A working vacation for artistic students

Laguna Beach High School seniors spend a few days helping paint a mural with noted artist at Hurley’s Forest Avenue shop.

January 01, 2010|By Ashley Breeding

Two Laguna Beach High School seniors, Sadie Drucker and Ali Bloom, were recently awarded the opportunity to collaborate with renowned artists James “Dalek” Marshall and Jason Maloney on an art project for Hurley 225 on Forest Ave.

Drucker said the pair became involved with the project through the high school, when an art teacher recommended them for the job.

“I was called out of art class and sent to the principal’s office,” Drucker said. “I was so nervous and unsure of what I’d done, and was ecstatic to learn that I’d be working with Dalek for the next couple of days.


“My happiness was topped by the knowledge that Ali would have the same opportunity, and that we’d be missing three days of school for our dream and passion — art.”

The team constructed an 8-by-20-foot mural of colorful shapes, in which Dalek created a “paint by numbers” system where he mapped out shapes and assigned numbers to them for the girls to paint.

“It was amazing to watch him in action, calculating numbers in his head and counting on all his fingers to make sure none of the colors touched in shape,” Drucker said. “He’s unreal.”

The students, along with Maloney, were asked to tape off all edges to ensure the paint didn’t bleed beyond its shape, and then alternate three or four layers of acrylic paint with heat-gunning in between each layer.

Both girls talked about what an inspiration Dalek was to work with, and they spoke of his support and encouragement throughout the project.

“Getting to know him was the best part,” Bloom said. “He helped me become more attached to the art I was creating, and made me feel like he and I were two artists working side-by-side opposed to one artist and one amateur.

“I appreciated his constructive criticism, at-ease personality and the inspiration his artistic style gave me.”

Drucker said she feels fortunate to have worked with such a talented artist who taught her new techniques and broadened her knowledge about the art world.

“It was also fun getting to know everyone at Hurley, laughing, hanging out and listening to music, and to miss a couple of days of school along the way,” she said. “The entire experience was a complete dream.”

Inspired by surrealists like Salvador Dali and Francis Bacon, Drucker said she enjoys painting with acrylics and watercolors, practicing pen work and using colored pencils and markers.

Enrolled in art class at the high school since her freshman year and practicing art for as long as she can remember, she plans to major in illustration at an art school in the fall.

“Art is definitely my future,” she said.

Bloom, who said she finds art therapeutic, is involved with drawing and painting and even designed the cover of the school’s literary magazine her sophomore and junior years.

“Even since I was little, I’ve always had a pencil in my hand, doodling on the nearest paper, notebook or napkin,” she said.

She recently added photography to her artistic hobbies and is working on a portfolio of portraits and landscapes she took in Fiji last summer.

She plans to double major in international relations and fine arts in college.

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