saltfineart + RAWsalt gallery adds Tristan Abel and Lindsey Warren to the color spectrum of Color Colectiva

Since 2009, saltfineart + RAWsalt Gallery has been exhibiting contemporary works from around the world, created by both world-renowned and emerging artists. Dedicated to finding unprocessed, pure, driven talent, saltfineart + RAWsalt gallery, has added local artist Tristan Abel (red hot) and Lindsey Warren (sunset hue) to its exciting visual Color Colectiva exhibition.  

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Submitted photo

Tristan Abel, Cooperative, 30 x 40, oil on wood

Tristan Abel adds a Red Hot aspect to the exhibit. His art focuses on the interaction of the natural world and the manufactured relics of man. Tristan, a fourth generation local, is also a wood carver, sculptor, and illustrator, and uses his many talents to blur the pure lines of any one form. He graduates from LCAD in December with a BFA in painting and drawing with an emphasis on sculpture, and is in his third year as exhibitor at The Sawdust Festival. 

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Submitted photo

Lindsey Warren, Sanctuary, 44 x 36, oil on canvas

Representing Sunset Hues in the exhibit, Lindsey Warren was born and raised in Los Angeles. She earned an MFA in Painting from Boston University in 2008 and recently returned to LA from New York. Now that she’s back in the golden state, her brush shifts from the NY scenes of her earlier works to the quintessential CA landscapes. Lindsey’s paintings have been exhibited throughout the US, with recent shows in NYC, Boston, and LA. Her public works and murals have been installed in Boston and NYC.

Saltfinearts and RAWsalt Gallery specializes in museum caliber Latin American contemporary art and is located at 346 No Pacific Coast Hwy. For further information, call 949-715-5554 or go to

Junior Lifeguard Program ends on a great note with the Iron Child competition 


Now that August is almost halfway over (and school is starting for some), it’s the time of year that people tend to take inventory of their summers, was it a good one or not? On a morning dog walk in Heisler Park on Wednesday, I happened to come across a beautiful bevy of multi-colored striped surfboards propped against a lifeguard truck. It turns out that Ally McCormick MS, Junior Lifeguard Coordinator, and her sister Shannon McCormick, the A Group Instructor, were literally taking inventory – of the Junior Lifeguard Program equipment. 

According to Ally, “The kids loved the new striped surfboards, and we had another great summer with our Junior Lifeguard Program.” 

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Photo by Ally McCormick

With summer ending, time to inventory the Junior Lifeguard Program equipment

Ally says, “Overall, we had over 400 kids, ages 8-15, come through the program. They learned ocean safety while engaging in fun and enjoyable activities at the beach. Some of the highlights of each group included going through the Giggle Crack, paddling, doing the Blowhole, and competing in the Iron Child.” 

The Iron Child is the final competition which takes place on the last day. The A group runs 1.5 miles, then swims 800 yards. The B group runs a little over a mile, then swims 500 yards. The C group, which includes the youngest kids, runs one mile and swims 300 yards. Afterward, they grill hot dogs and hamburgers and have a picnic in the park. 

That sounds like a grueling contest, one the kids should be proud of completing. Iron, indeed! 

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Photo by Ally McCormick

Start of Iron Child for the B Group

“It’s amazing to see how much the kids improve in just three weeks,” Ally continues. “Many Junior Guards start out the program feeling timid about the ocean or don’t have the confidence to do a long swim. However, our instructors do a great job of getting them comfortable.”

The storm systems we encountered over the past few weeks affected our beach goers, rescues, and lifeguards, as well as the kids in the program.

 Ally says, “We experienced some surf over the course of the program, but every single Junior Guard stayed safe and demonstrated the skills they had learned. Our biggest points of instruction include going under the waves, putting on fins quickly in the impact zone, and always being aware of their surroundings while they’re in the water.” 

It sounds as if it was an awesome summer for these Junior Lifeguard participants, filled with confidence building experiences and education, but also packed with fun, and the chance to become an Iron Child.

“We always enjoy getting to know the kids each summer,” Ally emphasizes. “We hope to see them back next year and further improve on their ocean safety skills.”

Next summer will be here before you know it!

JoAnne Artman Gallery is now representing artist Anna Kincaide

JoAnne Artman Gallery is now representing artist Anna Kincaide. 

