“Fancies are like shadows. You can’t cage them, they’re such wayward, dancing things,” author and illustrator Elly MacKay quotes Lucy Maud Montgomery’s lines when asked by Chatelaine for a favourite quote.
These lines could easily be applied to Elly’s own work. In Shadow Chasers, her newest book, she combines luminous paper-cut illustrations with simple, lyrical text.
“Exquisite paper scenes that will set your imagination on fire–in fact they might just be the most beautiful things we’ve seen this year,” enthuses Chatelaine, who calls Elly “our new favourite artist” in the April 2014 issue.
Writes Kirkus of Shadow Chasers: “Intriguing illustrations draw readers into a meditation on shadows…. Playful and more than just a little mysterious–like a shadow-puppet play in full color.”
Elly is also the author and illustrator of If You Hold a Seed, nominated for the Forest of Reading Blue Spruce Award. She received a bachelor of fine art degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and now her artwork is sold around the world, includ-ing through her Etsy.com shop, Theater Clouds. Her method of making images is unusual and evolved from making tunnel books. She inks YUPO™ paper, cuts it into layers that she sets up in a miniature theatre, then arranges the lights and filters to create atmosphere in the scene, which she then photographs.
Elly lives in Owen Sound with her husband and two children, a short drive from where she grew up.