Growing Up As An Artist In Laguna Beach California

I grew up in Laguna Beach California. When I was a kid there was no problem with a ten-year-old girl running around town by herself. Laguna was pretty much a sea shanty in the early 60's. For entertainment back then my friend and I would get a bag of penny candy at "David's Candy Store" on Forest Avenue and watch a matinee movie at the only town’s theater on Coast Hwy. Usually it was a Superman or Tarzan film followed by 20 cartoons. After that we would swim for hours at main beach and swing on the swings there. When the church bells chimed at 5 o'clock, we knew it was time to head home for dinner... with sunburn no doubt. I lived up on High Drive in a huge 3 story Mediterranean house my parents bought for a song in 1959. It had a spectacular view of the ocean from almost every room. I would wake up to the sound of seals barking and waves crashing.

I road my bike to Laguna Beach High along the cliffs of Heisler Park, had lunch between classes at main beach with my surfer boyfriend and did my homework on the sand at Rock Pile cove. On my way home I would tour by the galleries on "Gallery Row" to gather inspiration for my own artwork. I was determined to be in a gallery there when I was older.

I attended Principia College with the assistance of an art scholarship from the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts and graduated in 1976 with a BA in Fine Art. My professor at Principia was James Green. He was a noted "California Regionalist" in the 30's and 40's who studied with the renowned watercolorists; Rex Brandt, Millard Sheets and Milford Zornes at the Chouinard School of Art in Los Angeles. I am a descendant of this bold and colorful school of art. I traveled with James Green and 20 other college students to France, Italy, Switzerland and England where we would visit museums and high ranking people in the art world while in the cities and paint on location in the countrysides. I have been back to Europe several times recently also and especially love the south of France and Italy for painting.

I ended up being in about 10 different galleries in Laguna over the years as well as all 3 Summer Art Festivals in Laguna Beach: The Festival of Arts, the Sawdust and the Art -A-Fair Festival. I have been commissioned by IBM, the Irvine Company and have had work displayed at the State Capitol. Some of my collectors have as many as 12 of my paintings. I have established personal relationships with many of them. The South Coast Hospital has my work on display in their lobby because of the Laguna Theme as well as the happy nature of it. They said it would lighten the hearts of people there.

Being an artist in Laguna is like nirvana to me. I will never take the life I live for granted. I have traveled to many places around the world and I have never found a place friendlier, happier and more beautiful that Laguna. The artists here are beautiful people. There are so many amazing characters, some I have known for over 30 years! When one of us sells a painting, we all celebrate. To live your passion, make other people happy and get paid for that is the greatest blessings life can offer a person.

Currently I exhibit at TheWatercolor Gallery in Laguna Beach. year round as well as the Art-A-Fair Festival in Laguna during the months of July and August. Life is beautiful as an artist here in Laguna. Each day is an opportunity to create something new. If I had a past life, I think I imagined what heaven would be like and this life is what I got; to live here in such a blissful place, and to be an artist.... it doesn't get any better than this for me!

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