Category Archives: Laguna

Fire Pits Are Serious Business


fire pits are serious business

Fire Pit at Aliso Beach reserved early.

Availability of the fire pits at Aliso Beach is hands down the number one question this website receives.  On July 9th, I was checking the surf and I noticed two things:  1) The sea gulls had thrown the contents of overflowing trashcans all over the beach looking for food scraps and 2) All of the fire pits were attended to by people reserving them for a family day at the beach.  Fire pits are serious business at Aliso Beach and they are first come first serve.  I asked a gentleman who was reserving the fire pit for a family event at the beach what time he had come down to lay claim to the one of 6 fire pits on the sand in Laguna Beach.  What he told me fits with what I have always believed to be true.

There is more demand for the fire pits than there are available fire pits, and if you don’t get their early during the summer, the chances of securing a fire pit evaporate quickly. Technically, he had arrived to save the space and fire pits slightly before the parks opening time of 6:00 am.  County of Orange maintenance workers were their early to haul away the damage beach goers had inflicted on the beach the day prior with trash cans bursting at the seams with wrappers, baggies, cups and bottles spilling over the top and onto the ground.  It wasn’t pretty, but it speaks directly to how popular Aliso Beach is and how much competition there is for the limited space available on a summer day.

I have told anyone that inquires online about the fire pits at Aliso Beach that get there early or forget it.  While this is truly an inconvenient truth, securing a fire pit at Aliso Beach may require showing up before first light, parking on the hill and walking down before the gates open.  It is what it is.  This may be the only way I can say that you have a 95% chance of getting a fire pit during prime beach season.  The man I spoke to also said that he would typically pay kids in the family and friend network to come down and reserve the pits while he keeps a tight grip on extra hours of sleep.  He said that with a grin and as you may be fully aware now, you know fire pits are serious business at Aliso Beach.  It’s the old supply and demand lecture from economics class.  If you indeed want that fire pit for the day, consider there are less fire pits than families who wish to reserve them any summer day or holiday weekend.  Your success in securing a fire pit is dependent on your strategy.  At, we wish you luck!


Also posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, La Vida Laguna, Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , |

Great White Shark Activity


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Whitney L Anderson with Great White Shark Painting

From the near fatal Great White Shark Attack at San Onofre weeks ago and the OC Sheriffs Helicopter warning a paddle boarder of being in the middle of a pack of 15 sharks to personally seeing sharks thrash around the water 10 feet or less from the sand and the OC Register report of a shark at Thousand Steps Beach, the danger has become very real to this South Orange County Body Boarder and ocean enthusiast. A friend in Laguna Beach had suggested that there was a sighting at Aliso Beach several weeks back and I immediately drove up to Aliso to speak with a lifeguard supervisor who was unaware of any sighting.  That day curiosity got the best of me and I headed to Capo Beach where there has been many daily sightings over the last several weeks.  Sure enough, I got to see them in the surf zone at a spot I have paddled out at in years past.  I was moved by the fear of a friend of mine who has been in the San Clemente to Laguna community as a former professional body boarder for the bulk of his life.  I would like to acknowledge Joe Grodzen and I wanted to relay the sentiment of what he said on Facebook.  He spoke of his deep ties to the ocean and those of his wife Keila whom is also a former professional body boarder.  Raising a young boy and giving him the gift of beach and surfing culture, it is not lost on Joe how concerning the rash of shark sightings from San Onofre to Long Beach, California is.  Joe for the most part is a very unflappable, competitive and in the moment kind of personality.  What he said was very raw and very real.  Reading his thoughts, I was affected by the fear he had related to the presence of these sharks in what perhaps is a new normal along our coastline with regular visits.  He echoed the sentiment that he may have to give a second thought to being in the water to keep he and his family safe.  Joe has been at this far longer than I have, and to hear a man that has spent nearly every day of his life since he has been old enough to walk in local ocean waters express a genuine concern for his safety, it definitely caught my attention.

