joe mcdonald artist

I’m a self-taught artist living by the sea in Perranporth, Cornwall.  20 years ago, I helped illustrate a graphic novel with a friend with some rudimentary drawing skills that I learned in art class…That project didn’t work out, but in the end, I discovered that I loved drawing. 

As a child I grew up in Madrid, Spain.  My mother used to take me to the Prado art gallery where I saw many classics.  Most memorably Goya and Velazquez.  I’ve always liked paintings where something is happening in a scene.  That medium of using art as storytelling is something that features in some of my work. I do this in a subtle way, maybe it’s just one character pointing something at somebody else. I’m not at the level of Goya’s painting, the 3rd of May!  But it's an influence all the same.  Lately I’ve tried to combine strong shapes and vivid colours.  My most honest work is the ‘coastal’ collection, which depict scenes that might have something nautical about them.  These paintings are a little abstract and derived from my subconscious.  

It’s hard to stop thinking about surfing when you’re a surfer.  So sometimes my work includes an aspect of surfing.  Mostly, I paint people holding surfboards or surfers walking on the sand.  I like the aesthetics and colours of surfboards.  I rarely paint people riding them.  That has a different meaning to me.  I think it feels like sport art. 

My site, Supertubes, is an obvious reference to the ‘green room’, the place where surfer’s dreams are made.  I want the website to be a collaborative place so I can bring in my partner, Mags,  so she can get involved in screen printing, another medium of my work and making surf wax.

Surf wax?

Yeah we make surf wax! Lovingly designed and handmade by us.  Miniature sculptures, every one of them!  It’s a long story….