Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Authentic Silhouette Artists do not use shadows by Cindi Rose

Ever wonder why real fine artists who do paper profile portraits do not use a shadow to do a silhouette? As a third generation artist, and silhouette artist for over 35 years, I have pondered the same question.

I remembered my aunt, a school teacher, tracing my profile from my shadow projected on the wall. She used crude black construction paper, it was life-sized, and even in elementary school, I did not think it looked like me. The shadow can distort you. It is who you are not.

When light is blocked, your shadow can appear. A gifted silhouette artist uses his/her inner light to capture your profile. According to the history’s noted psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung, “the shadow must be confronted. When repressed the shadow lurks like an angry dragon locked up in a dungeon.”

Silhouette artists who work in amusement parks, gift stores, or weddings, hand-cut portraits from sight. They focus on the positive—and cut from the white side of their silhouette paper. Then, they mount the opposite side, the black side. Sometimes, people will ask for the white side to be pasted “hollow-cut” style on a black fabric. Hollow-cuts were produced by a physiotrace machine, from shadows. This pre-dates the camera. Because the individuals operating this machine used white outside images to paste they were still working with a positive image.

The individuals who are trying to jump on the “silhouette art bandwagon” with photo-shopped silhouettes, are basically, not working from an evolved soul, they are working as a business. These trendy items look stylish in home decorations. They can be ordered in large sizes, and in colors. However, all the renown silhouette artists also offer this contemporary service, but with their signature, and their positive vibrations. You will not have to worry about the silhouette as a shadow, which Jung also claimed were “the inferior aspects of the psyche that we’re not proud of.

The white cut-outs made by silhouette cut artists are light-giving. You can order them on-line from or Kathryn Flocken also offers a fabulous selection of silhouette art trends on Etsy. You can also view or purchase her interesting book, Silhouettes Rediscovering the Lost Art on

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