Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Circus 19 Dream: A Mixed Media Pastiche Honoring Kim Collister

Hi everyone! Linda Edkins Wyatt here, with a project that I really, really love, inspired by artist Kim Collister

 Were you thinking, like I was, "What the heck is a pastiche?" It sounded like a portion of pasta, or maybe a dish with both pasta and pistachios (wouldn't that be yummy?) But, it's a 25 cent word for tribute, or honor. 

In my mind, in my journal, and in my research, I tried about a dozen artists whose work I love and admire. I kept coming back to Kim, who I have been following for years. She's whimsical, colorful, introspective, creative, and fearless. Her recent series of faces using a vintage phrenology head really captivated me, so I decided to do something similar. I was a little worried about being too much of a clone or copy cat, but the end result, I think, combines both our styles without infringing on Kim's originality.

In addition to the detailed tutorial below, I made a video of my process.

I started with a 12" x 12" canvas, my gel plate, deli paper, and of course, acrylic paints. I made a bunch of prints using an assortment of stencils. Of the many prints, I liked the ones with the large design from Seth Apter's Borderlines December 2017 club set the best.

I cut and tore the section I liked best and set them aside. 

Next, using matte medium, I covered the canvas with pages from an old book and some washi tape with numbers and letters.


On top of the book pages, I arranged the printed pieces of the large Borderlines stencil to my liking then adhered them with matte medium. It had a nice typography look, but I knew it needed more.

I searched The Graphics Fairy for vintage images of a phrenology head, found one I liked, and printed it on good 8.5" x 11" paper with my laser printer. (I didn't want the ink to bleed, so I went with a black laser print rather than a color print from my inkjet printer.)

After positioning the head where I wanted it, and drawing in lines for the neck and shoulders, I added white acrylic and some pink paint as well. Then the real fun began. 

I rummaged through my papers looking for collage elements that I liked, and that was similar to what Kim would have used. After much puttering and switching elements in and out, I added a butterfly, a circus horse under a tent, and a botanical tulip. The "earring" is a small image from Gwen Lafluer's Afraid to Try stencil, done with turquoise paint on yellow cardstock.

The tulip needed leaves, so I stenciled some in using the StencilClub March 2013 set.  I thought circles would add to the circus feel, so I used the irregular circles from Carolyn Dube's August 2018 StencilClub Playtime set, randomly stenciling them around the canvas.

 I also added the small stencil from Tina Walker's October 2020 Vintage Wallpaper set, which felt like pinwheels and added some more whimsy to the canvas.

I added the words PEACE and JOY on the face with stamps, printed on thin tissue paper, and glued to the canvas. I also darkened some of the blacks and whitened the white areas. The last touches were adding depth with a black Aquarellable Stabilo pencil, a black sharpie, and some dots with Posca paint pens.

You can still see the original book pages and washi tape that covered the canvas, along with the deli paper numbers and marks from Seth's stencil. I chose the number 19 because that's my birthday, and the number 7 because that's the age kids are fearless artists. The other numbers around the canvas were random.

Here are some detail shots. I love the way the leaf stencils work with the botanical tulip, and the random numbers from the original phrenology image peeking through. The imperfect circles and pinwheels interact nicely.


  1. “ the number 7 because that's the age kids are fearless artists.” I’d never heard this before and love it! My birthday is on the 7th and it’s also my favorite number. So thanks for that bit of wisdom.
    Absolutely beautiful piece! Your photos and explanation are suburb!

  2. Lovely pastiche! Thanks for sharing your process.


If you are entering a GIVEAWAY, please add your email address in the event we need to contact you.

To avoid SPAM, please write it like this:

marybeth (at) stencilgirltalk (dot com)

Thank You!