Morgan's Mural Blog https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/rss en Is Delight Legit? https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/is-delight-legit <p>I recently painted my driveway.</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-BeforeandAfterDrivewayb.200724.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>I titled the driveway art &quot;Friday Happy Hour&quot;. I was in the middle of a well deserved sprawl on the couch one Friday afternoon when I decided to watch a TED talk a friend had forwarded to me,&nbsp;<a href="http://newsletter.morganmurals.com/t/r-l-jjldhukk-akruduir-i/">Where Joy Hides and How to Find It.</a>&nbsp; I was so inspired by what I learned that I peeled myself off the couch and started mixing paints. I don&#39;t recommend watching this video if you are susceptible to spontaneous bouts of rearranging furniture or painting your walls bright colors. Unfortunately, I am high risk in both categories. However, ever since my driveway had its makeover, coming home feels...<em>happier.</em>&nbsp;When I get out of the car, I never know what color I might land on...<em>delight.&nbsp;</em></p> <p>I am probably not the first artist to feel this way, but I have insecurities around my art and creative process.&nbsp;Even though I love to make art that just feels good to look at, somehow that doesn&#39;t seem like a legitimate enough reason to make art. Not serious/political/intellectual &quot;enough&quot;. With those &quot;enough&quot; obstacles, how can delight carry a piece through to &quot;worthiness&quot;?</p> <p>I was recently offered an amazing 160-foot long blank canvas, a mural project for the City of San Jose. At the Arts Commission meeting where I was to present my final design, I listened to two other artists share their designs for projects they had been awarded. Both artists led with the worthiness of their art as it related to a political idea for one, and intellectual process for the other. I was in awe of the caliber of both the artists and their art. When it was my turn to pitch my idea, I had the intense urge to apologize for my design; it&#39;s rainbow color palette and imagery that included lots of butterflies and flowers. I felt certain the community that had selected me as the artist would love it, but certainly<em>&nbsp;not</em>&nbsp;the community of imaginary art critics that live in my head. I wanted to present myself as a serious artist but perhaps I had veered off course in creating a design that was crafted simply to be beautiful.</p> <p>In the middle of my stammering and internal withering, an individual that had attended one of the neighborhood input meetings for the mural that the city had organized raised his hand. The man said that he felt that their community had been listened to by the artist, and the design very much reflected the themes that the community wanted to see in the artwork. I have never felt more gratitude for an unsolicited testimonial. After he spoke I regained confidence in my process as a collaborative artist, and I remembered my&nbsp;<em>why</em>. The concept was subsequently approved by the city.</p> <p>Here is a sneak preview of the mural to come.</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i2.createsend1.com-MidfiledhavanaDesignThree.182359.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>The local community hopes to install a children&#39;s park in front of the mural. Well meaning adults will argue in favor of the park because kids need a safe place to play, because physical exercise and vitamin D is good for their health, and because research supports the importance of play for brain development and social skills. But the kids? They are going to go play at the park because joy feels good. Sometimes, as adults, we forget that joy and delight might be a perfectly good reason to do something.</p> <p>With love,</p> <img height="49" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i9.createsend1.com-morgan-signature-bold-2x.gif" width="160" /> Fri, 29 Jun 2018 17:11:14 +0000 dbricca 463 at https://www.morganmurals.com Dragons, Glitter, and "Selfie Moments" https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/dragons-glitter-and-selfie-moments <div> <img src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-selfie-montage.110503.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <h2> New Interactive Mural at Blach</h2> <p>A group of students at Blach were tasked to help me design a mural for their school. They were unanimous on the following design features:</p> <p>1. The artwork should feature a &ldquo;selfie moment&rdquo;<br /> 2. The mural should feel &ldquo;happy&rdquo;<br /> 3. Their school mascot, the falcon, should be &quot;friendly&quot;<br /> 4. Include glitter<br /> 5. Make it holographic</p> <p>Except for the last item, which I haven&#39;t quite figured out yet, I checked the box on all the requirements. As the final protective coat was drying, I blew rainbows of glitter over the mural, so it sparkles as you walk by.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <a href="/murals/public-murals/blach_falcon_mural"><img alt="Click to view more photos of this mural" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i2.createsend1.com-Morgan-in-the-Wings-of-Blach-Mural-2.110722.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p><a href="/videos/falcon-mural-blach-middle-school">Click here to watch a video about the creation process of the mural.&nbsp;</a></p> <p>The students wanted to include words in the ground art that best represent the school ethos: Enthusiastic, Creative, Curious, Inclusive and Kind. I love the words they chose. If that&#39;s what it means to be &quot;a falcon&quot;, I want in.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <a href="/murals/public-murals/blach_falcon_mural"><img alt="Click to view more project photos" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i3.createsend1.com-qualities-montage.111609.