Still trying to process the swarm of so many sharks in the area, I did return a second time to Capo Beach noticing the shark warning signs, and eventually seeing one splash around 10 feet or less from shore.  It is probably not a good idea to be in the water at all at Capo.  Rumor has it that boats and perhaps kayakers are chumming the waters to attract the sharks.  Some of these boats are alleged to be whale boats capitalizing on the presence of these toothy new inhabitants of Capo Waters.  Any reasonable human being should not approve of throwing blood and guts into the water near shore for commercial gain, capturing footage or taking photographs.  This is a really bad idea that may contribute to a fatality and should be stopped immediately.  My hope is the lifeguards and authorities can identify those perpetrators and force them to stop.  As far as I can see that is harassment of a federally protected shark but what do I know.  If this is being done please stop this very reckless behavior.

Since I spend more time at Salt Creek and the coves of Laguna Beach, I felt like I was relatively safe in the zones I like to play in.  Given the explosion of shark numbers close to shore in San Clemente and Capo Beach, the idea that there are no great whites near shore at Salt Creek and Laguna Beaches rests on quicksand.  It simply doesn’t hold.  A Laylan Connelly, Orange County Register Article, shattered my idealized safe zones with a shark spotting at South Laguna’s Thousand Steps Beach and the mention of a shark advisory at Salt Creek.  Say it isn’t so!  I don’t know what I am going to do personally and I am feeling like I may put myself on a self-imposed time out, and as Joe Grodzen so eloquently said, what are we going to do? Ocean enthusiasts have built their lives around washing away all that ails them in the ocean and doing something athletically that keeps them happy.  I don’t know the answer to this question, and I suppose time will tell.  Having paddled way out at Salt Creek and sitting in the kelp paddies, I admit that I have thought about the unseen below that perhaps I don’t want to know is there. The ocean and local waters are home to the Great White Shark, but I cannot say that in over the 30 years I have spent time in these waters, that this is normal in any way shape or form.   How I feel about this situation will in no way dictate the behavior of sharks and where they choose to set up shop.  While I pray that their presence will come to pass and they head out to deeper waters, their continued presence could put a damper on what little ocean time I have as it is.  Having had a fin pop up on me in Baja while body boarding alone at a northern stretch of La Fonda, I really don’t want to find myself in that situation again.  Fortunately, a well-timed set arrival got me out of there before I could stare into the intentions of presumably a Great White Shark…and I prefer that to be the last time I find myself in the water with one.

I would like to take a moment to thank my friend and artist Whitney L. Anderson, a brilliant painter and collage artist residing in Seattle, Washington.




Also posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Events, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Beach Park, Aliso Beach Safety, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, Dana Point, Laguna Beach, Laguna News, Salt Creek, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , , , , , , |

Shark Research


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Capo Beach Shark Warning

After I heard this I decided to do some shark research today. A 50 year water man in Laguna Beach said online today there was a shark sighting at Aliso Beach.  He also said that in all his years that he had never heard of a shark reported in the intertidal zone of Laguna Beach. To be clear, this reported sighting is unconfirmed, but you can appreciate that as the owner of the Aliso Beach website and an avid body boarder that has spent a ton of time at Aliso and neighboring Laguna beaches, I am simultaneously concerned and intrigued by the recent hot spots for sharks at San Onofre, Poche Beach, Capo Beach and Long Beach.

When I got to Aliso Beach this afternoon, I got my parking pass and wasted no time finding the lifeguard supervisor. He was a cool guy, and I am sure that what I asked him is something that has been asked since Orange County News showed a helicopter warning a paddle boarder that he or she was in the middle of a pack of as many as 15 Great White Sharks in the surf zone.  When I informed him that I had a question for him, I told him that I didn’t want to shout out my question.  As I got closer to him, I very discreetly asked him about the alleged shark sighting. He was unaware of  any recent event.  They were training aspiring life guards on the beach so I am 100% sure that OC Life Guards would not expose those kids to unnecessary risks.  So the mystery deepens as it relates to the alleged sighting of sharks at Aliso Beach.  I left the beach assured that there were no issues of Great White Sharks and the absence of media attention, adds to the case that Great White Sharks had not been observed at this popular South Laguna Beach.  I did greatly appreciate the time afforded to me by the supervisor and the willingness to discuss the potential issue.  He was a cool guy and I trust in what he told me. As he indicated, you would have to be a silly white shark to want to take on the shore break conditions of Aliso Beach. With this news I am sure a talented young skimmer with dreadlocks that frequents this local spot is breathing a sigh of relief.  That is just me being funny.  I suspect that very few, if any, wave riding enthusiasts had heard about this shark sighting at Aliso Beach.  Shark research was to continue as I got back onto S. Pacific Coast Highway and headed south.