Kincaide says, “Over the last year, I have been driving my paintings in an innovative new direction that is really beginning to show who I want to become as an artist. After months of research and experimentation, I have found myself drawn to the age-old idea of portraiture, but with a twist: I am still intrigued by the idea of omitting the eyes in my paintings, something I started in my early work and have continued to carry with me as I evolve. 

“I love the anonymity this creates for the viewer and the subject alike. People will leave the piece with different ideas and feelings and I like having that kind of flexibility in my work.”

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Photo courtesy JoAnne Artman Gallery

Bluebird, oil and mixed media on canvas, 60” x 60”

Kincaid continues, “My strongest inspirations are fashion and design, so I dove into the idea of creating portraits of stylized women disguised by avant-garde, floral-inspired hats. Body language becomes very important in my work because I don’t rely on facial expression to convey emotion like most figurative artists do. Instead I rely on gesture, clothing, and color. The new pieces allow me to convey texture, design and abstraction with a freedom I have never known until now. 

“I have fallen in love with the expression, mystery and disguise the pieces create. Costume has the ability to be empowering and beautiful, allowing us to become someone new. The nature of fashion is all about change and experimentation and I am thrilled to see where this will take me.” 

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Photo courtesy JoAnne Artman Gallery

Spellbound, oil and mixed media on canvas, 60” x 60”

JoAnne Artman Gallery is located at 326 N. Coast Hwy.  Call 949-510-5481 or visit for more information.

Pet of the Week

Sparky lost his owner under sad circumstances: he has so much love to give – who will take him in?

Sparky is a 13-year-old neutered male Beagle Lab mix on the look out for a new home to take him in. He’s medium size, and weighs about 37 pounds. 

Sparky went through a rough time, left alone because his owner took his own life, so Sparky is longing for someone to fill that void. He is filled with love and is excited for whoever will love him and can’t wait to give love in return. 

Nancy Goodwin, shelter director, hopes Sparky will be taken in as soon as can be, with hopes of an owner that will see how special Sparky truly is. 

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Sparky looking for a new place to play

The Laguna Beach Animal Shelter adoption procedures are designed to make sure that both the potential family and the animal adopted are in the very best situation possible. Due to their approach to adoption, their return rate is five percent as compared to the national return rate of fifty percent.

The LB Animal Shelter is located at 20612 Laguna Canyon Rd, (949) 497-3552, or go to the website for information on adoption procedures:

Do not become alarmed – instead prepare to be charmed: Author Maile Meloy at the FOA 

Story and photo by LYNETTE BRASFIELD

Recently, during a talk that formed part of the FOA’s wonderful Salute to the Arts series, Maile (pronounced My-Lee) Meloy offered a fascinating look into her experiences as an author. 

A graduate of UCI’s MFA program, Maile says her family warned her that she would never be able to earn a living from writing – and it is sadly true that few fiction writers make much money from their work.

But after several successful books, including two collections of short stories (and how many writers have heard that “publishers won’t buy short stories”?), Maile has won so many awards that they are impossible to list (trust me on this or check out her website). She does not need a day job: she already has a lucrative one, along with plenty of fans, as her book sales attest.

Do kids in danger make for an appealing read?

Maile’s most recent novel, Do Not Become Alarmed, is about three American families whose kids disappear during a cruise ship vacation off the coast of Central America.

“It’s funny, I was told that many parents would not buy a book about kids in danger,” Maile says. “But during the six years before embarking on this novel, I’d been working on a trilogy of kids’ books, and I can tell you that’s pretty much what most fifth graders’ books are about. The whole point is how resilient kids are, how they find solutions to get them out of danger. I just needed to be sure to include the parents’ point of view.”

Fortunately, Maile didn’t worry too much about the naysayers, and the intriguing novel Do Not Become Alarmed is the result of following her own instincts, as she advises would-be writers to do at all times. Parents, it turns out, are quite happy to read about kids in danger and families in turmoil when the book is well written and suspenseful.

