This is as close as we can come to actually singing to our readers on their birthdays! 

We’d love to include yours – and/or your children’s birthdays here.

Just email to:

lynette@stunewslaguna.com

 

Celebrate and enjoy your

birthday!

 

November 21

Barbara Nolan Reynolds

Jennifer Morris

Noella Pickett

 

November 22

Marcus Skenderian

Michelle Rousset 

 

November 23

Diane DiBilzan

Jeff Redeker

Stacie Mead

Susan Savedra Arredondo

 

November 24

Jesse Westgaard

Robert Story

Thomas Kubisak

 

November 25

Jim Ragsdale

Joey LeBon

Kate Van Buskirk Rogers

Melissa Wallace

 

November 26

Elizabeth McGhee

James Boyd

Carolyn Burris

 

November 27

Brandon Hooper

Dave Tweedie

Jewels Swed

Kyle Naughton

 

November 28

Jheri St. James

Kedric Francis

Sound Spectrum

Faves

 

1. War on Drugs, Deeper Understanding

2. Beatles, Sgt. Peppers Lonely hearts Club 50th 

3. Lana Del Rey, Lust For Life

4. Cage The Elephant, Unpeeled 

5. Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie, Self Titled

6.George Thorogood, Party Of One

7. Arcade Fire, Everything Now

8. Haim, Something To Tell You 

9. Chainsmokers, Memories: Do Not Open

10. Foster The People, Sacred Hearts Club

11. Lorde, Melodrama

12. Kendrick Lamar, DAMN

13. Manchester Orchestra, A Black Mile To The Surface

14. Imagine Dragons, Evolve

15. Grateful Dead, Long Strange Trip (S.T.) 

16. Mac DeMarco, This Old Dog

17. Fleet Foxes, Crack-Up

18. John Mayer, The Search For Everything

19. Phoenix, Ti Amo

20. Violent Femmes, 2 Mics & The Truth

Since 1967

1264 S. Coast Hwy494-5959

Police Header

Laguna Life And People 012417



Best-kept secret, hidden treasure: that’s Bill Atkins, unique in Laguna for his brilliant graphic art skills

Story by LYNETTE BRASFIELD

Photos by Mary Hurlbut

Bill Atkins’ art is visible all over California, not only on the walls of art- and poster-lovers, but on the byways and highways of our state. Many know his work, but few are aware of the talented man behind the iconic license-plate “whale-tail” image seen around California. 

This achievement came about because the California Coastal Commission chose Atkins to design the license plate graphic after he won the CCC design competition in 2011. He was delighted to be able to work on a project promoting our oceans and sea creatures, a cause dear to his heart.

To be quite clear, Atkins is quick to point out, “I won the contest itself, but along with another artist, Elizabeth Tyndall, from Northern California, who was also then chosen to contribute to the license plate. She did not help in the design, but I included a portion of her painting in the ocean background layer.”

The plate is the newest and among the most popular choices for drivers who are proud of our state and who care about the health of its oceans. (Profits are donated to the Commission’s education program.)

“The design is deceptively simple,” Atkins notes, showing me several of the more than 50 versions that he completed as part of his commission to develop the design. “There are layers upon layers, if you look carefully.” 

The winning design, now adorning many a vehicle, shows a humpback’s fluke against the blue of the ocean and scudding white clouds. “I needed to pay attention to the tiniest detail, for example, tilting the tail to make sure the last two letters of California are visible,” he explains.

Click on photo for a larger image

 

Bill Atkins shelters from the recent rain

“Deceptively simple” is a description that applies to much of Atkins’ work, which requires significantly more artistry and attention to detail than most people realize.

“Marrying images and typography for the kind of result I want, and that my clients want, can be tricky,” Atkins says. “Poster art is sometimes not given the same respect as other art forms, maybe because here in Laguna plein air has ruled for so long, but it has a rich history and demands a lot of focus. I love the challenge.” 

Atkins’ posters depict iconic local places and events, including Crystal Cove cottages and the Festival of the Arts, as well as famous performing artists such as Cyndi Lauper. Atkins is also a long-time teacher, and has taught digital imagery and art at LCAD and Irvine Valley College among other schools.

Posters are unique, he says, because they tend to carry explicit messages through images and typography, images that transcend international and cultural barriers. Think of travel posters, and film posters, or of Atkins’ Sister Cities series, featuring scenes from Laguna’s sister cities: Menton, France, San Jose del Cabo, Mexico, and St. Ives, England. The detailed graphics and colors reflect the commonality and shared appreciation of our ocean-side communities. 

Click on photo for a larger image

 

Bill Atkins contributes his time and talents to many nonprofits

These images are among his favorites, especially as they helped win a grant from the City for the Sister Cities nonprofit, which, as he mentions, “brings an international flavor to our town.” He’s an active member of Sister Cities as well as many other Laguna organizations, including the Garden Club, the Beautification Council and, more recently, helps with Susi Q’s Gallery Q. 

He’s donated his time and talent to graphic arts campaigns benefiting the Art Museum, AIDS Services Foundation and the Human Rights Campaign. His generosity and warm spirit are legendary among those in the know.

Atkins’ love for his work, Laguna Beach, and the outdoors, is evident to me as I chat to him on the deck of his apartment, surrounded by greenery, including native plants and succulents and a plate of fruit that looks ready to be turned into a still-life.