When I got to Capo Beach, I immediately noticed the traffic stand barriers with the shark warnings attached to then.  It was one of 3 or 4 I saw lining the beach to warn beach visitors of the presence of Great White Sharks. I must admit this is super freaky, and although I have heard of sharks present in local waters, this fact has not hit this close to home until now. Looking south, I noticed a couple of life guards huddled up by the tower and looking out over the water.  I walked up to them and began a conversation about the sharks, and they were definitely there to keep an eye on things and make sure people are informed.  As the shark warnings clearly stated, by entering the water you were swimming or surfing at your own risk.

We discussed theories on why the sharks are there.  It was a cool conversation.  I have always found OC Life Guards to be a class act, and as we talked a shark surfaced and thrashed around a bit. Until that moment, I had never seen a Great White Shark in Southern California waters. I found it surreal.  Capo Beach isn’t the best surfing, body boarding or even swimming beach due to a sloping beach, waves crashing right on the sand, and a fair amount of small rocks lining the shore.  Nonetheless, life guards were keeping everyone informed and watching for the presence of sharks which numbered 15 several days ago.

I talked to them about how I was following the Great White Shark population resurgence with federal protections extended to them and the seal population which represents meals on the preferred menu for these toothy creatures.  Having kept up to date with shark sightings in Southern California, I told them about Ralph Collier and Pacific Shark Committee.  Ralph is a leading scientist and expert on Great White Sharks and predatory behavior in North America. The life guards told me that Chris Lowe, the California State University Long Beach Great White Shark expert and researcher, was working with OC Life Guards on tagging the sharks to gain a better understanding of migratory patterns.  I was a bit surprised to learn that they were doing the tagging via jet skis.  Initially I had asked for a seat in that boat but quickly changed course when I found out that they were doing this on the much smaller and more exposed water vehicles.  That is a little too close and not enough protection for this fat, old guy.

Reality is that local Orange County Waters we hold dear as surfers, swimmers and body boarders, are the homes of Great White Sharks.  To some extent they have always been there.  Perhaps the record rain and runoff combined with cooler waters, spring wind patterns and upwelling are creating perfect conditions for movements in the food chain that have these sharks closer to shore to feed.  While I don’t have all of the answers with my shark research, the numerous sightings from Long Beach to San Onofre have definitely captivated me.  Let’s hope we do not have any more encounters like we saw at San Onofre where a Vista woman was attacked, bitten and air lifted to the hospital clinging to life. I am pleased to say that she made it.  Despite additional surgeries coming and a long road back to as normal a life as she can have given the serious injury to her leg, she is alive and not wishing sharks any ill will.

Also posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach News, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , , |

Scotty Carter Showroom At Woods Cove Fine Art


Woods Cover Fine Art Gallery

February Art Walk Event At Woods Cove Fine Art Gallery

It has taken several months of hard work, advice, renovations and good people with a shared vision and enthusiasm rallying around the idea of creating opportunities for artists to show art in Laguna Beach, California.  This Thursday, February 4th, 2015, the Scotty Carter Showroom is officially open at Woods Cove Fine Art. We are proud to be a part of this movement in South Laguna Beach.  We invite you to enjoy a night of incredible art, music, good people and refreshments down at the gallery located at 1963 South Coast Highway on the beach side of the  road above the breathtaking Woods Cove in Laguna.  For those visiting galleries on the north end of town that would like to see the Woods Cove Fine Art Gallery, a new stop has been added to the Trolley route that drops off at Diamond Street just south of the gallery.  We believe this will give many people to see the new gallery that may have not come before because it was tough to get to.  That ends this Thursday! Laguna Beach First Thursdays Art Walk now connects with south Laguna via the Trolley, making this new gallery more accessible to residents and families that enjoy this once a month event.