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <h2> A New Castle at Covington</h2> <p>Covington Elementary School saved up a couple years worth of graduating sixth grade class gifts to fund a mural. The entrance to the library had a rounded wall with a striped turret roof. We piggybacked on that architectural suggestion and went &quot;all in&quot; with the castle theme. Lining up for library time just got a little more interesting.</p> <p>It was lunchtime when I was wrapping up to go and taking final photos. When I looked carefully at the photos later I noticed that the kids had organized themselves around the art, preferring the &quot;grassy&quot; squares and spots along the painted river. One girl after my own heart had positioned herself to sit on the bridge, facing the art.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <a href="/murals/public-murals/covington_castle"><img alt="Click here to see more images of this project." label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i4.createsend1.com-Covington-Best-with-Kids.114230.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>Here is a photo of the library before and after:</p> <div> <img src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i5.createsend1.com-Before-and-After-Montage.114719.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>I am so grateful for the enthusiastic volunteers on both projects that helped me paint the ground. Painting the ground helps integrate the wall art into the surrounding environment and adds playfulness and surprise. So does the peek of dragon&#39;s tail on the left side, and the mouse scurrying into a crack in the wall.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <a href="/murals/public-murals/covington_castle"><img alt="Click the image to view this project on my website." label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i6.createsend1.com-Covintgton-Montage.115214.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but it is truly a privilege to do this work; to play the role of the wizard, transforming plain environments into playful, creative and human centered spaces.&nbsp;</p> <p>Thanks for playing along.</p> <img height="49" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i9.createsend1.com-morgan-signature-bold-2x.gif" width="160" /> Fri, 25 May 2018 17:59:03 +0000 dbricca 459 at https://www.morganmurals.com Tacos, Art and Super Nova Today in Belmont! https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/tacos-art-and-super-nova-today-belmont <p>When Martin Nova was 18 years old, and newly arrived from Michoacan, Mexico, he was picked up on a street corner by a chimney sweep for a days work. He ended up working for this chimney sweep for the next 6 years at $10/ hour. He didn&rsquo;t start making $20 an hour until he had worked 20 years in the business. In the meantime, Martin learned English, started a family, and saved up his money with the dream someday of owning his own business.&nbsp; In 2004, Martin bought a chimney sweep business from a retiring colleague. The business grew and became successful. In 2016 he purchased the exclusive rights to sell several brands of fireplaces under the condition he had to open a showroom within two years.</p> <p>He spent 18 months looking for the right space, and 6 months building out the showroom.</p> <p>Today, April 28, 2018, the Nova Fireplace showroom officially opens.</p> <div> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-Nova-Storefront.071337.jpg" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Martin wanted his store to be beautiful and engaging for cusomters, so he invested $20,000 in custom mural art throughout the store. In a play on the name of the business, Nova Fireplace, he went with a galaxy theme, including colorful supernova, to cover the entire 700 square foot showroom ceiling.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i2.createsend1.com-NOVA-ceiling-2.072053.jpg" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i3.createsend1.com-Nova-Ceilingbackwallmontage.073515.jpg" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>After many years of sweat and hard work, the opening of this showroom is a dream realized for Martin. There will be a grand opening event there today from 11-4 and you are invited! I will be there from 1-3. Come and enjoy handmade tacos, check out the art and hearths, and congratulate Martin on his journey.&nbsp;</p> <p>Nova Fireplace Grand Opening Celebration<br /> April 28, 2018, 11 am -4 pm<br /> 1336 El Camino Real in Belmont</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i4.createsend1.com-Martin-and-Morgan.071414.jpg" /></div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I hope to see you there!</p> <p>Warm regards,</p> <img height="49" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i9.createsend1.com-morgan-signature-bold-2x.gif" style="color: rgb(95, 108, 114); font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 16px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" width="160" /> Sun, 29 Apr 2018 00:38:25 +0000 dbricca 456 at https://www.morganmurals.com Morganangelo and the Stanza della Segnatura https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/morganangelo-and-stanza-della-segnatura <p>I recently took on three successive ceiling projects, about two months of work. I realized my plan might be over ambitious when I turned around and tried to find an assistant to help me and discovered that many of the artists I know won&#39;t work on ceiling projects because it is so hard on the body.