This and That

Random bits of my life

Paper Cutting: Lady of Shallott

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 28, 2010

Lady of Shallott

I haven’t done a paper-cutting in nearly two years. I finally found my knives and cutting mat and asked my son to move them into the living room. I drafted the picture last night (about half an hour’s work) and cut it today. It took me a little over two hours to cut the entire thing.

It hasn’t been mounted yet. I’m not even sure it’s finished. I will probably change the willows on the left because they’re a bit too stiff. Some more movement in the leaves would be an improvement, so that it doesn’t look like one  of those American memorial samplers with willows and epitaphs that were so popular in the 19th century.  On the other hand, the samplers and painting are from the same date. I’ll have to give it some thought….

Apart from generally simplifying the composition, I placed  willows on the left and bare branches on the right to show the progression from life to death. I also changed the tapestry rondels on the cloth draped over the boat to geometric designs because there are limits to what I can do with a knife.

This paper cutting is based on the 1888 painting by the pre-Raphaelite painter, John William Waterhouse, of a scene from Tennyson’s poem, “The Lady of Shallott.”

The painting illustrates part IV of the poem:

And down the river’s dim expanse
Like some bold seer in a trance,
Seeing all his own mischance—
With glassy countenance
Did she look to Camelot.
And at the closing of the day
She loosed the chain, and down she lay;
The broad stream bore her far away,
The Lady of Shalott.


4 Responses to “Paper Cutting: Lady of Shallott”

  1. And I thought you said you weren’t very artistic ???… I think this is conclusive proof of the opposite… Very clever indeed Avital…

  2. Adina said

    Avital, it’s lovely. Gosh… is there anything you *can’t* do (and do well)?? 🙂

  3. aswirly said

    This is absolutely amazing. AMAZING! I am simply blown away. I can’t believe you cut this out. wow.

  4. Penelope said

    If you have another go at this picture, can you focus on the steps leading to the water on the left of the painting? I love what you’ve done.

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