McClelland Children's Circus Collection - Katie the Tightrope Walker by artist John McClelland. Second issue in the collection. Commissioned by Reco International and made by the Edwin M. Knowles China Company, 1982. Plate size approx 9.25 inches. Suggested Retail $50.00 - Large plate.
One hand outstretched for balance, the other grasping a yellow parasol, young Katie crosses the tightrope at center ring and fulfills her dream of joining the circus.
She is the charming subject of John McClelland's latest collector's plate—-Katie the Tightrope Walker,- second in the McClelland Children's Circus Collection from Reco/Knowles. Once again, this exceptional artist demonstrates why he is one of the pre-eminent forces working in the plate medium today.
In -Katie the Tightrope Walker,- McClelland does not worry about an abundance of detail. Instead, he chooses his elements carefully—two parasols, a thick rope, a ballerina's costume, and a beguiling smile tell a complete story.
The neutral background of browns, highlighted at its base with lighter shades, not only suggests the interior of a circus tent, it serves as a transition from fantasy to reality: an undefined space from which the clearly articulated figure of Katie emerges to become the focal point of the composition.
Katie's pink tutu, garnished with roses, is a delicate contrast to the yellow parasols and tawny background. Her figure is a study in soft, modelled contours that suggest her youth and innocence. But it is in her facial expression—her warm brown eyes, rosy cheeks, and that faint smile across her lips—that McClelland captures the true essence of her being: a pleasure which is as sweet and as innocent as the girl from whom it emanates.
A fine example of McClelland's simple yet powerful style—his characteristic economy of detail and his careful draughtsmanship—-Katie the Tightrope Walker- is above all a reminder of this artist's exceptional understanding of children and of childhood.
Suggested retail $100.00. Plate Size approx 9.25 inches.