Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Circus is in Town!

Although the weather outside would have us believe it's already summer, it's still March - which means that the circus is coming to town!

I don't know about you, but I have never liked the circus. The performers seemed to try too hard.  I don't like clowns, either - they never scared me or anything, I just never thought they were funny.  In Green Bay we only got the Shrine Circus, which is kind of a cheap knock-off circus.  The few times I went, there was a strong scent of animal waste in the arena, and I remember thinking that those animals weren't happy to be doing those tricks.  That's really what ruined it for me.

Sometimes I wonder how much longer the circus of my childhood will last.  I was a pretty cynical kid, and that was over 30 years ago!  Does the circus delight children anymore?  Or are today's kids expecting Cirque du Soleil when attending that event?

It may seem contrary, but I LOVE circus ephemera!  The Big Top, the caravan, and yes - even the clowns.  Bring it on!

Take these wonderful snack bags, for example.  I got these at Old Stuff Only for a song.  The graphics are fantastic, aren't they?  Here's a great instance where the idea of the circus of yesteryear is more evocative than the real thing.  Why is that?  Well, for whatever reason, I can't get enough of them.  They're still available, too!

I got this straw box (and the straws!) at an estate sale for mere pennies - literally! I think I paid 13 cents for it!  That clown on the front is fantastic, and the colors are perfectly circus-y.  As Mike Wolfe of American Pickers would say, "I had to have it".  And for that price?  Who wouldn't!

These bottle caps aren't necessarily circus-related, but they sure feel like it to me.  It's the dots that do it, I think.  I love them!

I got these wonderful carnival tickets from Retro Cafe Art Gallery and I think they're marvelous.  I can't wait to use them in a collage!  You can get some too - you get 20 for a BUCK!  :D

For as much as I claim to not enjoy the circus, I certainly have done my share of art pertaining to it!  Here are a few pieces I've created over the years:

"Conquering my Fears" ATC
"Step Right Up" ATC
"Perpetual Circus Event" collage, made for the "To the Power of N"
challenge (book available now!)


  1. This is all wonderful. My wife, however, dislikes clowns with a passion, which somewhat limits her ability to appreciate circus ephemera.

  2. I think the history of the circus has a certain appeal, so I like the ephemera (and, of course, your circus collages!) but thinking of the lives the poor circus animals must lead makes me sad. I prefer the all human circuses like Cirque du Soleil. And clowns...they kinda creep me out!