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Artist Elizabeth Bridy kept trying, finally winning a spot at the Festival of Arts


JUN 19, 2018 | 2:15 PM

The clocks in Laguna Beach move more slowly.

It’s why newcomers are still considered newcomers even after 10 years. It’s what causes the water to appear more vivid. With a seemingly longer arc, the sun somehow enriches colors in new ways, more saturated and chromatic.

This glow, this contrast, this time warp, is what helped shape artist Elizabeth Bridy into the newcomer that she is at this year’s Festival of Arts, running July 5 to Sept. 1.

New slots at the FOA do not come freely, which is why Bridy is both grateful and hungry to prove herself.

The seven-year Laguna resident and mixed-media artist still feels like an outsider. But she admitted that it has taken this long for the right pieces of her life to come together.

“Laguna has brought me a tremendous amount of peace and grounded me,” she said. “The ocean really helped me after my father passed. It helped me with my work.”

A French Canadian, busy wife and mother to three adults, she never had the luxury of being a full-time artist, even though that was in her heart.

“Being a full-time mother, but always wanting to do my art was a pretty hard struggle,” she said. “But it helped me being disciplined — using my time wisely.”

English is not Bridy’s first language, which accentuates her flair and ability to see things from different perspectives.

She often sprinkles French words or expressions into her paintings. One current series that will be at the festival is based on the concept of “reviens à la source” (come back to the source).

“It’s relatable. We can all go back to the source,” she said.

It’s been a somewhat circular but necessary journey for Bridy since her arrival in Laguna. She quickly set up her studio in the Laguna Canyon Artists compound and applied for a spot at the FOA.