Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Victorianesque Hallowe'en: Silhouettes

(Photo credit: Country Living Magazine)

Now to a fabulous topic that is actually quite inexpensive and you can personalize it
ANY way you wish. Silhouettes. Silhouettes as forms of personalized artforms,
memorializing loved ones in black on white actually predate the Victorian Era,
however, they have never really lost their popularity and add a brilliant touch to
any Victorian home. In this post I will discuss the use of silhouettes as wall art,
window and mirror art, and provide a link to an amazing artist who has created his
unique form of mildly (by my standards) macabre and gleefully homicidal silhouettes.

Silhouetting is enjoying a great resurgence in the crafting community, which provides
you with countless outlets for just the right images to accent your haunted
Victorianesque home. Traditionally, they are black images on a white background, but
some modifications can be done to accent the colours of your decor by the use of
different coloured frames, or if you create your own silhouette to frame, choose a
background colour that the black will stand out against. Bright purples, reds and
oranges are good choices for Hallowe'en decor, but use caution. With reds and
purples, the darker the hue, the more your black silhouette will seem to fade into
it, losing the striking likes that define it as an artform and make it "pop."
Another great use for silhouetting is becoming more and more prevalent in Hallowe'en
decor. Most of us have already seen the huge sheets of plastic with silhouettes of
hanging victims, monsters, ghosts, etc. Many craft and decor shops also now carry
different cut outs by Martha Stewart that include spiders, witches and ravens. (I bet
you can't guess which I have.) These can easily be incorporated into your
Victorianesque haunted home, but there are a lot of things you can do yourself with a
little time, a pencil, a lamp and some tissue paper.

Using simple black tissue paper such as the kind used for gift wrapping, you can
create silhouettes of yourself (with help, of course) or others, by taping up the
paper against a wall, sitting yourself or your subject in profile directly in front
of it, and casting their, or your, shadow against the paper. Outline the shadow in
pencil and carefully cut out. Using just one sheet of the tissue paper, you are able
to create a shadow of a silhouette that can be discreetly taped in a window to be
viewed from outside. All it takes is a little backlight to make the silhouette stand
out and add to the eerie affect as visitors notice "You" at the front window, with
light coming through. The same can be done with hands, candle sticks and other items
you wish to have appear somewhat ethereal when viewed through your windows. Creating less distinct outlines make great shadow silhouettes to be attached to mirrors. A little creativity and you might create spectres that peek around corners. Just trim a straight vertical edge on your silhouette and then butt the edge up against an inside corner where two walls meet. Shine just enough light toward the corner to reveal the "ghost" without too much full light that will (pun intended) kill the affect.

Now for that last form of silhouette I mentioned: "Killhouettes" by Mesa, AZ artist
John Fair. The name "Killouettes" is a trademarked term, specific to his wonderfully
dark art, and not a genre. I am happy to admit that I have a growing collection, and
have included a link to his site below. Each piece purchased comes embossed with his
official seal, protecting both his investment and his art, as well as guaranteeing to
his many, many fans, that the piece they have purchased whether at a show, a shop or
online, is a genuine, copyrighted John Fair Killhouette.

And all of that having been said, I am now off to play with a few ideas for
tomorrow's post.

Have a wonderful evening and I hope your October is filled with fine music, dancing
ghosts and the scent of spice and perfume wafting through to wish you a chilly
welcome to Autumn.

Until tomorrow,

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