Paper Cutting - Gail McCormick

I came across the work of Gail McCormick, aka @scissorsfiend, via Twitter. She recently graduated from college in Michigan where she studied ecology, evolutionary biology, and theatre arts. Gail plans to pursue ecology as a grad student... if she doesn't get sidetracked by an art career, that is.

She is immensely interested in paper cutting - all types of paper art really, and has only fairly recently accepted the notion that she has artistic talent. Oh yes, I'd say so.

Batman - scissor cut card

Gail began making collage-like birthday cards while in college and was hooked. This led to more complex designs...

She has made many paper cut mandalas which she enjoys because they're composed of only two colors. This means she can work on a piece for short periods of time and then set it aside without getting mixed up about the layering, as compared to her multi-layered, photo-based cuts such as the portrait of Woman, above. Gail calls her mandalas "exercises in dexterity" as the knife cuts are exceedingly small.

She admits her unique paper cutting style has been influenced by her mother's quilting. Happily this works both ways, as her mother, Ruth McCormick, made this award-winning quilt (below) based on Gail's paper cut elephant. Very nice!

Gail enjoys doing photo-based cuts, but these take a great deal of focus and stamina. Although the cuts are not as intricate as mandalas, the trade-off is that it's difficult to plan out the colored layers and to keep them straight in her mind, especially if interrupted.

For this reason Gail prefers to do them in one sitting... eek, anywhere from several to eleven hours.

I think it's pretty incredible Gail can capture so much expression by layering cut pieces of paper. Keep in mind these photo-cuts are not as large as they appear here... in most cases just 5 x 7 inches or even 4 x 6 inches!
Gail also has a flair for animals and birds... such a sense of movement.

You'll find lots more paper cuts at Gail's website gallery.
Just a reminder, the Wizard of Oz iPad app giveaway ends tonight!

Ann Martin
Ann Martin

This is a short biography of the post author and you can replace it with your own biography.


  1. Gail is an artist. They are all amazing but I especially love the elephant.

  2. Too cool! I can't pick a favorite, but I'll say those "reduction" type images are really impressive to me!

  3. So incredibly talented! I like batman so much ,its cut with a pair of scissors and good for a boy's card. Though doing faces must be the toughest.

  4. What a find! Thank you for introducing this wonderful artist.

  5. Thank you so much for featuring my work and for all your kind words! It is so nice to know other people enjoy my art, which is such fun to make. Thank you, thank you, thank you! :D

  6. Wow those are impressive. I can't imagine sitting and working on a project for 11 hours straight though.

  7. Your featured guests are always amazing and inspiring. When you mentioned the size of the images, I was so floored! I can see why it takes 11 hours to do that!


  9. Wow, that is impressive and so unique.


Post a Comment

Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I try to respond to questions within 24 hours, so please check back.