Painting with Scissors: The Art of Karen Bit Vejle

June 7, 2013

"Scissors for a Brush" exhibit, Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle

“Scissors for a Brush” exhibit, Nordic Heritage Museum, Seattle

Papercuts by Karen Bit Vejle

Papercuts by Karen Bit Vejle

I just learned a new word, psaligraphy, which means the art of paper cutting.  Psaligraphic artist, Karen Bit Vejle, has an exhibit of her work at Seattle’s Nordic Heritage Museum.  Called “Scissors for a Brush,” the show displays the delicate, lace-like, “paintings” pressed between clear acrylic frames so that the airy negative spaces and shadows seem as much of the art as the paper.








Karen Bit Vejle is a Danish-Norwegian artist, but the art of papercutting has roots in many other cultures as well such as Japanese kirigami, German scherenschnitte, and Polish wycinanki.  The Seattle exhibit is the first time Karen Bit Vejle’s art has been shown in the United States.  Next year, from January to May 2014, the exhibit will travel to the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. If you can’t see it in person, you can view an online guide with more information about each piece on display at this link.

11 Responses to “Painting with Scissors: The Art of Karen Bit Vejle”

  1. rachelynne Says:

    Wow. These are breathtaking. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. Absolutely beautiful!
    Happy weekend!

  3. Adrienne Says:


  4. Diana Studer Says:

    I’ve seen Swiss work, but never on this sort of grand scale.

  5. Janet Foss Says:

    Wow how cool. Thanks for sharing

  6. Chris Says:

    Wow, seems to be the operative word here. 🙂 WOW!!

  7. shoreacres Says:

    My grandmother (Swedish) had two cut-paper silhouettes on the living room wall, framed under glass. I’m sure she didn’t do them, and they weren’t nearly as elaborate as these, but they were a familiar part of my childhood’s decor.

    Like so many of the arts – especially the emerging art of scanography – I really would like to see this done. I have a hard time imagining how someone could make scissors do this!

    • Rosemary Says:

      I hadn’t ever heard the term “scanography,” although it sounds so interesting. I do like some of the x-rays of flowers that I’ve seen. The advances in photography and technology give us so many new toys to play with. And then I see this art created with a hand-held scissors, and I realize that you can make art with very little at all.

  8. […] Painting with Scissors: the Art of Karen Bit Vejle, June 7, 2013 […]

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