</p> <p><img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-Morgan-Painting.191713.jpg" style="width:100%; height:auto;" /></p> <p><span>Painting ceilings captures our collective imaginations. It conjures up images of Michelangelo straining in the cold and damp Sistine Chapel by candlelight, suffering over his ceiling project for four years. By the <a href="http://www.slate.com/articles/arts/poem/2010/01/labor_pains.html" target="_blank"><span>dismal sonnet</span></a>&nbsp;he wrote about his work on painting the chapel ceiling, it&rsquo;s clear he was under physical strain and mental duress, and did <i>not</i> enjoy the work.</span></p> <p><span>I had no intention of being cavalier about the physicality of the endeavor I was undertaking. I planned to incorporate every tip and trick I knew of to make the ceiling work a happy experience. If you are considering painting your dining room ceiling to look like a renaissance masterpiece, or just curious, read on for my best tips for making it through your ceiling project with your head on straight.</span></p> <p><span>It may sound unromantic and not very creative, but when painting a ceiling, efficiency is key. You want to spend more time planning (and have all the details clear with the client) to save time on puttering, false starts and re-do&rsquo;s. I like to have conversations with my clients on a daily basis about the progress so that there are no surprises midway along. I am at a great advantage in this regard over Michelangelo, who had a hard time getting a regular audience with the pope.</span></p> <p><span>A few other ways that Michelangelo&rsquo;s ceiling project is different from mine:</span></p> <p><img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i2.createsend1.com-michelangelo-versus-morgan1.223236.jpg" style="width:100%; height:auto;" /></p> <p><span>Michelangelo took four years to paint the Sistene Chapel but not because he was a slow painter. He faced chronic inefficiencies. He painted &ldquo;God in the act of Creation&rdquo;, his most iconic scene, in a <i>single day</i>.</span></p> <p><span>For those of you considering a longer project, here are my top three hacks for staying healthy while painting a ceiling:</span></p> <ol> <li> <span><b>Work short days.</b></span><span> It goes against my workaholic tendencies, but I paint a maximum of 5 hours a day when I am working on ceilings. I never quite figured out the four-hour workweek, but once I get past the guilt, I am absolutely enjoying the five hour workday. There is plenty of time in the afternoons for icing my shoulder, massage, yoga or a nap. I don&rsquo;t leave work exhausted. What a revelation.</span><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> <span><b>Set a timer</b></span><span>. I set a timer every 45 minutes to take a 15-minute break. Imagine that you are in the middle of a video game, puzzle, or line of code, absorbed in the challenge and suddenly, time to stop. I am <i>never </i>ready to put down my brushes. I haven&rsquo;t fully mastered this one, but I know it is key. As my mother used to say, &ldquo;Do as I say and not as I do.&rdquo;</span><br /> &nbsp;</li> <li> <span>&nbsp;</span><span><b>Wear a neck support.</b></span><span> Yes, people will look terribly worried and ask you if you were in a car accident, but a medical neck stabilizer is great. Even less attractive but more supportive is the <a href="https://www.necksolutions.com/neckaid-neck-support.html" target="_blank"><span>Neck Aid</span></a>, which provides a shelf for the back of your head to rest on.&nbsp;It hooks onto your pants and behaves like a pair of over-ambitious suspenders. You might be mistaken for a relative of Mr. Bean.&nbsp;</span></li> </ol> <p><img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i3.createsend1.com-Mr.-Bean-pants.191929.jpg" style="width:100%; height:auto;" /></p> <p class="p8 rtecenter"><span style="font-size:11px;"><i>Morgan and Chiara taking a break from Botticelli&#39;s Birth of Venus</i></span></p> <p><span>For my ceiling ambitions, I did find a willing assistant. Actually, more like a willing teacher. This is the third time <a href="http://www.chiaraillusione.it/" target="_blank"><span>Chiara Spataro</span></a> has come from Italy to paint with me. This time I flew this trompe l&rsquo;oeil maestro over for a whole month to work on two Italian renaissance ceilings with me. I always start out telling Chiara how I want something done, then say, &ldquo;Wait, how would you do it?&rdquo; Without fail, I learn something new and it turns out beautiful.</span></p> <p><span>I recently read Walter Isaacson&#39;s book on Leonardo da Vinci, and learned that in renaissance Italy artists worked collaboratively at an atelier. There wasn&rsquo;t any personal assignation to a work, and usually many different artisans worked on any given painting. When I started the Stanza della Segnatura ceiling mural, I noticed a big difference in quality and style of the dozen cherubs. The work is attributed to Raphael, and some of the <i>putti</i> are truly sublime. Other <i>putti </i>were clearly assigned to the newest apprentice. I am doing my best to capture the essence of the artwork, but on a few of the <i>putti</i> I took the liberty of making changes. You can see in the progress photo below, the cherub in purple has recovered some modesty, and I removed the &quot;football tackle&quot; cherub on his right altogether.&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p> <p><img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i4.createsend1.com-Stanza_della_Segnatura-progress-comparison2.224148.jpg" style="width:100%; height:auto;" /></p> <p><span>Chiara is taking care of of every aspect of the ceiling except the cherubs. Her work looks effortlessly flawless. Meanwhile, I am struggling through 60 toes, 82 fingers and 10 chins. I think I deserve extra credit for the double chins. Today I worked on making the two suspicious characters in the corner look a little less threatening.