The event is 6-9pm. Come see water sculptures by Scotty Carter including his new distressed wood frame metals in large format and his large canvas speaker unit.  Come test out his speaker unit using bluetooth technology to play your music using a smart phone to communicate and play through the speaker.  It is amazing!  All art sales include something you can’t get at the typical gallery.  Because the gallery is operated by Laguna Foundation For the Arts, a government recognized 5013c charitable organization, a tax deduction is possible with your purchase of art.  30% of the gross sale goes to the foundation which gives you a write-off of that dollar amount at the end of the year.

There will also be music from Jackie Pember and Eric Henderson.  Thursday night will be a great opportunity to see cool art, listen to amazing music and wash the experience all down with a glass of red or white wine!  We hope to see you all down there!  Don’t miss out!

Also posted in Aliso Beach Events, Aliso Beach News, Art Events, Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , , |

Dianas Lesson


Sometime in the Fall of 2015, I introduced myself to a couple of young girls in the parking lot of Aliso Beach. One of them turned out to be Diana Rosa Cordova, the only Mexican, Female, Professional Skim Boarder on the planet.  Little did I know, a month later or so, she would sit with me for several hours and take a barrage of questions, and pass along what I now call Diana’s Lesson.  As manager of the Aliso Beach

diana rosa, diana rosa cordova, pro skim boarder, professional skim boarder, mexican professional skim boarder

Diana Rosa enters friend Samantha’s hoverboard picture for Aliso Beach website

website, I am constantly looking for cool stuff to include in the blog.  Her friend Samantha was riding one of those hover boards that are getting a lot of press for spontaneously bursting into flames, and I asked her if I could take a picture of her riding.  She was hesitant, and I get it.  It’s like, who is the creepy older guy that I don’t know requesting to take pictures?  Samantha was joined by a wide-eyed, vibrant personality that you couldn’t help gravitate towards.  After talking to them about the website and how I envisioned it playing a role in the community, I told Diana that I would like to do a write up about her for the site.  I have talked with several people in the community about doing stuff on the website, and because her enthusiasm for the website was so great, I knew that doing a nice piece for her was meant to be.  Diana joined the picture with Samantha on the hover board with a flare that is typical for someone with the love of life and people that I have discovered she has.

We met up last weekend, and although I knew it would be fun to talk with her, I had no idea that when we parted ways that I would have so many great angles for stories that shined brightly on this young and rising skim board star.  Initially, I thought the pieces would focus on skim boarding, but during our conversations, it became clear that this enterprising and personality full, young lady was a collection of really neat stories that I feel blessed to pass along.

Diana indicated that she didn’t grow up with a whole lot of money.  Her parents divorced when she and her brother were young, and so her mom had to make a go of it as a single parent.  The feeling I get is that it made her mom tough, resilient, driven and willing to work hard for everything she gave her children.  I am happy to say that despite her friendly demeanor and kindness, Diana Rosa exhibits many of the same qualities she described in her mom.  Her mom has to be proud of the woman she has become and the woman she has the opportunity to be.

Diana Rosa Cordova_measuring_incoming waves.jpgDiana Rosa Cordova_professional skim boarder_Mexico.jpgDiana Rosa_Skim Boarder_Aliso Beach_South Laguna-c8.jpgDiana Rosa_Skim Boarder_Aliso Beach_South Laguna.jpgDiana Rosa_skim boarding_wearing wetsuit_from sponsor_ Glide Soul.jpgDiana Rosa_skim boarding.jpgskim diana ss (1).jpg

Education was a topic I was really curious about when we spoke.  I was impressed by her college education in aerospace part manufacturing.  I can count on one hand the number of people that I have rubbed elbows with that are in that field, and there is no question you have to be smart to enter into the field at the college level.  This gives her an opportunity to work in a field beyond skim boarding if she chooses, and she indicated that her experience in the manufacture of aerospace parts has her thinking and believing she will become involved in her own projects. Diana is strong in her belief in what she can do and about the amazing opportunities that are out there for her.  Look out world!  I sincerely believe that she will do great things.  While learning of this part of her education was fascinating, it was what her mom did with respect to her desire for her children to get a quality education that paved the way for Diana’s lesson.

