Sharyn Sowell Silhouettes | ArtThatFits Articles


“4 Seasons – Spring” silhouette by Sharon Sowell

Silhouettes, “a likeness cut from dark material and mounted on a light ground”, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, are the medium Sharon Sowell uses to create her masterfully ornate pieces of art. Demanding, and requiring complete attention to detail, the subjects of Sharyn Sowell’s collages appear so realistic; the viewer must control their urge to walk from side to side in front of them, trying to get a more complete view. Sharyn Sowell chooses the subjects of her work by examining her garden, her playing children or through appreciation of handwriting, wood type prints and patterned papers. Children don’t merely pose for Sharyn Sowell; they are in fact the entire impetus for her craft.

During a long day on a crowded boat, Sharyn Sowell was determined to entertain her fatigued children. Looking around the craft and not finding toys at hand, Sharyn Sowell used the empty lunch bags and her husband’s Swiss army knife scissors. Sharyn Sowell then cut out an array of animals and Noah’s Ark to keep them entertained. Amazingly, Sharyn Sowell immediately took to the scissors as if they were an extension of her own hands, creating incredibly detailed silhouettes. Sharyn Sowell begins her pieces with a single piece of paper and uses scissors to cut the images free-hand. After the focal point of the collage is complete, Sharyn Sowell then uses pastels, watercolors, type from her antique press and calligraphy to create the. After the image has the general look Sharyn Sowell is aiming for, Sharyn Sowell then uses digital enhancements to place finishing touches on her work.

Sharyn Sowell is known mostly for silhouettes of nature’s elements and sweet forms of life. Of her inspirations, Sharyn Sowell says, “Every day I am surrounded by miracles that keep me in awe. My inspirations are the commonplace things we often walk by without even seeing.” Through Sharyn Sowell’s eager observance of the everyday, the viewer is gifted with a unique revival of an age-old art almost lost in time. Sharyn Sowell masterfully brings silhouettes into the twenty first century with her own modern take on the process. It is the viewer who is then allowed to delight in Sharyn Sowell’s most simple of occurrences.