</span></p> <p><img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i5.createsend1.com-Stanza_della_Segnatura-progress-comparison.195503.jpg" style="width:100%; height:auto;" /></p> <p><span>My chiropractor pointed out that most of his patients suffer from neck ailments related to hunching over their devices, and I face the opposite challenge. It sounds to me like painting ceilings would be the perfect theraputic hobby for smartphone addicts.&nbsp;</span></p> <p><span>Think of all the&nbsp;<i>putti</i> waiting to be born!</span></p> <p><span>Ciao,</span></p> <p><img height="49" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i9.createsend1.com-morgan-signature-bold-2x.gif" width="160" /></p> <table cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody> <tr> </tr> </tbody> </table> Sat, 31 Mar 2018 17:37:07 +0000 dbricca 452 at https://www.morganmurals.com Hop on the Bus, Gus https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/hop-bus-gus <h2> We did it.</h2> <p>Last month I tried something new:&nbsp; I invited you to fund a mural project, painting a bus for the Siena Youth Center in Redwood City. I had no idea how it would all turn out. I had to fund the full amount in two weeks or nothing.</p> <p>Four days.&nbsp; In four days you helped to fully fund the campaign and I went to work right away. This past Saturday we had our &ldquo;bus inauguration party&rdquo;. There were speeches, the bus drove up to our whoops and hollers, and then Juan offered rides around the block.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <div style=" text-align: center;"> <a href="/murals/public-murals/siena_youth_center_bus"><img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-Siena-Youth-Center-Back-Right-Side.073023.jpg" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto; " width="100%" /></a><br /> &nbsp;</div> <div style=" text-align: center;"> <a href="/murals/public-murals/siena_youth_center_bus"><img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i2.createsend1.com-Siena-Youth-Center-Back-Left-Side.072838.jpg" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto; " width="100%" /></a></div> <p><br /> When word got out I painted a design on the roof, everyone ran to an upstairs balcony for a helicopter view.&nbsp;<br /> &nbsp;</p> <div style=" text-align: center;"> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i3.createsend1.com-Siena-Youth-Center-Bus-Roof.073001.jpg" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto; " width="100%" /> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 10px 0px 0px; font-size: 12px; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5em; max-width: 600px;"> I thought I would be able to sneak in a heart on the roof without anyone noticing...</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I didn&#39;t realize I had painted a design that made the perfect selfie shot, but this one nature breathing dragon made it all his own.<br /> &nbsp;</p> <div style=" text-align: center;"> <a href="/murals/public-murals/siena_youth_center_bus" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"><img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i4.createsend1.com-Siena-Youth-Center-Bus-Breathing-Fire-Side-.073207.jpg" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto; " width="100%" /></a></div> <p><br /> A few highlights from the project:</p> <ul> <li> Watching Rafael, the Youth Center Coordinator, light up as he described the &quot;rivers of opportunity&quot; that opened up for the teens as a result of the mountain biking program they had started. They used to have to caravan in cars, and now the whole group can go together in the new bus with the bike trailer behind. Their first adventure in the new bus will be a mountain biking trip near Donner Lake. It&#39;s a good thing the artwork is designed to be &quot;mud friendly&quot;, maybe even &quot;mud improved&quot;</li> <li> Working for Sister Christina (<a href="/murals/public-murals/siena_youth_center"><em>again</em></a>). There is something about her integrity, heart, and sense of possibility that brings out the best in me, and made it a pleasure to orchestrate this gift.</li> <li> Getting to know my own neighbors better. The bus was parked in front of my house while I painted it. Painting a behemoth vehicle in bright colors turns out to be a great conversation starter.</li> <li> Feeling supported and encouraged by the individuals who stepped forward to donate and also being able to send them tangible &quot;thank you&#39;s&quot; was meaningful for me. I recruited a few capable assistants and together we made 40 &quot;You Are Wonderful&quot; banners for the major donors to the project. I enjoyed the crafting and sending out the love. I hope the banners have second and third lives as they get re-gifted along.</li> </ul> <div style=" text-align: center;"> <br /> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i5.createsend1.com-you-are-wonderful-montage.092937.jpg" style="display: block; margin: 0px auto; " width="100%" /></div> <p><br /> Thank you for taking this adventure with me.</p> <p>With love,</p> <img alt="Morgan signature" height="49" src="/sites/default/files/content-uploads/common/morgan-signature-white.png" width="160" /> Wed, 28 Feb 2018 17:49:10 +0000 dbricca 449 at https://www.morganmurals.com Inviting You In https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/inviting-you <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="border-collapse: collapse; color: rgb(95, 108, 114); font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);" width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td align="center" style="text-size-adjust: 100%; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif; padding-right: 20px; padding-bottom: 20px; padding-left: 20px;"> <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="border-collapse: collapse;" width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td align="left" class="body-text" style="text-size-adjust: 100%; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> <p><a name="toc_item_0" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"></a></p> <p>I recently deleted all subscribers who don&#39;t regularly read my newsletter. I want my work, the what, the how and the why to resonate and add value to <em>you</em><span style="color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">. If you are reading this, you are part of a small tribe of art lovers that I want to dance with in 2018. Welcome to the party.