Diana comes from humble beginnings.  Her mother could not afford the kind of education she wanted to give her kids when they were young.  It didn’t stop her from making a quality education happen for her children.  As Diana tells it, her mother walked into a Montessori School and told the administration that despite not being able to afford it, she absolutely believed her kids should be there.  The school took them in and Diana tells me that it changed her life.  It was there and at a young age that she learned English.  They were her formative years, and this education left an undeniable, positive impact on this child who now as a young woman has the world in the palm of her hands.  What her mom did was so valuable proving that if you want something bad enough, go after it.  It changed the course of history for Diana.

So there it was, August of 2015, and Diana was entered in the most prestigious skim boarding contest called the VIC as an amateur.  Some of the men’s professional skim boarders from South Laguna that come down for contests at her local skim breaks in Mexico, encouraged her to jump to the pro event.  She made the leap and placed 8 with no sponsors, no competitive track record in the US, and absolutely nothing to lose.  She was not intimidated and she gave her best effort.  It is hard to be anything but excited for someone that just goes for it.

Diana has a lot of friends in the skim board community, and they have helped her remain in South Laguna to continue practicing and getting better.  Aliso Beach is a pretty good beach among the other South Laguna skim spots to hone her skills.  Fortunately, the water stayed warm until the middle of December, so she was able to get by without a wet suit.  Just half way past the middle of the last month of the year, the cold water in Southern California started to bite a little harder.  Not to be deterred, Diana successfully negotiated a wet suit sponsor that is dedicated to the women’s market.  She understands that opportunities come with effort and believing in herself.  Diana’s lesson is that if you want help or you want something, ask for it!  This type of success and application of lessons taught to her by an amazingly driven mother are the way a parent hopes their children respond when it is their turn to take on the world without them.

I am proud to know Diana Rosa!  I am proud to call her a friend.  I happily root for her in everything that she does and everything she hopes to achieve.  The sky is the limit for her.  She can do whatever she wants to do and she will continue to amaze on her journey through life touching and inspiring people wherever she goes.  If you can’t smile in the presence of this beaming and blissful young lady, I would not know what to say to you.  She is everything that is good about people.  Diana is kind, thoughtful, respectful, genuine, empathetic, articulate, smart, funny, light-hearted and so much more.  You might call me one of her biggest fans, but I do know the kind of impact that kind of personality can have on all sorts of people.  It is not surprising at all that she has been embraced in the Laguna Beach skim community.

Thank you Diana for spending time with someone that you barely even knew. I appreciate your being open about all of the personal things that you really didn’t have to talk about.  That was a conversation I will probably remember forever and I enjoyed it.  Whether you stay here in the United States, travel the world or settle back down in Mexico, you can count me as a friend.  While this story is one of many that I will write about you related to our conversation, this certainly is not the end.  I wish you the best and will root for you in whatever you do!

Diana Rosa Facebook

Diana Rosa Victoria Skim Boards Profile

Victoria Skim Boards Instagram @victoriaskimboards

Diana Rosa Instagram @diana_cord

Diana Rosa Tattoo Sponsor Pure Tatts

Diana Rosa Wet Suit Sponsor GlideSoul



Also posted in Aliso Beach, Aliso Beach Park, aliso beach skim boarding, Aliso Beach Stories, Aliso Creek, Aliso Creek Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna News, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , , , , |

Music and Art


Music and art go so nicely together, but how do you bring the two perfectly together? Photographer and artist Scotty Carter, has lent his amazing water sculptures to the idea of bringing art and music together and the result is mind blowing.  Utilizing space down at his showroom at the new Laguna Foundation for the Arts Gallery, a 60 x 40 inch water sculpture displayed on canvas and mounted with speakers found the wall for the very first time. When the product was delivered, foundation partner Tony Cox, was playing his music on the speaker as it sat propped up against a wall and on a drop cloth.  I had no idea that it would sound that good and that the speaker art would become a viable product.  The art work plays at the command of a smart phone utilizing downloaded music from Itunes and Pandora and the sound is crisp and clean.  The unit comes with a charger to re-energize the speakers after several months of battery power are depleted.  Needless to say, the placement on the wall of this music and art canvas and the sound living up to the manufacturer’s praises were a part of a very exciting new day in the art world.

