The Circus Art Parade Big Finale! Plus Winners!

Sep 17

At Last!

The Initiatory Parade of Circusness has commenced!  Or started… or finished…  Or… something.  But whatever it’s doing, we have *Winners!* Yay.  If you missed the earlier fun, you can read all about it, here:  Every Circus Starts With A Parade (plus free art) Or just  scroll down to see the parade of awesome, and see who won (or  find out if you’ve won!)

Selma & Her Favorite Pirate Monkey

First up? An honorary addition.

Havi Brooks didn’t comment in the parade, but it wouldn’t exist without her – after all, it was her Fluent Self’s pirate ship metaphoring that started this mess. So I’ve given Selma (Havi’s business partner & duck) the honor of Grand Marshall. You can see Selma here in her wee pirate hat, being carried along by her favorite Pirate Monkey, who is named Claude.

(Oh, and you can click on any of the images for a larger version. Clickity Click Click!)


Speaking of monkeys… Meet Quinly, Scraps‘s Former Organ-Grinder Monkey.

Quinly: Former Organ Grinder Monkey. Current Princess & Labor OrganizerShe worked really hard, saved her pennies, and bought out the Organ Grinder’s share of the business. And a tiara. As for the Organ Grinder himself? He spent all the money on booze, hit the skids and now works for her. You can’t see him here, but he’s on the end of the leash she’s holding.

Unfortunately, as the parade progressed, Quinly’s fine tail met an unfortunate accident with my scissors a circus wagon, which led to much wailing and gnashing of teeth. She’s fine now, but you can see the bandages on her tail. I’ve made it up to her by giving her a bit of lovely silver cord as her leash to keep tabs on the Organ Grinder with. And I think there’s a magic wand in the works.


The Ringmaster of Great Pretension!

The ever-enthusiastic Andy Dolph (who is not a bit pretentious) gets a Ringmaster of Great Pretension. I have a fellow like this that marches around in my head, ordering Things this way and that. The Things mostly don’t listen to him, but my, he DOES look sharp doing them!


The lovely Larissa (who does this awesome owl eyes thing, check it out) opined: “I have a favorite circus act — I don’t know what they are called but the awesome people who do crazy balancing tricks while riding horses (standing on them, doing flips, jumping from horse to horse, etc – kind of like the flying trapeze artists only on horses). Yes!”

Tada. Horses and Hoops, Flying Changes, & Hopping Equestrians!


“OhhH! I want to be one of the kitties in the lion tamer cage. A black panther, but not the mean potentially bite your face off one. I’m the good kitty who gets to wear the kitty princess crown, and do all the fun tricks, maybe like riding a bicycle that isn’t demeaning at all, i do it just because i want to do it!” said the adorable @MelKitty

One Good Kitty Princess. On A Bike!

One good kitty black panther princess? Check! Here she is, practicing her bicycle balancing act. (Shh.. don’t tell her it’s a tricycle. She’ll be crushed)


Marie, our resident Texas Blues singer and SnakeCharmer, says: “I’m sure you already have a circus full of fun but … I love little doggies in tutus! And calliopes. And elephants. And glitter.”

How Much Is That Doggie In the Tutu?

I’m hoping Marie’ll settle for this picture of the doggie in the tutu, plus some gratuitous glitter. Because I checked the shipping fees for the elephants and calliope, and they’re simply outrageous!


The soft spoken and introspective SottoVoce said: I’ve always loved circus bears that slowly walk around on top of a large striped ball. Who would have guessed a bear has that kind of balance and finesse?

Bear. Ball. Balance. Finesse!

Bear. Ball. Balance. Finesse. Check!


Over on Twitter, @KirstyMcHall wrote: ” I love it! I’m the sequin-clad girl balancing on the tightrope, even though I’m scared of heights.”

Sequins! Parasols! Balancing Acts! Pure Love.

Tada. Not one, but TWO sequined girls on the tightrope – the second one’s a spottter. And the ropes aren’t too far off the ground, so you’ll be extra safe.

This next one? It may be my favorite in the whole parade. Elissa (who does this neat I-Count-Ability thing) writes:

The circus is a little scary, and I’m not sure I should be at one while there is so much to do. So if you please, a little red hen who is always busy planting the grain, cutting the wheat, grinding it at the mill and baking the bread who comes to the circus and finds herself reminded of how important it is to have fun too…that would be lovely.

The Little Red Hen Learns To Play

So here she is, the Little Red Hen, learning to play. She’s borrowed one of the parasols from Kirsty’s girls, and has taken up the high-wire balancing act, just for fun! (And she’s promised not to try and turn it into a new career)


Dave Rowley of CreativeChai said “If I was to run away and join a circus I’d be a juggler … with fire sticks!! ….Huzzah for parades!”

ADHD Much?

How about fire hoops, Dave? We got ’em! Here, you can see how the juggler has misappropriated one of the balance balls from the bears. Inspired by the red hen, our height-challenged juggler is also trying his luck on the high wire. I suspect he’s a bit of an ADHD overacheiver. (Be sure and click this one for a better look. He’s quite astounding.)


