Paul McCarl was born in Guelph, Ontario and he was raised in a quiet rural setting where he grew to enjoy the peace offered by the country and the wonders of life as provided by Mother Nature. As a child, Paul questioned his peers about the roles and environmental relationships between land, water, forests and wildlife. His artistic expression began during his early teen years with charcoal sketches, painting pictures and the carving of wooden objects. Paul’s fascination with stone formations and the rocks he observed while hiking through the woods or along a rivers edge, coupled with an active imagination ultimately led him to his present interest in carving stone.
Paul’s foray into stone carving began one day while fly fishing for trout in the Skagit Valley of British Columbia. Paul reached down to try and catch what he thought was a small minnow swimming by his feet. As his hand emerged from the crystal clear water, a small piece of black granite lay across his palm. The mixture of the evening sunset and the passing clouds reflected light off the surface of the stone and into the eyes of the sculptor. A bond had formed and he gently placed the tiny rock into the pocket of his fishing vest. This was to become Paul’s first stone carving. He later gently removed the exterior edges of the stone, allowing the emergence of the tiny fish he had originally viewed when it had been lying on the floor of the mountain stream.
In pursuit of information pertaining to his newfound interest in the carving of stone, Paul quickly found himself in the company of several other stone sculptors in the Vancouver area as he became involved with the Vancouver Stone Sculptors Society. The wealth of information, sharing of techniques and experiences, as discussed by other group members, led to the furtherance of Paul’s sculpting abilities.
The rocks are cut with diamonds, chipped and snapped with chisel and hammer, ground with the aid of a diamond cup grinding disc, then filed and sanded with diamond hand pads from 60 to 3500 grit, resulting in the highest standard of smoothness and finish. The hardness of the stone and its resilient shine are enjoyed by the senses of sight and touch. It is hard to resist the temptation of running your hands along the flowing lines of the stone. The natural properties of the rock encourage its fondling. The stone is resistant to change and difficult to scratch without the aid of tempered steel or diamonds.
Over the past few years, Paul has gained considerable media attention as he has become recognized as an accomplished stone carver. His popularity has risen steadily, and earned him the nickname “Granite Man.” Paul was featured in full-page newspaper article that stated, “Paul McCarl transforms chunks of stone into coveted pieces of art, as he melds the patience of a kindergarten teacher with the skill of a surgeon.” Paul was also the focus of attention when he was selected by BCTV to be profiled and included in the special airing of a three part documentary titled “Police Artists.”
Two of Paul’s sculptures grace the Canadian parliament buildings in Ottawa, Canada’s capital city. One an Anhydrite White Buffalo was commissioned and proudly presented at a formal function to a valued friend and member of the Canadian Senate. A second carving of a granite Owl was provided to the Chilliwack Conservative MP and is also on display at the Canadian Government Parliament buildings in Ottawa. Numerous stone sculptures have been selected as gifts for visiting, international politicians, while others have been seen on big screen movie sets, enhancing the scenery and movie story line. Paul has created commissioned works of art for clients from a variety of countries around the world. Several of his art treasures are in public displays while others have become cherished items in private collections. Paul’s success has been earned through his commitment, dedication and patience. His personal achievements are a considerable accomplishment given his restrictive work schedule, his time restraints and the current demand for his works of art.