After the speaker manufacturer printed and delivered the unit to the gallery, it was clear that we had something, and the sound company that produces them wholeheartedly agreed.  So intrigued by the opportunity to have their speaker units on true art gallery walls, the sound company sent a television crew down to interview Scotty and our printer Sean Mac.  Tony also recognized the potential for cross-promotion and marketing with the unveiling of this new product and had a skilled construction guy there to finish a gallery wall specifically for the shoot.  The construction guy happens also to be a prestigious and well-known sculptor who has been commissioned by presidents for work.  Nick Hernandez Sr., a long time Laguna Beach local, is truly amazing.  He finished the wall and hung Scotty’s work.  I have never seen anyone hang a showroom or museum of art more precisely than this man.  It was an absolute pleasure to watch and we learned a thing or two from him.  We are incredibly grateful for your help Nick!  By the time he was done with his work, that part of the gallery was world class.  It was hung perfectly!

Scotty and our printer Sean MacDonald of Marco Fine Arts were interviewed in a piece that is headed for television.  I am told there is about a week of editing time on the spot but everything went tremendously.  I don’t think I have ever seen Scotty happier about the printing and display of his work.  He is very particular about that, and the way it was displayed in the gallery with Nick leading the effort, was incredible.  The speaker is a cool and modern way to offer Scotty’s work.  Tony, who has a long and notable career in music promotion, also sees huge, huge opportunities that we have agreed to explore together. What a tremendous gift it is to be a part of the Laguna Foundation For the Arts Gallery with a dedicated showroom displaying Scotty’s work. This new offering that allows music and art to display and play together is really magical and we are so excited to be a part of it.

When the commercial is out, I will provide more details.  If you get the itch to go down and see it, the address of the gallery is 1963 South Coast Highway in Laguna, California.  You will be surprised by the sound quality and appreciate this new way of combining music and art.  The applications for this in residential and commercial situations are really limitless.  Exciting times indeed!


Also posted in Art Events, Laguna Beach, Laguna News, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News Tagged , , , , , , |

No Doubt


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Red Pelagic Crab Laguna Beach

There is no doubt as it relates to the presence of an El Nino affecting Southern California ocean waters.  Two years of ocean temperatures warm enough to wear trunks and a rash guard into December, two venomous yellow bellied sea snakes washed up on Southern California Beaches, increased shark activity along the shore including incidents with Hammerhead and Great White Sharks, incredible fishing, rare whale sightings and the the second coming of red pelagic crabs in Laguna Beach are all evidence of warm waters driven by El Nino.

We have had a lot of weather so far this year.  According to Irvine rain totals as of 2:00 pm 2015 rainfall totals measured in Irvine, California are at 6.49 inches and climbing as a slow and steady storm blankets Southern California with rain.  We have already surpassed rain totals from 2014 in Irvine, and with 4.79 inches of rain falling in 2015 for Laguna there is no doubt that we have blown by last year’s totals on what should be a wetter than normal year.  While we can expect Laguna Beach to have more rain than last year, El Nino’s wettest months tend to be January and February.  This means that while we will surpass 2014’s rainfall totals but won’t power past the 14.39 inch average annual rainfall for Laguna Beach in the calendar year.  Expect 2016 rainfall totals to be a higher than average rain year and to reflect the El Nino everyone now seems to agree is happening.

Powerful storms have also slammed the coast with dangerous waves and tidal surges causing flooding events.  The Ventura pier took a beating with 20 foot waves that took several bites out of it and causing it’s closure.  Some of the images that have come from that wave event show large waves swallowing a decent portion of the pier.  They will keep the pier closed at least through winter to assess the damage and make plans for putting it back together.  I have been predicting that this would be a year that piers would come down with the projected El Nino and the waves that typically come with the storms associated with this weather condition.  Let’s all hope that Huntington Beach, San Clemente and the piers of San Diego don’t endure a similar fate.  If this early season is any indication of what to come, they could be in trouble.  OC Beach Park maintenance workers have momentarily won the battle with tides and waves pushing sand into the parking lot.  This could be a year where waves are consistently in the parking lot which does put accessibility for beach visitors in question as Aliso Beach suffers from the determination of Mother Ocean when she is stirred up by El Nino driven storms.

