Brushstroke of Genius

Local residents and friends Jane Centofante and Gloria Judson recently published a beautiful book of watercolor paintings that capture iconic scenes throughout Manhattan Beach.

Tell us a little about Manhattan Beach: A California Beach Town and the inspiration behind it.

Jane Centofante: Having worked in publishing for many years, I realized that my own hometown had a certain appeal that both residents and visitors alike would love to have as a keepsake or souvenir. What made you choose watercolors over photographs for your imagery?

Gloria Judson: Watercolor art has always been a personal favorite of mine, and I think it was right for this book because it tells our story in a whimsical manner—light and colorful without being too serious. There are so many wonderful local photographers who have captured Manhattan Beach through their camera lens; we wanted to offer something different.

What drew you to Manhattan Beach in the first place?
GJ: I moved to Manhattan Beach after attending college. I flew for Pan Am out of LAX in the early ’70s and then worked in the art department at Mattel when it was right up on Rosecrans. We had a very idyllic life, taking our babies down to the beach, having picnics and birthday parties at Polliwog Park, enjoying summer living all year long. As the city turns 100, what do you wish for its next century?
JC: One hundred years holds a lot of stories. Manhattan Beach has grown in many ways and, as we say in the book, is trying to “balance the charms of a small beach town with the desires of modern life.” I wish it a bright future that finds that unique balance.

Pick up a copy of Manhattan Beach: A California Beach Town at Magpie and Tabula Rasa in downtown Manhattan Beach; Fringe and Cake Bakeshop in the North End; Hillside Gifts; and Gum Tree in Hermosa Beach.

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