Recognized as one of the most accomplished plein air artists in the world, Laguna Beach’s own Ken Auster is as amiable and droll as they come … until you ask him about his new foray into the women’s boot business. Then, his eyes light up, he sits straight up, and he becomes extremely animated – not his usual M.O., I can assure you.

As the story goes, Auster was with his wife, Paulette, in Carmel and saw these boots in a retail window. He initially thought they were art sculptures and made a beeline for the store with every intention of buying one such sculpture for his home. Upon closer inspection, the pair discovered these works of art were actually boots – the Artemis Collection direct from Instanbul. Immediately enamored, Ken didn’t just buy the boots – he and Paulette decided to become the Collection’s first major distributor and cleared space in his studio in Laguna Canyon for “serious retail space.”

The Artemis Collection features the iconic cowboy boot as the “canvas,” but it’s the rich embroidered patterns on these boots that create the masterpiece. Done in tribal designs indigenous to Turkey and its’ centuries-old neighbors, the boots come in a wide-ranging, personality-pleasing palette – some are done in muted silvers, bronzes and plums while others look like a snapshot from the Flower Fields in Carlsbad.

Even tucked back in the Laguna Canyon as Ken Auster is, and even the dead of summer when no one is really thinking about boots, Ken is selling a number of pairs each week.

As an artist, Ken Auster has never gone wrong. It looks like he’s acted on the right hunch here, too

Plein air artist Ken Auster created his own signage for
the new boot business he houses in his Laguna
Canyon art studio. Come on down for a uniquely
artistic afternoon all around! Photo by Diane Armitage

Insider tip:
As an aside, if you haven’t seen Ken’s work, take a look at this new, great video he recently produced:…

How to find Ken boots:
Ken Auster’s studio is half way between El Toro Road and Laguna’s Main Beach (the first big beach at Broadway and PCH). If you’re coming from the beach, it’s exactly 1.5 miles up Laguna Canyon (Broadway/the 133). Ken’s studio is on the right – look for the big boot out front.

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