My Laguna friend Gracie Wellsfry sent me a photo of a Red Pelagic Tuna Crab which normally lives at sea and calls tropical waters south of us home.  You may recall that shores along Balboa in Newport Beach were covered in a half foot of crabs earlier this year in a rare event along the Southern California Coast.  As far as I can remember, this is only the second red pelagic crab event that I have seen with the last one occurring in the 1990’s while body boarding at Manhattan Beach.  2 incidents in one calendar year is both unexpected and something I can’t recall ever happening.  You will enjoy the picture Gracie took from Laguna Beach and a red pelagic crab comfortably resting in a muscle shell.


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Water Sculptures At LFFTA


Water sculptures, by artist Scotty Carter, are a creative interpretation of waves.  Relying on years of riding, filming, and photographing waves, this creative soul portrays then in a manner that is strikingly colorful, intricately designed and completely spell binding. For the next year or more, Scotty’s work will be on display at the new Laguna Foundation For the Arts Gallery in South Laguna. It is an exciting project with enough enthusiasm to be wonderfully infectious.  Scotty’s work will be featured at the entrance as you enter on the left and will have half the second room.  We are confident that this location, and future opportunities developed by LFFTA, will create the visibility and sales that we are looking for in Laguna Beach.

water sculpture art

Water Sculpture Transcendence by Scotty Carter

This month’s Laguna Art Walk event is this Thursday December 3rd, 2015.  By that date, Scotty’s exhibit in the second room will be complete and open to the public.   Come pay a visit to the gallery.  Tony and Stan, the visionaries for this incredible project, are working their tails off to do something really special with this location. The project seems to have created local buzz, intrigue and appreciation to a heart warming degree that has given them wings.  A typical event will have amazing art and artists, wine, and music.  Stan, among his many talents, is a guy who builds trains.  As you drive by at night north or south along South Coast Highway you may see a train circling the track above the car port in the drive way.  I saw that assembled and chugging around the track for the first time today. Having visited the mini trains in Griffith Park in Los Angeles as a kid, I can’t ever remember a moment when trains weren’t mesmerizing.

The initial response to the work has been encouragingly positive.  We expect to rotate pieces in and out to keep things fresh and interesting.  Initially, Scotty will  feature and river sculptures in the gallery.  River sculptures were the waves photographed at South Laguna’s Aliso Beach that commanded enough attention in the art world to get him published.  Water Sculptures are an artistic portrayal of waves that comes from an open mind, creative experimentation, understanding waves and loving art. Work featuring near by South Laguna Beaches are also being considered for exhibition which will mark the first time that Scotty has shown ocean, river and water sculptures all at the same time.  Some of you know that he has the ability paint as well.  With a little encouragement, it won’t be long before his paintings join his liquid sculpture art at LFFTA.  I think that would be awesome.

I will be down at the gallery Thursday evening and hope to see you there.


Also posted in Laguna Beach, Laguna News, South Laguna Beach, South Laguna Beach News

Laguna Foundation For The Arts


The new South Laguna Gallery for Laguna Foundation For the Arts is a really exciting opportunity.  These types of projects come and go but I am awe struck by the potential for art and artists with this new location in Laguna.  It is going to take some work, but from what I saw last night, there are some really amazing things to come for this non-profit organization that helps promote art and nurture artists needing a platform and venue to show what they can do.  Long gone are the days that I get amped over fly by night things that are sprinkled with fanciful promises that in the end could never be delivered.  When I say that I think this move by Laguna Foundation For the Arts is holding incredible potential, not only do I mean it, but also the sentiment is coming at a maturer version of myself with better discretion.  I believe artists working with the foundation will see benefits they could not ever imagined.  I am definitely going to enjoy watching the progress and the business de

water sculpture, art, photography, fine art, scotty carter

Water Sculpture

velopment for artists.  Can you tell I am excited about Laguna Foundation For The Arts?  Do I need to get on the roof top and scream that out at the top of my lungs?

