Murals have been around since there were walls and people to carve, paint or etch on them. A handpainted mural is a treat for the eyes and can transform a space creating the perfect atmosphere. My discovery today is Carol Gnagey, fine artist, muralist, faux finisher and great lady. She and I met through Etsy. Her shop link is : http://www.etsy.com/shop/gnageygallery . Carol and I are both members of the North Georgia Street Team, http://www.EtsyNorthGeorgia.com. Join us as we discuss her beautiful murals.
Rene': Hi Carol, thanks so much for your time. Could you tell us a little about yourself?
Carol: I am originally from Lorain, Ohio (just west of Cleveland) but have lived in the Atlanta area (currently Marietta) for 30 years so this definitely feels like home. I have been drawing since a very young age and studied art and design at Bowling Green State University in Ohio. After getting my BFA degree I moved to Atlanta and worked as an Art Director and Graphic Designer for advertising agencies. I designed logos, newspaper and magazine ads, brochures, billboards and packaging. It was fun driving around town and seeing a billboard that I had designed and produced or going into a store and seeing my packaging displayed! I've been happily married for almost 30 years to my husband Marv and have one son, Brian, who is 20 and attends Chattahoochee Technical College.
I started my own business, Gnagey Associates, Inc., in order to have a more flexible schedule to raise my son. I was still doing advertising design but on a freelance basis for multiple agencies.
Rene': When did you decide to try murals?
Carol: When my son turned 3, I decided to paint a mural in his bedroom and that became a turning point for my career. I realized how much I enjoyed the mural process and through encouragement of friends decided to pursue a decorative painting career. I have been painting custom murals, faux finishes and cabinetry finishes in clients' homes, schools and churches ever since! The recession of the past year greatly impacted my mural business. With fewer clients, I now had the time to create paintings on canvas of things that I love...nature, flowers and animals. I then used my graphic design background to make note cards from my artwork. With paintings and cards to sell I opened my Etsy shop, GnageyGallery.
Rene': What medium do you use in creating the murals and what is the process in creating them?
Carol: I prefer to paint with acrylic paints because they dry quicker and I don't like to have to wait when I'm creating something. When creating a mural I always meet with my client to discuss what they like and to see where the mural will be painted. Often clients aren't sure what they want so I will make suggestions, other times they may have an idea, say an Italian scene, but they need direction so I help them with that. For a large mural I usually will do a sketch to show my client but most of the time, I just bring photos for reference of what I'll be painting and freehand the sketch in chalk directly on the wall.
Rene': What inspires you? How do you incorporate your inspiration into your work? Who is your favorite artist?
Carol: Claude Monet is my all time favorite artist. I love his landscapes, especially the Water Lily series. I'm inspired by the outdoors. I love hiking through the woods with my dog, walking on a beach or just working in my perennial flower garden and drawing inspiration from the incredible world around me. I am constantly amazed at the intricate details of God's creation, whether it's a single flower, a butterfly or a gorgeous sunset. I try to illustrate those details in my art. My hope is that my art will bring you joy and help you stop for a moment to notice the many gifts God gives us each day.
Rene': Your work is fantastic! The slide show at the end of the article features several of your murals and smaller prints. Can you tell us more?
Carol: My canvas paintings were displayed for several months in a doctor's office, then a couple months at Sacred Tapestry before being shown at several craft shows for the holidays. My murals are all over the Atlanta area and in Gainsville, GA as well as in Ohio, Florida and Costa Rica.
Rene': What is your pricing structure?
Carol: I price by the job based on the standards of Professional Decorative Painters and the time and materials needed to do the work. The more detailed a mural is the longer it will take to paint and the higher the price. I treat all my clients fairly.
Rene': Can you pass along any advise or encouragement to other artists?
Carol: Do what you love, if you enjoy what you do it will never be work. And if God has given you a creative talent, share it with others. I have donated my time to paint murals in churches, schools, Habitat homes, and the World Relief Center as a way of giving back. I even went on a mission trip to Costa Rica to help build a church and painted several murals while I was there. It's a blessing to be able to give to others.
Rene': Yes it is. How can our readers contact you?
4261 Chestnut Walk NE, Marietta, GA 30066
Fan page on facebook: search Gnagey Gallery of Art or use this link:
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