Cornish pard Laurie takes inspiration from the beaches he's been surfing his whole life and produces stunning artwork. We had a chinwag.
LAURIE MCCALL IS A CORNISH ARTIST BASED IN PERRANPORTH. HIS VIBRANT LINEUP ART HAS BEEN CAUSING A STIR AND ENDING UP ON MANY A SURFER'S WALL IN THE SOUTH WEST. CARVE THOUGHT WE HAD BETTER CATCH UP WITH HIM.
When did you start drawing and painting?
My parents always encouraged me to paint and draw as kid and that has stuck with me throughout my life. At school I would find myself doodling perfect waves in my school books to pass the time.
How long does it take you from start to finish?
Most pictures take a few days from start to finish. I usually start by going to the beach and taking photos from various angles to capture the mood of the place. I then make some rough sketches to work out the composition before starting on the final piece on the computer. I then use a local printer who specialise in fine art printing. I've also started creating collages out of painted papers which is a technique I really enjoy using and am looking to develop on.
Are you making a living from it now?
Yes, I took the plunge a few months ago and decided to go full time with my art and it's going really well. It's taken a couple of years to get to this stage and it feels like a real achievement to be able to make a living from something I'm really passionate about.
A lot of the drawings have an aerial perspective. how do you get that? is it all from imagination or are you using drones to get a shot and work from that?
I work loosely from the photos I take from the land and then use a bit of artistic license to tweak the perspective. With the raised perspective I find I can fit more into the image and really capture the essence of the beach. I have been thinking about using a drone though. I'd like to try out some drawings that look back towards the land from the sea as that's an angle that's familiar with surfers, I think a drone would be perfect for capturing that, watch this space!
Who are your favourite artists and influences
I'm inspired by so many! One of my favourites would have to be Patrick Caulfield who was renowned for his use of bold colour and his ability pare down scenes to their most basic shapes and elements. The wildlife illustrator Charley Harper has also had a big influence on me. He used simple curves and geometry to create images that are very unique and full of character. There are also a lot of great surf artists out there who are a great source of inspiration and ideas, it's cool seeing how other artists interpret their favourite surf spots.
If you had the chance to visit any wave in the world and draw it which one would it be and why.
I'd love to visit Hawaii and draw all of the classic spots I grew up looking at in the surf mags. I've seen so many photos and videos of them I can almost picture what it would be like to be sat on the beach at Pipeline. I plan to work on a series of drawings of the most popular waves around the world, Teahupo'o, Pipeline, Bells, Mavericks, Peahi, and more with the aim to get my work out to an international audience. It's a good excuse for some holidays too!
Laurie getting his undercoat on
Trevaunance Cove - It's not often you see it this uncrowded!
Sennen to Gwenver - A clean sunny day down at the tip of Cornwall can feel almost tropical. It's so untouched down there it feels like a little holiday every time I visit.
Portreath - High tide at 'The Wall'.