Bad Clowns

My creative projects seem to be managing far better than I am at the present.   While I continue to slug it out with all the usual bipolar symptoms and pitfalls, my novel, Callinda, keeps writing itself; new greeting cards appear on my worktable; and a collage I’ve wanted to do for years hangs on my wall.

To the Muse in my ear who refuses to shut up, to the hands that paint and snip with a mind of their own, to the part of me who plugged into the Cosmic Creative Source the day I was born and never looked back, I say thank you.

And now, for your creepification, my new collage, Bad Clowns.

The fear of clowns, or coulrophobia, is the number 3 phobia in the United States.  Only the fear of needles and spiders beats it.  Think about it.  A grown man in disguise around little kids.  Eew.  Remember John Wayne Gacy?  Remember Heath Ledger’s Oscar-winning performance as The Joker?  My man, Stephen King, knew exactly what he was doing when he made his monster in “IT” a clown.  No one understands what scares us like Stevie, and his icy little fingers are ruthless.

For me, Santa Claus (at least the department store kind) is just another clown.  My three-year-old self knew instinctively to stay away from that lap.  So, if you ever take your kids, nieces, nephews, grandkids, or friends’ kids to the circus or want a picture of them with Santa, and they start whining and digging in their heels, do me a favor.  Don’t tell them they’re being silly.  Don’t scold them and force them to make nice to the funny man.  Just hold their hand and slowly, carefully, back away.

I got this icky rubber stamp clown from my favorite vendor, Teesha Moore.  I knew someday, he’d be central to my Bad Clown collage, and here he is.  I also cackled non-stop while “editing” these Pictionary cards.

I thought busted and bloody-looking balloons would help create the atmosphere of evil and danger.  What do you think?

The central clown figure started out as a teeny, tiny photo of a circus troupe from the 1920’s comprised of midgets and dwarves.  I took the face of one of the clowns and had my print shop blow it up 1000 %.  I transferred that vague image to the canvas, then used paint, chalks, ink and markers to make him my own.  I like that he doesn’t scream “EVIL” but that you know there’s something definitely wrong about him.

I found the plastic clown cake decorations at an antique store a year or so ago, and I knew immediately they’d end up with nails through their heads.  Yeah, that’s the way I roll.  I’ve been saving scrap of circus advertising and early images of clowns for years.  It was a wonderful feeling to put them all together in one disturbing place.

Ahh, how’s that cotton candy tasting?

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10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sherry
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 18:27:17

    It’s pretty creepy, sissy. You needed to make room for Johnny Depp’s mad hatter though. I think he would fit right in with your gang. Thanks for the BEAUTIFUL birthday card you sent me. I love it. Sheryl Mae

    Reply

    • Sandy Sue
      Aug 30, 2011 @ 23:22:19

      Yeah, Johnny Depp definitely has that attractive/weirdness factor. I’ll be posting your birthday card here one of these days–I loved making it.

      Reply

  2. Kathryn McCullough
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 20:09:09

    Sheer brilliance, Sandy. Incredible work. (My partner Sara is terrified of clowns.) Thank God for the gifts bipolar disorder brings–creative genious!
    Kathy

    Reply

  3. Cheryl LaVille
    Aug 30, 2011 @ 20:48:09

    Bad Clowns is haunting. It’s a reminder of why we fear things in disguises. What lies beneath…it makes me shutter. Well done. Freakishly well done.
    Cheryl

    Reply

  4. ManicMuses
    Aug 31, 2011 @ 13:38:28

    I am so creepified, I just don’t know what to say, except I’m sleeping with the light on tongiht.

    Reply

  5. pegoleg
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 09:25:40

    I’ve never been afraid of clowns or Santa, and didn’t know you were SUPPOSED to fear them until I was an adult. That said, I’ll make an exception for yours. Creepy is right! Great work, Sandy.

    Reply

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