Alta Vista Elementary School in Los Gatos had a big blank wall that faced the street, just behind their promising school garden. It was a perfect storm for Morgan’s paintbrush! They wanted playful images to appeal to the primary grades, with BIG insects and garden inspired elements, but it had to be attractive enough to appease both the neighbors and parents in the school community. I had fun painting 3’ tall strawberries, and a 5’ long lizard. Perks of the job included having two assistants to help prep the wall and paint sunflowers, and also having so many neighbors and families stop by to give me encouraging feedback.
There is a room in the Oakland Children’s hospital where hospital staff bring parents when they have devastating news to deliver, or drastic decisions to make. The room is windowless and bare, with a spare computer on a tray in the corner. It is not a happy space. Then Peggy Thomas came along. You can read more about this amazing woman on my recent blog post. Essentially, she had a vision of what the room could, and should be. And despite limited means and experience with mural projects, took it upon herself to transform the space. She wanted to incorporate the history of the hospital but, more importantly, create an image of beauty and safety that would comfort both the hospital staff and families dealing with a crisis. Perks of the job were working with Peggy, and having her serenade me on the guitar. So sweet.
Click here to see more images from the Oakland Children’s Hospital NICU mural.
Landel Elementary School – Ms. Brommitt’s Bench
Ms. Brommitt was a beloved first grade teacher for over 30 years. When she passed away from cancer last year, the school community wanted to celebrate her special contribution to the school. They considered a plaque or a bench, but then someone on the PTA suggested a mural. Great idea! I interviewed her closest allies on staff to find out what made Cheryl unique, and what images might best represent her. We came up with this sweet scene, painted on the wall outside her classroom. Perks of the job: great music coming from the playground before school (it energized me and the kids) , and meeting Mario Tejeda, the school custodian who brought to his work such a big heart and warm smiles for everyone.
Click here to see more images from the Landel’s mural project.
I am enjoying the peak of summer fruits, weather, and low key lifestyle. I hope you are too!
If you are what you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!
-Saint Catherine of Siena.
ON THE WEB
A boy’s nursery I painted last year was featured on the website Ohdeedoh.com. You can check it out here. The site is fairly popular, and it is a bit strange reading so many reviews (mostly glowing, of course) about my work.
Thanks for showcasing the nursery and the kind words, Anne!
ON MY BOOKSHELF
The Legacy of Luna: The story of a tree, a Woman and the Struggle to Save the Redwoods by Julia Butterfly Hill
I just finished “the Legacy of Luna” by Julia Butterfly Hill about her two year tree sit in an ancient redwood to save it from being cut down and to raise awareness on clear cutting practices of the logging industry at the time. Despite aggressive attacks from all sides (record-breaking bad weather, abuse from loggers, infighting from her support system) she stuck with her deep convictions and on her path to successfully saving Luna, became an inspiration to many and gained popular support that brought about change in the logging industry.
Julia is a great example of following an inner compass. She maintains her ideals without being in judgement of others, and without regard to whether what she was felt compelled to do was popular. She learned she had to be flexible, like the trees in a storm, but she was nothing if not tenacious and rooted in her commitment to save Luna, the ancient Redwood she sat in.
I came away from reading this very inspired about the power each of us have to make a difference.
My So Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire by Michelle Goodman
This book is funny and useful for newbies and old hats (like me, ouch) making a living outside “the cube”. If you are on the freelance path, I highly recommend it!
Morgan Bricca is a mural artist living and working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her clients run the gamut from professional creatives, including architects and designers to building owners, school administrators and community advocates. When she is not making art, Morgan enjoys sipping boba tea with her kids and taking naps on the couch.