Recently the family and I went to the Art & Sea Adventure in Laguna Beach. This program is put on by Laguna Outreach for Community Arts (LOCA) and is one of the more unique programs in Laguna Beach. It is a day spent learning about tidepool ecology and then taking that knowledge as inspiration to paint what you see while under the tutelage of a professional artist. LOCA is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to art education for people of all ages. They provide programs year- round in Laguna Beach in the areas of acrylics, ceramics, watercolor, printmaking and more. All of their programs are taught by professional Laguna Beach artists and are a great way to learn about the artistic process.
On a bright and beautiful Sunday morning, my family and I headed to Treasure Island Beach in South Laguna. It was low tide and the perfect time to observe all of the sea life that was living in, and amongst the rocks and pools. My 5-year-old twins were ecstatic to be visiting the tidepools again (we went last summer ). They love the ocean and enjoy learning about all of the “animals” that live in the water. We joined a diverse group of about 20 adults, families, and children from 5 to 12 years of age. Some were locals, like my family, that were making the Art & Sea program a yearly outing, and others who were visiting Laguna from out of town and taking the class for the first time. We were all excited and eager to dive into the program to get our creative juices flowing.
We began by meeting with a docent from the Laguna Ocean Foundation who taught us how to properly observe and respect the tidepools. She also handed us easy-to-follow guides to find all the species and organisms that make the tidepools their home. My twins loved it! They giggled with excitement each time they saw a shell move and discovered it was a hermit crab. They squealed with excitement at the first sea urchin they saw. They couldn’t believe it when they saw a sea star and the docent shared with them that it was feasting on muscles for its morning snack.
After exploring the tidepools we settled on the beach where we learned about water color techniques. Using techniques like ‘wet to wet,’ where you first wet the paper and then apply color… the kids painted starfish. By mixing colors they created a background for their starfish. The finishing touch was sprinkling salt on the painting for texture.
The artists were helpful and patient with the kids and coming around and encouraging them with their paintings. Teaching them how to clean their brushes and helping them shape their paintings. I could see the confidence building in them and the smiles on their faces showed how proud they were of their finished masterpieces. Still a week later they are talking about their adventures at the tidepools. I on the other hand, am busy finding frames to showcase our newest acquired pieces of professional artwork, ‘STARFISH.’
LOCA’s Art & Sea Adventures are taking place every Spring and Fall. Remaining dates for 2011 are below. To register call (949) 363-4700
Watercolors on the Beach at Treasure Island Beach
May 22, 2011
September 4, 2011
Adults $35/$20 ages 5-18, accompanied by an adult
Art & Sea Lions at the Pacific Marine Mammal Center
May 7, 2011
September 10, 2011
October 1, 2011
November 5, 2011
Adults $20/$15 ages 6-18, accompanied by an adult
By: Anne-Marie S.