Artist Patrick J. Moran opened the Moran784 studio/gallery at 784 South Coast Highway in Laguna Beach on June 7, 2001, to the sweet strains of Mama Sutra, World Anthem, and End of August. The Grand Opening was a truly kickin' party, with live music, body painting, and a blacksmith accompanying oodles of art.
I met Moran because 784 South Coast Highway is between my house and downtown Laguna, and so I'd been walking by his gallery for weeks, admiring the colorful paintings. One evening as my partner and I were walking home, Moran invited us in. I expressed my admiration for a painting of a Siamese cat, which turned out to be a touched-up print of an original, and thus almost reasonably priced for our means. We walked the rest of the way home debating the painting, and Moran in general, resolved to go to his gallery opening the next week. (See Agatha Christie for more on how we were eventually sold on the cat.)
As mentioned before, Moran's art is colorful and eye-catching. His sketchbooks reminded me of Kyle Baker, and in fact, it turned out he has done work in comics.
Sources: personal contact with artist, www.moran784.com