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Maile Meloy signs books for fans at the Festival of the Arts “Salute to the Arts”

Asked her inspiration for the book, Maile offers an interesting response. “[Author] Ann Patchett and I were doing book tours around the same time in 2011. We found we both loved a book called High Wind in Jamaica, by Richard Hughes. It’s dark and funny and I absolutely recommend it. I told her later that the book had given me the seed of an idea for a novel. She said she’d felt exactly the same…we were a little anxious, both of us, I think, that we’d write similar stories. 

“Well, her novel is Commonwealth, which has done really well. Mine is Do Not Become Alarmed, a very different book. Which just shows you how a similar idea turns out quite differently depending on the author.”

Maile believes that her foray into kids’ books, starting with The Apothecary, set during the Cold War era, helped develop her plotting skills. “Kids always want to know, well, what happened next?” she says. “Thinking that way all the time built up my plot muscle.”

Maile had actually written 40 pages of the novel before writing her kids’ trilogy.

“Time is a great editor,” she says. “I was able to look at it in a fresh way.”

Maile Meloy’s “process”

Asked how she approaches her books, Maile says she doesn’t develop an outline, but instead “feels her way in the dark,” letting the characters and situations surprise her along the way. “And of course that means quite a few bits get cut, but that’s the way I most like to work, it keeps the writing interesting for me,” she adds.

In preparation, she will usually read books that provide her with relevant background. To explain her process more specifically, Maile invokes a relative who loved cooking.

“She would go through several recipe books then put them away and conjure up her own dish based on what she’d read,” she says.

No doubt the relative created dishes as delicious to eat as Maile’s books are to read.

Why Maile enjoys writing from different characters’ points of view

Maile made another observation about writing that is enormously helpful to novelists, I believe. She tells of watching a wildlife show on TV.

 “The shots were taken from the point of view of a baby seal in danger from a polar bear,” she says. “So of course I was rooting for the baby seal. Then the camera panned to the ice floe, and there was the skinny mother bear desperate to feed her baby who was dying of starvation. My sympathy switched to the mama bear. That’s how we authors can get our readers to feel empathy with our characters, seeing the challenges each faces, which is why I like to work with shifting third person points of view.”

Maile’s presentation was profound, funny and insightful. I’ve read her earlier books:  haven’t yet read this novel, but I will as soon as I get a chance… and I have no doubt that, as Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones’s Diary) says, “[Do Not Become Alarmed is]…the perfect combination of a luminous writer and a big, page-turning story.” 

Ann Patchett calls Do Not Become Alarmed “smart and thrilling and impossible to put down.”

Maile Meloy’s latest novel as well as her earlier work, including the well-reviewed Liars and Saints and short story collection Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It, are available locally at Laguna Beach Books, 1200 S. Coast Highway. The good people at the bookstore are terrific with recommendations for everyone’s taste!

Creature Features: a new niche


During my six months with Stu News, I’ve written about bunnies, chicks, snakes, Pacific Pocket mice, goats, sharks, ticks, fleas, mockingbirds, Ranger, our police department K-9, and most recently, a bearded dragon named Lenny. I think I’ve found my niche, or maybe the niche found me.

So, beginning now, we are introducing an occasional column called, “Creature Features,” which will highlight pets, pet care (thanks to our go-to vet Dr. G at Canyon Animal Hospital), insects, wilderness animals, sea creatures, and strange animals (not the human variety).

If you have any interesting anecdotes or photos to share about the creatures in our midst, please send them to us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or consideration for publication.

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Photo credit: Joyce Buettner

“If you don’t talk to your cats about catnip, who will?”

Along with the articles, we will also have a New Yorker-style animal picture/cartoon caption contest (example above), with prizes. More specifics on the contest will be revealed soon. We look forward to your input. Here, too, if you have a fun animal pic that seems to demand a funny caption, send it to us.

After a visit to Bluebird Canyon Farm and a conversation with their bee expert Conner, our first feature will be on bees.

Until then…

“Some people talk to animals. Not many listen, though. That’s the problem.” ― A.A. Milne


Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

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Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, Dianne Russell, Laura Buckle, Maggi Henrikson, Marrie Stone, Samantha Washer and Suzie Harrison are staff writers.

Barbara Diamond, Dennis McTighe, Diane Armitage, Laura Buckle and Suzie Harrison are columnists.

Mary Hurlbut, Scott Brashier, and Aga Stuchlik are the staff photographers.

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