34. Seriously thinking about reading 5 pages at a time, but still creating art daily and posting daily.

The convict and solders are still hanging around in the hut with Pip, Joe and Mr Wopsle. The convict tells Joe he is sorry for eating his pie. Joe says it’s OK. (He feels sorry for the convict.) Plus, to Pip’s relief, the convict does not blow Pips cover and tell how he got the pie and other wittles. They watch as the convict is taken out on the water and put back on the prison-ship.

Chapter 6 starts with Pip thinking of confiding in Joe about all that has transpired. But he decides against this because he doesn’t want to lose Joe’s confidence or love. Awwww…. I have not figured out how old Pip is. (Was it mentioned anywhere?) But he is still small enough to ride on Joe’s back so he can’t be too old.

Tune in for next installment!

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 27


In the marsh, it’s extremely windy and starting to sleet. The sheep and cattle stare angrily at Pip as he, Joe, Mr Wopsle and the soldiers pass through, as if to blame them for the miserable conditions. Shouting is heard not too far off. Sounds like two men arguing. “Murder! Convicts! Runaways! Guard!” Everyone starts running in the direction of the shouting, soldiers with their muskets raised and ready.

They find the two convicts in a ditch duking it out. Dickens didn’t use “duking it out” but I got to wondering where this phrase came from.  Here’s what Urban Dictionary thinks:

Urban Dictionary: Duke It Out

To fight, usually fist fight. Probably from John ‘the Duke‘ Wayne movies where he would always end up fighting with someone.
The soldiers drag them out of the ditch. Tune in tomorrow to see if the one convict recognizes Pip!
(I choose to do a little collage/watercolor of the animals in the marsh, cold and angry.)

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.)