Michael Ward

A lifeguard tower in Newport Beach, CA, closed up for the winter. This is the 10th St. tower, but the one has disappeared, so I’ve rechristened it “Tower Zero”. The heroic sky as been added.

Another in my House series, this one is one of the beach cottages in Crystal Cove. I gave it a coat of pacific blue paint, and demolished the houses around it, but otherwise it is as photographed. These houses were taken over by the state of California, to be eventually transformed into upscale vacation lodgings, after the original inhabitants were booted out.

Another in my Home is Where the House Is series, this time a small apartment building in Laguna Beach, CA, on Gleneyre St. I added the bus from another shot I took down the street. I had to add on-street parting to this section of Gleneyre, which actually doesn’t have it. So I added one of Laguna’s ubiquitous & usurious parking meters from yet another shot. I recolored the bus slightly to harmonize with the apartments, and the sky above. And finally I trimmed the hedge to razor straightness, though I missed a couple branches.

A bungalow court apartment in Long Beach, California, circa 1980. Painted from a slightly out of focus slide. Palm tree added. The location is 5th Street, Eastside Long Beach, not on Bonito (a street I once lived on). Whether it’s named for the Spanish adjective, or the long narrow fish, is unknown, at least to me.

Another in my series of house paintings. This one is in Corona Del Mar, CA, a part of Newport Beach. In keeping with it’s oceanfront location, this modest million-dollar abode sports a fleeting attempt at nautical decor out front, in the two anchors dumped on the lawn. I was drawn by the symmetry, the cheerful yellow trim, and the walleye windows. I took some creative license in demolishing the mansions behind it and replacing them with simpler Spanish stucco structures. This helps keep the focus on the main house, and saved me a bit of work as well.

This early work took over a year to complete, working on it off and on. It was on the easel so long that the frame sagged in the middle. It’s a view of a fireworks stand at the corner of Harbor and MacArthur, in Santa Ana.

I painted this for my April show at the Artist Eye Gallery in Laguna Beach, running from April 1 to April 30. It should catch the eye of a tourist or two, being a local landmark; a former gas station office recycled as a lifeguard tower.

This is a painting of a view of Dana Point, when I lived there, circa 1983. At that time it was a sleepy beach town, truly the last frontier of southern California. The laundromat is still there, but most else has changed dramatically since then. Del Prado St., seen here, is now a busy one-way offshoot of Pacific Coast Highway. The beach bums & surfers are long gone, replaced by latte sippers and the upwardly mobile.

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