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Main Beach Laguna

Main Beach Laguna

Main Beach Laguna
Paul Gavin, Pen & ink watercolor, 1984

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A New Perspective

Paul Gavin Fine Art The very positive response to Final Match: Laguna Beach Volleyball pushed me to create this pen and ink watercolor of Main Beach. Up until that time, artists painted Main Beach from Las Brisas, or further west. By now focusing on the volleyball games a new and closer Main Beach perspective was created, making the actual Main Beach more expansive.

It brought city details, including that very colorful traffic, closer and made them more recognizable with everything being framed by the rolling coastal hills of Laguna Beach.

This painting was drawn completely free hand, and it shows with the very lively and sometimes changing pen lines. Working on it was actually a struggle at the time to line up all of the pieces relative to each other to ensure that it would all come together. In so many places there are places where I would just decide to change something — or move it. Yet when all finished, it is all of those lines that give it a very organic and moving feel.

However while working only on location (without using photographs) for that piece, it became apparent how production would be limited to daylight and fair weather. So a camera was finally purchased to document the site or any special elements within the painting area what I wanted to add. Although at that time I did have some purist tendencies and wanted to create only originals, probably the biggest reason for not using a camera is that I couldn't afford what I needed!

Since then there have been numerous paintings of Main Beach done from the same location. And, there is another funny historical note about this piece. At that time Laguna Beach paintings had streets nearly vacant except for a trolley. But while other artists told me painting the traffic was a mistake, the public loved it and actually commented and complimented it because it showed it like it was. Now many Laguna Beach paintings actually feature streets crowed with colorful cars and pedestrians.

A funny anecdote about this piece: The year before I painted this piece, my oil paintings were accepted into one of the Laguna Festivals, but my watercolors weren't. Yet this watercolor painting won the event's poster contest for the next year.

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