Elwood H. Smith
Death at the Circus (21)
Death at the Circus #21 (Detail)

Death at the Circus (20)

Detail from Death at the Circus #20

I'm not sure how long I'll maintain my interest in this Death & Circus theme, but so far it continues to facinate me. When I was deluged with assignments in years past, I decided I'd draw only things I like drawing when, one day down the pike, I had the opportunity. Many of my illustrator friends love the act of drawing and anything out there is fair game. I dreaded drawing so many things that I often wondered why the hell I became an illustrator. To make a living is the most honest answer, although I did like the recognition, particularly among my illustrator cohorts. Now that I am much less busy with assignments, I am fully relishing the opportunity to draw only things I love to draw. As you can see in this series, I favor tall, wobbly tents, clowns, monkeys and large round beasts, like the rhino and the elephant. I wonder what will catch my interest once I weary of the circus. I hope I'm not boring others with these Death at the Circus drawings, but so far, I'm not boring myself.
Death at the Circus (19)
Detail from Death at the Circus #19

Death at the Circus #19 Full Drawing

Death at the Circus (18)
Enlarged detail from Death at the Circus #18

Those familiar with the work of Bill Traylor, will see that I've confiscated his dog image. He was a truly amazing artist. He was born into slavery and, after spending the greater part of his life after emancipation as a sharecropper, he began drawing at age 85. From 1939 to 1939, created almost 1,500 works of art. I love his work and I am a piker in comparison. I have just over a decade to match his output with my new work.

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