Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Breath as Big as a Circus Tent. . . .

Well, I have been bitten hard by the art journal bug and now I offer you page number two in my 40 cent composition book! The circus is a hot trend right now, and rather than buying a bunch of new stuff, I remembered my old, classic (pre-Tim Holtz) Stampers' Anonymous circus stamps!

I began by drawing a pennant border on a dictionary page using a fine Sharpie marker - love those! Then I painted it in with my Maimeri Venezia watercolors, which proved to be risky as it ran when covered with gel medium.  Next, I ran some book pages through a Fiskars crimper several times to soften the fibers, and pleated them into curtains! I glued down the outside edges but left the rest loose.

Then I stamped the 7-League Express in the center of the background. I painted black over the top area of the stamp except for the elephant in his seven-league boots. It is a busy stamp and I wanted him to stand out. I outlined him with a white Sakura Gelly Roll pen and a black ultra-fine point Sharpie. I stamped it again below but painted over it with brown for the circus ring surface, so it just acts as a visual texture.

Next I glued down the curtains and also some folded paper tie-backs. This was done with Aleene's Fast Grab Tacky Glue, a personal favorite.  I used Liquitex heavy matte gel medium both under and over the circus pennant border to glue it down. I used the heavy gel as I was gluing it to such a lumpy surface. The watercolor ran, but I decided I liked the subtle streaks of color going down my bookish curtains!

Then I glued down the Stampers Anonymous characters that I had already watercolored and cut out, plus the "Circus of the Perverse" sign. They are all attached with the Fast Grab Tacky Glue. The clown is actually a doll stamp with separate torso, arms and legs, so I could position his arms however I wanted. Love the sign board carrier, he is so quirky!

Then I used a white Posca Pen to write in the quote from poet e.e. cummings (who always wrote in lower case as I recall):
"when god decided to create the world he took one big breath as big as a circus tent and everything began." -- e.e. cummings
So who is the circus of the perverse? That's all of us of course, living our contrary lives in this huge creation!

I have decided to enter this into the Carnival of Curiosities challenge (HDH103) over at the Haunted Design House, as in retrospect and though it was not the intended effect, these Stampers' Anonymous characters have a bit of the macabre to them, or maybe a Ray Bradbury touch. What do you think? I have also entered it into the Bah, Humbuggers' Challenge 33: Something New. This whole art journaling gig is so completely new I still can't believe I am trying it! My gosh, my first Moleskine sketchbooks just arrived in the mail and I'm using gesso for goodness' sake!

I hope you have enjoyed my second journaling attempt; I think I have really found myself with this art form. I love quotes and poetry, and I love applying my stamping, coloring and painting skills to this different form.  I make all these cards and they sit in boxes in my craft room because I don't actually correspond with people via snail mail as I'm way too disorganized!  I think I may put a  For Sale page on The Altered Alice and see if anyone wants to buy some lovingly created Alice cards, LOL! I'm running out of room!

Please leave a comment, I would love to hear what you think of my Circus of the Perverse, clowns, tents, watercolors, Ray Bradbury, selling my cards, e.e. cummings, or anything else you'd like to say!


  1. Wow Lynne, this is just stunning. I simply adore your use of the dictionary pages and your images are just vintage enough to be kinda creepy. LOVE it!

  2. You are really taking to this art journaling, my dear! Love this! the running of the banner adds to the sort of tattered carney vibe and I agree with Glo, the circus characters have a creepy sinister air. Well, done! Thanks so much for joining us for MM at HDH. Can't wait to see more of your pages. xxD

  3. Lynne this is outstanding.
    Absolutely unique and wonderful. Love this little circus.

  4. oh wow this is amazing - okay it's not Christmas but who cares it was fab to visit and be blown away bny your talent.
    Ann xxx
    bah! Humbug! DT

  5. Absolutely fabulous Lynne, love the theme and the images. Love the White highlights too. You have really taken to art journaling and I love your creations. Tracy x

  6. When do you find time to do this wonderful artwork with everything else you do. I am in awe. This is fabulous. There is so much to look at and enjoy.

  7. I think your page looks amazing. I love art journals and these pages are perfect x

  8. So cool Lynne, I love the colors.

  9. Well, you've done it again...Wow! I have a feeling that we'll all be seeing more journal pages on your blog. Outstanding page! I love the circus theme too. I've been wanting to create a train car; but I haven't gotten around to it, yet. Brilliant idea to use book pages as the curtains...well done!

  10. So cool - love it! I am also a recent art journal addict! :)

  11. Oh wow....and WOW again.... so much detail...i could spend hours looking at this.... as long as i cover the clown in the corner.... they scare me so much!
    Thank you for joining in with us at HDH this week... it has been a pleasure looking at your art.

  12. Lynne, you got that Art Journal thing down! Dang....page two is just as amazing as page one was. LOVE those curtains. LOVE that your ink ran a bit for your pennants. Fantastic page!

  13. This is so fantastic I don't know where to begin! I love the book page curtains and all the detail you've put into this from the watercolor streaks (fab by the way...all great art often happens by accident) to the e.e. cummings poem, and of course the fashion forward elephant...his boots were made for walking! I agree with you on the cards great art does not belong in a box...sell, sell, sell or maybe you could make an Alice Journal using them? Your comments on my blog made me laugh out loud...you made my day! (Thanks I needed that...didn't make that design team and was feeling pretty bummed)


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