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Artist's Notebook -- Santa Monica/Malibu

September 5, 2009 | 12:00 am

Santa Monica/Malibu by Marion Eisenmann, Aug. 30, 2009

Wildfires burning out of control in the mountains north of the city might be churning clouds of smoke over the simmering Los Angeles Basin, but rather than stay indoors, many people are still heading to the beach.

I had an appointment in Santa Monica on Saturday morning at 9, and even at that hour, traffic on the westbound 10 was heavy with vehicles of all kinds carrying a surfboard or two on the roof. I never thought of a shiny, black Lincoln Town Car with vanity plates as a surf wagon, but I saw one with a board on top headed for the coast.

My first glimpse of the ocean is always the gray horizon at Pico and Main. Down Main a block or two, I hit the brakes as a young man with a wax-encrusted board darted across the street,  only half-aware of traffic, with his gaze fixed toward the bay. The young woman with him, carrying a mat, trailed a few steps behind.

Marion says: The beach was busy, and even here people were still concerned about  the air they are breathing these days. It was really just an escape from smoky Pasadena.

By the way, Daily Mirror readers have asked about buying copies of Marion's artwork. Naturally, this is gratifying because I think Marion's work is terrific, and one of my great pleasures is sharing it with readers every week. We have decided that the project is a journey about discovering Los Angeles rather than creating things to sell. Marion is busy with other projects and says she isn't set up to mass-produce prints but would entertain inquiries about specific pieces. For further information, contact Marion directly.

Note: In case you just tuned in, Marion and I are visiting local landmarks in a project inspired by what Charles Owens and Joe Seewerker did in Nuestro Pueblo. Check back next week for another page from Marion's notebook.