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">We live in a world that is increasingly digitized and commoditized. But we will always need experiences and encounters that are singularly analog. My artmaking is how I connect. I sometimes feel guilty about hoarding all these amazing connections and experiences to myself.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">This year I want to share more of the magic. I want to invite&nbsp;<em>you</em>&nbsp;in, closer to the experience.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">At first glance, there are a few obstacles to this. I am an introvert. I am a perfectionist with what I paint. The whole process is quiet and intimate for me. But I have an idea of how we can dance together. What I have in mind does not require a megaphone or for you to get paint on your clothes. Check it out:</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1740050700/custom-artwork-for-a-youth-center-bus?ref=426290&token=8b94fc85" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"><img alt="Find out more about the bus project!" class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-Design-Concept-One-Optimized-for-newsletter.113605.jpg" style="color: rgb(53, 65, 71); display: block; margin: 0px auto; max-width: 600px !important; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 10px 0px 0px; font-size: 12px; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5em; max-width: 600px;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <a name="toc_item_1" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"></a> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">This big white bus was purchased by the St. Francis Center in Redwood City in order to transport kids from their youth center and school on field trips, primarily for outdoor and educational adventures.&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">The bus is in need of an artistic transformation for a few reasons:<br /> 1. To reflect the inspiring mission and purpose of the bus.<br /> 2. Mural art is a&nbsp;<a href="http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013916505281580" target="_blank">proven</a>&nbsp;deterrent to illegal tagging.<br /> 3. To foster appreciation of our natural environment to other drivers and the local community that will encounter the van as it fulfills it&#39;s purpose.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">You can find out more about the important work the St. Francis center is doing to support economically disadvantaged families with their social services programs by visiting their website<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1740050700/custom-artwork-for-a-youth-center-bus?ref=email" target="_blank" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);">&nbsp;</a><em><a href="http://www.stfrancisrwc.org/" target="_blank">here</a></em>.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114); text-align: center;"><a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1740050700/custom-artwork-for-a-youth-center-bus?ref=email" target="_blank">Jump to Morgan&#39;s kickstarter campaign for the bus mural project</a><em>.</em></p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I invite you to share in this win with me. Besides the warm glow you will feel at the inaugural celebration, singing camp songs on the bus with me and some of the families that will be blessed by the new van, at each donation level you will also receive a piece of my art.&nbsp; Up to six donors will receive a hand touched, wrapped canvas print of&nbsp;<em>Bike Path</em>.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i2.createsend1.com-bike-path-for-newsletter.113748.jpg" style="color: rgb(53, 65, 71); display: block; margin: 0px auto; max-width: 600px !important; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 10px 0px 0px; font-size: 12px; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5em; max-width: 600px;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <a name="toc_item_2" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"></a> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">The &quot;Tesla Visionary&quot;, the top reward for one lucky donor will be either a an original work of art,&nbsp;<em>Ridge Winery at Dusk,&nbsp;</em>or a custom portrait of your kids. Because this project is all about the kids, here are examples of portraits I recently completed:</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i3.createsend1.com-Allie-Best-for-newsletter.112847.jpg" style="color: rgb(53, 65, 71); display: block; margin: 0px auto; max-width: 600px !important; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 10px 0px 0px; font-size: 12px; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5em; max-width: 600px;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <a name="toc_item_3" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"></a> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i4.createsend1.com-portrait-montage-lucas-and-girls.112905.jpg" style="color: rgb(53, 65, 71); display: block; margin: 0px auto; max-width: 600px !important; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 10px 0px 0px; font-size: 12px; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5em; max-width: 600px;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <br /> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I worked with Sister Christina in 2010 when I painted this mural on the wall of