Circus World, Baraboo, Wisconsin. May 28, 2013
Having seen the movie “Water for Elephants” we were curious to stop at Circus World in Baraboo, to learn more about the history of the circus in America.
In 1884 the Ringling Brothers began their first tour as a circus and during the winter months Baraboo was their headquarters. The museum is located on the land owned by the Ringling Brothers and is called “Ringlingville”. Their museum features artifacts and exhibits, including some of the movie set props from the movie Water For Elephants.
We spent the afternoon at Circus World and went to a small circus show at the hippodrome which is a permanent big top which houses the daily circus and magic shows. I found visiting circus world was a look back at a by gone era in America and to illustrate this article I thought that the one artifact that really struck me was of an old pair of clown shoes. I have also included a sketch of the little circus show that they put on daily.
Badlands National Park and The Corn Palace May 26, 2013
Camping at Badlands National Park was a serene experience. It was very quiet with only the sound of the wind and birds. We got up early and explored a couple of the short scenic trails in the park.
We didn’t see a lot of wild life however we had an opportunity to get very close to a rabbit that was staying close to this wooden walk way that he could easily hide under for safety. I found that the rabbit made a good subject for a watercolor study in that it represented life in what appears to be a very harsh environment.
The other three sketches are pen and ink drawings with watercolor washes. I drew them very quickly. The idea is to make quick impression studies. Sometimes over thinking gets in the way of an intuitive process.
Driving across South Dakota we visited the Devils Tower National Monument before we went to the Badlands and then we stopped at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, South Dakota. The Mitchell Corn Palace is a folk art wonder and was first built in 1892 to show case the rich soil of South Dakota and encourage people to settle in the area. When you are driving across the United States it is nice to break up the drive with little side trips like this. Our next little adventure takes us to Baraboo, Wisconsin which is home to the Circus World Museum.
Driving To Badlands National Park, South Dakota May 24, 2013
This morning we were camped at Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park. It was very cold and so we didn’t waste any time packing up. We still had a little more to see before heading east to South Dakota.
Our first stop driving along the Grand Loop was Upper Falls of the Yellowstone River heading towards the north east entrance. It was near Tower Fall that we spotted the bear that I illustrated above.
The bear was on a mission to go some where and so I have tried to give this picture a sense of movement by using line, brush stroke and rhythm.
The watercolor painting of Upper Falls, Yellowstone River was a study done with only red, yellow and blue. Mixing all of your colors from just three colors is a little more work but the resulting picture will have more harmony. I am starting to paint more with a limited palette as I feel that this will improve my work.
As we headed east on Hwy 90 into Badlands National Park the landscape changed to this exotic mix of grass land with sharply eroded buttes, pinnacles and spires. The cattle grazing in this landscape make for an interesting composition in the third picture. I added black pen to this watercolor as I felt the picture needed something to help with the starkness of the black cattle.