I wanted to expand on what Laguna Foundation For The Arts does.  Their mission is to partner with artists and the local community to offer viable locations to promote and sell art.  It is a match made in art heaven.  Artists are talented and have works they would like to sell and LFFTA has the venues for those artists to show the work.  They also work to provide grants to artists that are unable to promote their work due to financial hardship.  The art world definitely needs more of this.  They also provide support for art classes and education with outreach to grade schools, high schools, colleges and universities.

In keeping with their vision to support the arts, they organize and manage locations for artists to show their work every first Thursday of the month as a part of their sponsorship commitment to Laguna Art Walk with opportunities to exhibit at Driftwood, Ocean Avenue Brewery and the Deck. To help market those locations, they use digital flyers for online marketing and social media. With a brilliant sponsorship of The Groove, Laguna’s only FM radio station hosted by Dawn DiMarie Thiery 7-9pm Wednesdays, they have a natural marketing partner that reminds everyone of the art walk in Laguna and tells Laguna about participating artists.  It works really well. Music is often tied into the venues established by Laguna Foundation For the Arts creating a nice event for all that visit.  I am both happy and proud to be a part of a group that is shaking up the art scene in Laguna with their incredible dedication and efforts on behalf of art and artists that need a place to be seen and heard.  What they are doing is a valuable part of both Laguna Beach and artists as communities.

And so a new day has dawned.  Laguna Foundation For the Arts has a gallery in South Laguna Beach.  The property is going through renovations but the vision is clear and exciting things are to come.  Let’s get Laguna Beach Transit to stop at the gallery on its way south so that attendees of the art walk don’t have to walk so far to get there.  It was a great first night and I am extremely excited to do what I can to help them be successful.



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Aliso Beach Art


Aliso Beach has always been a favorite place of Scotty Carter. This beach has inspired in him the desire to capture and share it with his Aliso Beach Art.  It is hard not to love the ease of access to the beach, parking, soft sand, swaying palm trees, light breezes and blue-green water.  There are many wonderful and amazing places in our world, but few are more captivating and mesmerizing than Aliso Beach.

Aliso Beach Art, Art, Aliso Beach, Laguna

Aliso Beach Art Display

Photography from Scotty Carter comes with the influence of nearly 30 years in the art.  From a print standpoint, there are lots of way to display Aliso Beach Art nicely.  What is appropriate for your home or office depends upon the design and colors of the space.  While some jobs call for modern bling others require a more dated and retro look.  Canvases, metals, acrylics and bamboo prints with a variety of framing options ranging from the ornate and colorful to the simple and understated.  There is something for everyone and for every hanging opportunity.  As long as thought is given to the space, image chosen, image sizes, colors and framing types it is a certainty that the end result will be a signature art piece in your home or office.

One of the things we have learned over the years is that when you go big, the impact is magnified to a presentation that is undeniable.  A recent print job featured a house full of larger format pieces including the pictured above 8 foot Organized Chaos featuring a Santa Ana Wind, wildfire event influenced sunset over a twisting Aliso Beach wave trying to overcome an impressive backwash.

Having ridden, videoed, photographed and hung out at Aliso Beach for 30 years, it is no surprise to me that Aliso Beach Art is so central to what Scotty does.  This is one of my favorite pieces from Scotty Carter, and his detailed eye produces work with a look that is off the beat and path of the typical photographer.  This shot is from 2003 from a film file, a far cry from the digital revolution based photography that produces a new model camera every year in the mold of new cars and IPhones.  I am not sure that camera makers are in this for anything other than bilking people out of their hard earned cash but that is the racket today.  Whether he is using a 100k camera or an outdated Canon Camera, Scotty is very particular about what he shoots and how it looks before releasing it online or for sale. Because he is discerning, his Aliso Beach Art has always truly portrayed this Laguna coastal spot in the best way possible.  My belief is that this is as it should be.

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