August 29, 2012

The Lonely Shadow

As promised, I checked out the books on my recent visit to the Low Country.  I found a great one at Wonder Works, the mother of all toy stores in Charleston and beyond. 

The Lonely Shadow is written and illustrated by silhouettist and song writer, Clay Rice.  I have always been a fan of his grandfather, Carew Rice, and Clay, as they use their talent and unique artform to illustrate landscapes and people of the South and in particular, the Low Country.  Clay Rice, who learned the art from his grandfather, has cut hundreds of thousands of silhouettes of children.  It was a wish I had to have sillouettes of my own daughters, but sadly, never fulfilled.  Still, I admire the sceneries and still lifes captured over the long careers of both artists.

The Lonely Shadow is a beautiful story about a shadow who doesn't belong.  On his search for his owner, he passes many lovely scenes (silhouettes, of course) until he finds the perfect match.  The text is sing song and perfect for a young audience and sweet enough for a bedtime story. 

There are many lessons that may emerge from reading this book.  Shadows, reflection, mood,sequence, cause and effect, and of course, art, are just a few that come to mind. 

And if you are really lucky, you may just find Clay on tour and not only have him sign a book, but complete a silhouette of your little one. 

The shadow often gets a bad rap. It's dark. It can not be grasped.  It is a reflection of us, good and bad.  But this quote and The Lonely Shadow's theme sum up my feelings about the dear ole shadow.

"Shadows sometimes people don't see shadows. The Chinese of course never paint them in pictures, oriental art never deals with shadow. But I noticed these shadows and I knew it meant it was sunny. "
-David Hockney

May your shadow be long today~


  1. I was able to have Clay Rice silhouettes made of the little ones last year. The speed at which Mr. Rice works is amazing! The silhouettes are something I will treasure forever. I highly recommend this for your little ones!

  2. We had silhouettes of our granddaughters done last year, too. Erica said it took longer to book the appointment than it did for him to cut them. I didn't know about his other talents. Thanks for telling us.