Art Comes to Life at the Sawdust Festival

"Natasha" by Deborah Paswaters
“Natasha” by Deborah Paswaters

The TreeHouse editors recently took a trip to Laguna Beach, CA, to visit the Sawdust Art Festival. A non-profit organization, the Sawdust Art Festival runs during the summer months and features exhibits from artists who reside in Laguna Beach. While on the smaller side, every ounce of the place is filled with booths of local artists showcasing everything from hand-blown glass to crystal necklaces to paintings and photography. Streaming with people and music, the festival hosts an upbeat atmosphere with plenty of great energy.

Our favorite stop on our tour of the festival was the booth of artist Deborah Paswaters. For anyone who has ever wanted to witness the creative process, Paswaters is happy to oblige. According to her website, Paswaters is a multifaceted artist who creates “live model sculptures” and “paintings often related to poetry, dance, fashion or performance.” But it is her live sketches that are generating a great deal of interest at the festival. For twenty-five dollars, the artist will sketch a patron, or patrons, in her mini-studio during a five-minute session. As indicated by the line of festival attendees eagerly awaiting their turns, Paswaters’ creations are the main attraction. Her magnetism and relaxed manner make the experience memorable, and it seems part of the artist’s process to chat with her subjects in order to ease them into posing for her. Afterward, she graciously poses for photos with her patrons and thanks them profusely for helping her “buy more paper.”

Paswaters’ works are beautiful in their simplicity (and we were astounded to learn that her prices are reasonable as well), so we jumped at the opportunity. Natasha posed for the artist while Erin took step-by-step photos of the art coming to life. This enticing opportunity to be immortalized was surely the highlight of our outing among the arts.

Check out the images of Paswaters capturing the essential Natasha, hat and all!

For more information about Deborah Paswaters and her creations, visit To check out the Sawdust Art Festival, visit


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