their newly opened Siena Youth Center. Here is a photo of the grand opening celebration with the mural in the background:</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/murals/public-murals/siena_youth_center" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"><img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i5.createsend1.com-Siena-Youth-Center-opening-ceremonyfor-news.114151.jpg" style="color: rgb(53, 65, 71); display: block; margin: 0px auto; max-width: 600px !important; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 10px 0px 0px; font-size: 12px; font-style: italic; line-height: 1.5em; max-width: 600px;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <a name="toc_item_5" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"></a> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I took this project on because I believe in the work the St Francis Center is doing. Painting art on this van will have a ripple effect on the kids and the immediate community as well as commuters it passes on the freeway. A mobile mural has the potential to reach more people than a wall mural, and might inspire drivers to head into nature for a hike.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">Join me in transforming the Siena Youth Center van with art by visiting my campaign on Kickstarter here:</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114); text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 16px;"><a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1740050700/custom-artwork-for-a-youth-center-bus?ref=email" target="_blank">Join Morgan&#39;s Win-Win Kickstarter Campaign!</a></span></p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I already love Kickstarter. It is set up with rewards so the donors and recipients both win. There is also risk baked in to the proposal: If the full amount isn&rsquo;t raised, none of the money is used. It&rsquo;s all of us together or nothing.&nbsp;<span style="font-weight: 600;">We have just nine days to do this.</span>&nbsp;The campaign ends January 31.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I have never painted a bus. I don&rsquo;t know how this will turn out. But this time, I won&rsquo;t be taking the leap on my own. We&rsquo;ll do it together. And when the day comes that a bus full of kids in a van covered in beautiful artwork is driving along next to you on the freeway, you will say, &ldquo;Hey, I made that joy happen!&rdquo;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I look forward to taking this adventure with you!</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">With love,<br /> <br /> <img height="49" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i9.createsend1.com-morgan-signature-bold-2x.gif" width="160" /></p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);"><br /> P.S. I just read&nbsp;<a href="https://www.amazon.com/War-Art-Through-Creative-Battles/dp/1936891026/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1516218633&sr=8-3&keywords=the+war+of+art" target="_blank">The War of Art</a>&nbsp;by Neil Gaiman, and it might be my favorite book&nbsp;<em>ever.&nbsp;</em>Check it out.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">P.P.S. Before you get the book, don&#39;t forget to<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1740050700/custom-artwork-for-a-youth-center-bus?ref=email" target="_blank">&nbsp;visit my kickstarter page</a>&nbsp;to help get the bus painted.&nbsp;</p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 18 Jan 2018 23:10:00 +0000 morganbricca 447 at https://www.morganmurals.com 2017 Wrap Up https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/2017-wrap <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td align="left"> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It&rsquo;s the time of year to stop and reflect on the adventures that fill our days<br /> A pause to celebrate - and recalibrate - amid the holiday craze</p> <p>My work is unique, but at the core, it&rsquo;s no different from the rest<br /> We show up&nbsp;each day without all the answers, wanting to do our best</p> <p>It&rsquo;s a wild ride for sure; who knows what will unfold?<br /> Some projects need florescent pink and others, pale gold</p> <p>Of the transformative power of mural art I simply have no doubt<br /> I have no intention to let up until the paint runs out</p> <p>Here are some highlights from my year, remember, they all will rhyme<br /> But no guarantees on making sense or on keeping steady time</p> <p>In 2017, I returned to Minted, to paint a very&nbsp;<a href="/murals/public-murals/a_strange_bird_at_minted">strange bird</a><br /> <a href="http://www.chiaraillusione.it/" target="_blank">Chiara</a>&nbsp;joined me from Italy and cut my workload to one-third</p> <p>I celebrated immigrants with my artwork at&nbsp;<a href="/murals/public-murals/la_viga_murals">La Viga</a><br /> I also attended a conference called&nbsp;<a href="http://wisdom2conference.com/" target="_blank">Wisdom</a>&nbsp;where I hung out with Niga Higa</p> <p>After many years spent mastering the art of modest and frugal<br /> It all went out the window after I got a gig at&nbsp;<a href="/murals/public-murals/google-community-space">Google</a></p> <p>Transforming schools continues to be at the top of my list<br /> At&nbsp;<a href="/murals/archive/garfield_elementary_school">Garfield</a>,&nbsp;<a href="/murals/public-murals/springer_elementary_school">Springer</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="/murals/public-murals/peace_in_our_world">Oak</a>, the white walls won&rsquo;t be missed</p> <p>Whenever I am on campus one question looms largest<br /> The kids always ask me, &ldquo;Are you a real artist?