Marine life artist Wyland comes to Carmel gallery

Wyland works on an entry in his Whaling Wall mural project.

CARMEL Wyland remembers the moment his mission as an artist came into focus. He was 14 and visiting Laguna Beach with his family, and couldn’t wait to get into the water.

“I dove under a wave and when I came up, two gray whales actually spouted, a mother and calf, right in front of me,” he said. “You know, slow moving, barnacle-encrusted backs. And when they fluked up it made such an impression on me. I knew that the whale was going to be a real focal point of my art.”

For a young man whose hero was legendary oceans activist Jacques Cousteau, a more life-changing baptism is hard to imagine. In the four-plus decades

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