My friend Richard (who loves being difficult!) requested – what was it again? Oh yes… “Winged Narwhales, On Trapeze! Tossing rings from horn to horn!

At least the ring is real.

As it turns out, Narwhales are notoriously difficult to train. So in true Barnum fashion, I’ve  glued a horn to a seal, and tada! Instant Narwhale.  Mind you, there’s some reason to believe the wings are cardboard, and the trapeze, of course, is invisible.

But look!
The ring is real!
And it’s on fire!
Will the bonuses never end?!


Then the lovely, sensitive and ever-amusing Melody Kiersz of NakedWellness chimed in with this:

“I’ve always been fond of the tigers/lions acts. They seem so majestic and graceful and fierce and strong! Though I have to admit I couldn’t go to an animal circus due to the guilt involved. The last circus acts I’ve been to have all been Cirque du Soleil, and I do love me some acrobats! Especially the ones that fly around the tent hanging from silks. It just seems so magical! So liberating and fearless!”

One Cruelty-Free Cirque du Lion!

Here you go, Melody – one cruelty free lion acrobat on silks!  He loves his job, and wants you to know that it is, indeed, very liberating and fearless.  Almost like being naked.  Which the Queen of Naked Wellness should appreciate!


And just to make *sure* our animal acts stay cruelty-free, there’s this:  A not-big-on-blog-comments friend of mine (who’s been an incredible supporter of the Circus while in progress) informed me that his favorite act …. well… I’ll let him explain:

“When the circus is in town, every year, a woman paints her body to look like a cheetah, then sits in a cage along the circus parade route. I really like that. ”

Naked & Caged & Protests, Oh My!

Of course, she’s actually protesting the use of the circus animals (which Melody will appreciate!) but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s her naked-painted-cagedness my friend is fond of, and not her views on animal welfare. In either case, here she is, in all of her painted, protesting, panther-like glory!


And, of course, we must end things on a calliope note.

The Calliope Note

(No calliopes were harmed during the making of these recordings.
but they are actual calliopes, recorded in the wild, circa 1930. Thank you, Internet Archive!)

TADA! So Who Won?

*Everyone* who commented with a request wins. Yay!  I’ll be contacting you for actual addresses in the next week or two, and mailing out the artwork a few at a time so the postage doesn’t kill me.

And What Have We Learned, Boys & Girls?

  • Much like Dave’s juggler, I am an unrepentant overachiever.
  • Ink from metallic pens does not scan well, so you can not see the glorious glitterness. Dammit.
  • Monkeys are surprisingly difficult to draw, even when cheating.
  • And Parades are FUN!  Even when they’re a lot of work.

So there you go;  One Circus Parade of Awesome.

Let me know what you think!


  1. Oh what fun! The parade was breath-taking, the best I’ve seen!

    And I feel your pain–I can never get regular paints to scan just right, much less the glitzy bits and metallics.

    Enjoying the calliope music, too 🙂

    • Tori Deaux /

      Oh, I have a dreadful time trying to get images of my watercolors – photos or scanned, so much just gets lost, in any lighting. The internet is great for artists, but not always so good for viewing the art itself.

      And isn’t the calliope music great? I was so thrilled to find the real, antique recordings!

  2. RIchard /

    How wonderful!

    HUGSssssss you

    And who is this Richard that loves to be difficult? I’d like to meet him. Sounds like a cousin or something.

    • Tori Deaux /

      Glad you like it, Richard!

      I’m sure the other-Richard is some distant doppleganger from another dimension, and you have absolutely no DNA or difficultness in common. *cough, sputter, hug!*

  3. Maureen /

    I think I’m gonna cry. My grandfather was a musician extraordinaire. He could play 35 different instruments but the organ was his favorite. The third song was one he used to play all the time.
    The last time he played publicly was at my wedding and if I had been thinking straight at the time… I would’ve had him play that one.
    What a wonderful memory you evoked Tori. Thank u

    • Tori Deaux /

      Oh Maureen, now I’m *so* glad I used that particular set of clips now! There are two more sets available from those recordings, you might want to give them a listen, too.
      More Calliope Music from Internet Archive

      *virtual circus hugs*

      My father was a guitar player, and when I was little, I fell asleep nearly every night to the sound of an acoustic guitar being tuned. To this day, almost nothing makes me feel as safe and relaxed as that sound. So I get it… at least a little!

  4. Wow, love the parade!

    The juggler with his hoops of fire? Awesome. And on a balancing ball, too. Winged narwhals, monkeys, cheetah ladies and circus music ringing in my ears–what a hoot.

    Congratulations Tori!

  5. Magical. Truly.

    • Tori Deaux /

      You and your Red Hen definitely added to the magic. Seriously cool. Thanks for being part of it!

  6. Andy dolph /

    Amazing, spectacular and stupendous!!

    • Tori Deaux /

      Ooooh way to be over the top. I see carnival barking in your future! 😉

  7. O SO COOL! How did I miss this til now? You are a brilliant genius of heart-rending depth and beauty!