Monday, 15 April 2013

Stilt Walking with The Tattooed Lady..

  Circus illustration number four......
  I'm quite taken with the fantastical stories of yesteryear's Tattooed Ladies. I love the tall stories about how their beautiful bodies were inked - obviously fictional and created for jaw dropping shock and entertainment value. I do find tattoos very attractive and artistic on some people but I could never quite go for one myself - not my thing I'm afraid.....
Stilt Walking With The Tattooed Lady Gouache on pastel paper

A work of art!

  The wonderful photos above are snaps of Artoria Gibbons a tattooed attraction who worked as a sideshow circus performer with the famous Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus. She married Charles 'Red' Gibbons who was notably one of the finest tattooists of his generation. Artoria's tattoos included illustrations of angels and saints as well as patriotic images, including George Washington. When Artoria died at age ninety-one, she had performed as a tattooed lady for more than fifty years. You can find lots of information and pictures of Artoria and other famous tattooed ladies on the web. I have to say I never tire of reading about the Circus and its rich cultural history.

  Other famous tattooed ladies....

Betty Broadbent photographed here with a tattooed man

Stella Grassman


  I hope everyone has had a lovely weekend and their week is off to a flying start. I shall hopefully be  bringing you several posts this week showcasing my latest dolls and illustrations. I spent a lot of last week doing little bits of work on several custom requests and working on some future designs.

  I will also be listing some circus dolls in my shop this week. I think there is 3 or 4 in total. Will announce when I do so.

Sketching little portraits, new dolls and Jean Harlow - I had a lovely commission a while back for a Jean doll and its obviously made me want to make more than one!



  1. Simply gorgeous illustrations, I love tattoos, these gals were so gorgeous and unique. Your new do is looking beautiful my dear xxx

    1. Thankyou Hannah, Yes I'm rather pleased with my 'do' too. Having a fringe makes me feel like I've had a mini face lift! Glad you like my illustrations its great to hear. xx