Hummingbirds dart among tree branches in this super-serene setting, and Atkins shows the same high energy as he jumps up and down to find various examples of his art to answer my questions about his award-winning work, which includes attractive bronze plaques honoring legendary figures such as Harry Lawrence, “Mr. Laguna.”

Atkins has wanted to be an artist since he was a young boy. “My father was fine with that, as long as I had a career like a friend of his, a commercial artist who made money – ‘not the other kind,’ my dad said,” he laughs.

Click on photo for a larger image

 

Bill in his studio, holding the whale-tail license plate

His immediate goal is to improve his social media skills and rework his website, www.lagunaposter.com, to raise his visibility locally. “I don’t think many people know about me,” he notes. “That’s partly because marketing isn’t my favorite thing to do. Most of my business comes through word-of-mouth and that’s the way most of my teaching jobs have come also.”

Atkins’ work has been on display on the walls of the Wells Fargo Building and, for the past 18 years, at Vintage Poster Gallery on Coast Hwy, where his work has proved popular among locals as well as visitors looking for vibrant art.

Like so many Lagunans, Bill Atkins, a Philadelphian by birth, says he visited here with a friend and was so charmed that within three months or so, he’d packed his things and moved, back in the early seventies. “Somehow I knew this was my home,” he says.

It’s a decision he’s never regretted. While he would love the time (and resources) to travel more, for the moment he feels content in his secluded eyrie in the woods, his small but cosy apartment inland from Crescent Point and close to Dartmoor, his favorite wilderness trail. 

“Posters are history, they’re cultural icons,” he says. “People need posters. They always will. They fill eyeballs!”

And by extension, the public needs artists who create posters, and plaques, and banners, and who are uniquely sensitive to creating meaningful, beautiful synergy between the written word and images.

Especially artists as talented, generous and sweet-natured as Laguna’s Bill Atkins.

Library Events

November

 

Fri, Nov 17

Homework Help

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Homework is an important part of educational process. It improves your child’s thinking and memory, helps them develop positive study skills and habits that will serve him or her well throughout life. That’s why Laguna Beach Library is hosting a Homework Club. Children from Kindergarten through 8th grades are welcome to attend and receive help with their homework for subjects Math and English. 

 

Sat, Nov 18

Family Activity 

9 a.m.- 3 p.m.

Get creative! Let your imagination run wild!  Children under 12 are encouraged to come to the library during the hours of 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to make fun and creative seasonal crafts.  Adult supervision is recommended. 

 

Sat, Nov 18

Class Workshop

2 - 4 p.m.

Participants should bring 10 copies of a poem they wish to have read and work-shopped.  Each poem will be read by the poet and perhaps by another reader. Participants then respond with emphasis on positive comments and constructive suggestions. Recommended for advanced poets—this is not a workshop for beginners. Meets in the Community Room. 

 

Mon, Nov 20

Class/ Workshop

10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Serious writers working on projects (short stories, novels, plays) meet to share feedback and support.  This is not a workshop for beginners. Please contact the library for additional information.

 

Tue, Nov 21

Bedtime Math’s Crazy 8s club

3:30 - 4:30 p.m.

Crazy 8s is a recreational after-school math club that helps kids enjoy the math behind their favorite activities! This is an eight-week program for K-2nd grade. The club will meet once a week for one hour. Space is limited - Pre-registration is required.

 

Wed, Nov 22

Pre-School Storytime 

10:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Calling all pre-schoolers! You are invited to enjoy our new Wednesday storytime. Stories, songs, fingerplay, dancing and more will encourage a love of books and learning in a fun and interactive environment. Come for the stories and stay for playtime afterward.  

 

Laguna Beach Library

363 Glenneyre St.

www.ocpl.org

949-497-1733

    Laguna Beach Books Bi-weekly Bestsellers

Novels

In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende

The Rooster Bar by John Grisham

Orrin by Dan Brown

Non-Fiction

What Unites Us by Dan Rather 

Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson 

Grant by Ron Chernow

Children’s Books

Crocodali by Lucy Volpin 

Before After by Anne-Margot Ramstein

My Very Own Space by Pippa Goodhart

Staff Recommendation

Annie Leibovitz Portraits 2005-2016

1200 S Coast Hwy

949.494.4779

www.lagunabeachbooks.com

LBHS Schedules

Varsity

•••••

 

Tuesday, November 21

Girls JV Soccer

@Portola– 4 p.m.

 

Tuesday November 21

Girls F/S Soccer

@Home–  5 p.m.

 

Tuesday, November 21

Girls JV Basketball

@Home– 5:30 p.m.

 

Tuesday, November 21

Girls Varsity Basketball

@Home–  7 p.m.

 

Friday, November 24

Coed Cross Country 

@Woodward Park–  Travel

 

Saturday, November 25

Coed Cross Country 

@Woodward Park–  8 a.m.

 

•••••

Shaena Stabler is the Owner and Publisher.

Lynette Brasfield is our Editor.

Dianne Russell is our Associate Editor.

The Webmaster is Michael Sterling.

Katie Ford is our in-house ad designer.

Alexis Amaradio, Cameron Gillepsie  Allison Rael, Barbara Diamond, Diane Armitage, 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.

We all love Laguna and we love what we do.

Email: Shaena@StuNewsLaguna.com for questions about advertising

949.315.0259

Email: Lynette@StuNewsLaguna.com with news releases, letters, etc

949.715.1736