Monday, May 13, 2013

Our Guest Interview for May - Anne Gaal

An interview with Anne Gaal, artist extraordinaire.   Anne is so incredibly creative working in  multi-media arts.  I am always amazed at the diverse projects Anne posts on her blog, Gaal Creative.  I'd like you to get to know Anne too.

1. Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Anne Gaal (rhymes with “smile”). I am an exploratory mixed-media artist, photographer, and mentor. I love to create; discover new people, places, and things; and to share what I learn with others. I live near Raleigh, North Carolina, with my hubby and our two new kittens, Tempo and Alli.

I love Anne's video of Temp and Alli stalking a bird outside from the inside of a room, but it looks like they are quiet now.

2. How long have you been a card maker/scrapper & when did you start?

I have always been an artist. I started drawing as soon as I could hold a crayon and I've never stopped. My Aunt Diane is only 6 years older than I am, so she is like the big sister I never had. When she was in high school, she created this cool scrapbook album and I wanted to create one, too. I never did have the time then, but that idea always stuck with me. Then later, when scrapbooking became more popular, I knew I had to try it!

Unfortunately, though, I tend to be a slow scrapbooker. I usually start with the photos and the colors in them, and work from there. Trying for find pretty papers that I liked, that went with my photos was a lot of work. It literally takes me a week or longer to make a single layout. That is one reason why I have begun doing my scrapbooking digitally - so that I can more easily match colors and move things and change their size to my heart's content. I tinker with those pages endlessly before I consider them final!

But I found that I still wanted to play with the physical paper I had and to try new techniques. Especially ones with ink, stamps, acrylics, stencils, and mediums. So much fun! This led me to card-making as an outlet for my exploratory creations. I can play with paper and techniques and colors and tools all I want - and yet still have something finished in a single afternoon that I can share with someone else.
Just one example of Anne's card making.

3. Do you follow sketches or dive right in?

I would have to say that generally, I dive right in. I don't plan much in advance. I like "happy accidents" and I like seeing how things develop. That's the exploratory artist in me. I usually start by finding one thing that I love - a stamp, a patterned paper, something - and then use that as a jumping off point and see where it takes me. Other times, I will be inspired by someone else's creation, and use that as a jumping off point. But very rarely do I use a sketch.

4. How many projects do you make a week?

I'm not very consistent. Instead, I tend to work in spurts. Some weeks I don't make a single thing, and other weeks I will make a bunch at once. I try to make my pieces individual, yet I also try to take advantage of using a tool or medium multiple times as long as I have it out. For instance, if I am making a tag using Distress Inks or Dylusions Ink Sprays, I will often make the one I have envisioned and then use the leftover inks to create serendipity backgrounds. If I am stamping something to color, I will usually stamp two or three, and color them differently. Then I have the pieces for my current project AND some "hidden potential" for future projects, too.
Anne's extraordinary paper-bead necklace.  Paper.... and I sometimes have trouble stringing ordinary glass beads.  This necklace is incredible!  I think you will concur.

5. What is your favorite tool (what can't you create without) & why?

My absolute favorite tool as an artist is color. I couldn't function without it and I very rarely do a piece that is only black-and-white (although I do occasionally). Color is usually the first thing I think of when I'm working on a project. Color can be used to create mood or feeling. To create harmony or contrast. I love color and working with color!
I love the color and depth to this Lotus Blossom mixed-media piece.   

6. What at the moment is your most favorite thing to do on your project? 

I don't have any one favorite thing except color and to play and experiment. I rarely do the same thing twice.

7. How would you describe your style?

My style is cheerful, upbeat, and exploratory. By exploratory, I mean that I like to try different techniques, tools, mediums, styles, and genres, without committing to any. I like to experiment and play and just see what happens. What you can mix together and what doesn't work well. Because my focus is on playing and not on pushing the boundaries of what art is, I consider that exploratory versus experimental. I usually tell people that you never know what I'm going to make next! So if you see a piece of mine that you like at my Etsy store at, snap it up!

The photos above show both acrylic and watercolor work.  

8. What about your style would you change (or not) & why?

I would not change my style at all. It is truly "me." When I make art, I make it from my heart, for the fun of making it. For the pleasure it brings me. I love how I can get so lost in making art that the tape recorder in my head just fades into the background and all those lists of things to do go away and I get totally in the zone and in the flow of creating. That is such a peaceful, blissful, joyful place and I try to bring that out in my artwork.

9. Have you been published or on a Design team - when & where?

I am currently on the Design Team. You can see the team's work on the Artistcellar blog here:

I hope you are inspired, because I am!  Visit Artistcellar to see how to make this fearless fan.

10. Describe (pictures are even better) your crafting area

My crafty space is the corner of a spare bedroom. Because it is such a small space, and because I am an exploratory artist who likes to play with so many different things, storage is a huge issue for me. I am constantly having to go through and purge supplies that I am no longer using. That is also why I have the shelving and drawer systems that you can see in this photo of my space on one of its cleaner days. It isn't always so tidy!

I see the artist in Anne has bold beautiful color on her walls.  

11. Do you have a blog? If not where can we see more of your fabulous creations?

Yes, I have a blog, called Gaal Creative. Please visit my blog or my Etsy store.
 I believe this beautiful memorial is still available on Anne's Etsy store.

Arlene and the DCD Design Team


Anne said...

Hello Arlene and all of the Die Cut Divas! Thank you so much for interviewing me! I appreciate all of your sweet comments! ♥

I have a couple of videos of our cats up on YouTube, but I think this is the one Arlene mentioned in the interview, in case anyone wants the link:

Thanks again!

Lisa said...

Wonderful interview! I'm so lucky to call Anne my friend and have her on the Artistcellar Design Team!

paula laird said...

I love the interview. Anne is one of my favourite bloggers. I am so lucky to have a few of her pieces or art at my place that I get to see every day :) xoxoxo

Sue McGettigan said...

Nice interview! I look forward to seeing what the Die Cut Divas create.