&rdquo;</p> <p>On a 280 foot long underpass the&nbsp;<a href="/murals/public-murals/california_pedestrain_underpass">ocean flowed wild</a><br /> Including on the ground, per a suggestion from a child</p> <p>On an island in Portugal I took a deep pause<br /> As the beauty of the island held me in awe</p> <p>I&rsquo;m excited to share with you a video that conveys Flores with depth and feel<br /> You can watch the&nbsp;<a href="/videos/nature-home-mural-project-overview">eye candy</a>,&nbsp;<a href="/videos/nature-home-trailer">a snack</a>&nbsp;or enjoy&nbsp;<a href="/videos/nature-home-passion-project">the full meal</a><br /> (Be sure to put on headphones when watching, the birdsong is unreal)</p> <p>I was honored to paint in China a&nbsp;<a href="/murals/public-murals/Nature+Is+Home">message of peace</a><br /> Which is my wish for everyone, including birds and the bees</p> <p>While public projects are exciting and might entice me to gloat<br /> My&nbsp;<a href="/murals/archive/2017_landscape_murals">residential clients</a>&nbsp;were instrumental in keeping my business afloat</p> <p>Every lull was filled with serendipitous connections<br /> With projects that would beckon new creative directions</p> <p>My social media efforts are loose; someday I&rsquo;ll do better<br /> My favorite way to connect is still my monthly newsletter</p> <p>Thanks for being a part of 2017, a year of art monumental<br /> I&rsquo;m grateful for all your support, it has been instrumental.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-Thankyouforbeingpartofmyjourney.150936.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Happy holidays to you and yours.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> <img height="49" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i9.createsend1.com-morgan-signature-bold-2x.gif" width="160" /></div> </div> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> Sat, 16 Dec 2017 03:56:13 +0000 mescalante 442 at https://www.morganmurals.com How to transform a school for less than $15,000 https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/how-transform-school-for-less-15000 <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td align="left"> <p>Quick Quiz</p> <p>Where would you prefer to send your child to school?<br /> <br /> Here:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> <img alt="Springer before" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-BeforeImage.135702.jpg" style="font-size: 15px; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Or Here:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i2.createsend1.com-SpringerBeeFinal.135739.jpg" style="font-size: 15px; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></div> </div> <p>Does one seem more kid friendly than another? More playful? More inviting?</p> <p>Does investing in the aesthetics of school environments matter?</p> <p>When I first met with Christy Flahavan, she described the campus at Springer Elementary as &quot;the ugly stepchild&quot; of the Los Altos School District. &quot;Putty on putty&quot; was the color palette and portable classrooms (putty colored, of course) dominate the entrance to the school.&nbsp;Can we all agree that portable classrooms have &quot;room for improvement&quot; in their aesthetics? Fortunately, painted artwork provides an inexpensive solution to beautify environments when larger capital investments are not an option. Christy&#39;s dogged determination to breathe fresh life into the campus on the shoestring PTA budget has resulted in a spate of beautification projects that are transforming Springer. If you visit the school today, you might have an entirely different first impression than you might have had just over a year ago.&nbsp;</p> <p>My first project with Springer involved transforming their Kindergarten playground into an interactive learning garden, with the help of a dozen volunteers, in 2016:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i3.createsend1.com-Springer-before-and-after.140738.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Earlier this year the PTA funded a mural on the back of the administrative building, which faces the center of the school. The mural celebrates the local landscape and brings the feeling of a nature preserve to the heart of the campus. Most recently, the principal, Lynn Boskie, used part of her discretionary budget to add pavement art that compliments the wall mural. We created a pun from the school mascot, the &quot;Springer Stingers&quot; bee, to create a &quot;Who do you want to Bee today?&quot; art campaign. The artwork ties in with the growth mindset and citizenship qualities Springer embraces in their curriculum. Most foot traffic entering the campus passes over the artwork, so the whole school community can read it as they head to class.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <a href="/murals/public-murals/springer_elementary_school"><img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i4.createsend1.com-Springer-Who-do-you-want-to-bee-today-.143640.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The principal came up with seven &quot;Springer Bee Qualities&quot; that support a positive learning environment and are also simple enough for the youngest students to understand: Bee kind, bee brave, bee playful, bee persistent, bee confident, bee helpful and bee curious. Sign me up! By incorporating each quality into flower-themed vignettes that were sprinkled throughout campus, the artwork creates a seek and find game. Each vignette features one of the seven Springer Bee qualities, a friendly bee or two, and a local pollinator flower.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <a href="/murals/public-murals/springer_elementary_school"><img alt="Click to see the images on my website" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i5.createsend1.com-Springer-Vignette-Montage2.154300.