We had a snow day with last week so – with no school for the kids and no work for me – I had much greater flexibility in my schedule. I, therefore, took a bit of time to work in my art journal. I used an Art Journal Adventure prompt as inspiration. The prompt was “circus” which was going to be a challenge for me. I have explained it in detail in a previous blog post so I won’t rehash it all here but I have a serious phobia of clowns that is related to a milder phobia of circuses – one that is deep-seated enough that I have never taken my kids to a circus. I can, however, deal with acrobatic acts outside the context of a circus. I think, for instance, that I would enjoy seeing Cirque du Soleil. I like drawing figures inside circles for some reason so I drew some circles on the page as a starting point. I then pulled up a few images of acrobats in google and combined a few influences to come up with the pose. I associate circuses with bold, bright, primary colours so that gave me my palette. I think the finished illustration suggests circus enough to fulfil the brief of the prompt while not triggering my phobias.
I have not worked in my art journal for weeks. This time of year is just busy to a crazily hectic degree. I decided to grab some little pockets of time over the past few days to produce an illustration in my art journal. I decided to work on an Art Journal Adventure prompt that I had missed. Last week’s prompt was “clown”. That was never going to happen given that I am a massive coulrophobe so I pondered the broader prompt, which was circus. My clown phobia is actually tied up in a milder phobia of circuses. However, I have an interest in the history of sideshows and “freaks” so that was the avenue my creative imagination wandered down. I have illustrated the Pig-Faced Lady of Manchester Square before in my art journal and this time I intended to draw another favourite “freak”, Lionel the Dog-Faced Boy. However, I was so short on art time that I decided to produce a much simpler and more whimsical illustration. I, therefore, chose to depict a version of the Fiji Mermaid. This was a curiosity exhibited by PT Barnum as the mummified remains of a mermaid when it was actually the head and torso of a monkey stitched onto the tail of a fish. This is just a simple ink drawing coloured with a very loose wash of watercolour.