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The murals tie in with the academic curriculum as well. Fourth graders studying California history can use the legend on the side of the landscape mural to identify the California quail, California poppy, or a red tailed hawk. During a Living Classroom science unit, kids can identify key pollinator flowers like hummingbird sage and recognize showy milkweed flowers when they discuss the importance of milkweed, the only food source of Monarch caterpillars.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <a href="/murals/public-murals/springer_elementary_school"><img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i6.createsend1.com-Springer-bee-educational-elements.164011.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>One of the days I was painting a student poked their finger in the wet artwork when I wasn&#39;t looking and added their own finger painting to the art and wall.&nbsp; As I was repainting the lettering (bee curious), I realized that they were actually just following directions. Careful what you ask for.</p> <p>Three local artists volunteered with the pavement painting:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.stephaniemaclean.com/" target="_blank">Stephanie Maclean</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://maracatherinesippelart.com/" target="_blank">Mara Sippel</a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.artpal.com/ElleryGallery" target="_blank">Elizabeth Read</a>. I am so grateful for their skillful help and company.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <a href="/murals/public-murals/springer_elementary_school"><img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i7.createsend1.com-Springer-Bee-Mara-and-Elizabeth-helping.153651.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> Busy bees Elizabeth Read and Mara Sippel</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The pavement paint cans are significantly heavier than gallons of regular paint. That is my only excuse as to why, as I was loading up the van, I spilled an almost full can of yellow pavement paint in the parking lot. As I looked down at my now yellow shoes standing in a yellow puddle, I was reminded of a T shirt my friend sometimes wears that says, &ldquo;A huge solar spill is just called a nice day.&rdquo; The paint spill sure seemed like an unfortunate event, but the solar spill quote gave me an idea...</p> <p>I emailed an explanation and apology to the principal, but she didn&rsquo;t have a chance to read it before the staff meeting the next morning. She asked the staff what they thought of the art so far. One teacher responded, &ldquo;I love it! I especially like the &#39;Bee happy&#39; sun in the parking lot.&rdquo; The principal was stumped. &quot;What sun in the parking lot?&quot;</p> <p>Ummm... this one:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <a href="/murals/public-murals/springer_elementary_school"><img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i8.createsend1.com-Bonus-Springer-Bee-Happy.153808.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /></a> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Despite there bee-ing a few adventures and unknowns in the creation process when making an original work of art, murals are the least expensive way I know to bring aesthetic beauty into school environments. I offer all schools a 30% discount off my regular rates because I believe that beautiful school environments make a difference in how staff and students feel about school. This project was also made possible by the volunteers, including local professional artists, who donated their time. The artwork at Springer is inviting, specific and relevant to their school community, and also provides an inspiring vision for the values they want to embrace and celebrate.</p> <p>Takeaways:</p> <p>1. Plant milkweed in your garden.</p> <p>2. Help fund a mural project at your local elementary school.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Class dismissed.&nbsp; Oh, and go enjoy a solar spill.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Warm regards,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <img height="49" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i9.createsend1.com-morgan-signature-bold-2x.gif" width="160" /></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> Thu, 30 Nov 2017 23:43:57 +0000 mescalante 436 at https://www.morganmurals.com Murals of Peace and Transformation at Hua Quan village, China https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/murals-peace-and-transformation-hua-quan-village-china <p>Last month I was invited to China to join artists from around the world to paint on the subject of peace and transformation. The Miracle Mural project was located in&nbsp;<a href="https://www.huaquanvillage.com/" target="_blank">Hua Quan Village,</a>&nbsp;in the Jianxi province, in one of the largest art and cultural centers in the world. The village features stunning views of<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Longhu" target="_blank">&nbsp;Dragon Tiger Mountain</a>, which is a World Heritage Site recognized as the birthplace of Taoism. I was honored to be included in the ranks of the other world-class artists that participated in the creation of what will be a total of 100 murals around the village, 80 of which are now complete.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-Nature-is-Home-with-Morgan.113010.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The plaque for my mural reads:</p> <blockquote> <em><strong>Nature is Home</strong><br /> <br /> Living in harmony &ndash; both with nature and each other &ndash; nourishes our well-being. The butterfly serves as a visual allegory as to how small, tender actions have a ripple effect that can transform the world. The blossoms symbolize the fragility of our human existence &ndash; and the power of love.</em> <p>&nbsp;</p> </blockquote> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i2.createsend1.com-Nature-is-Home-single-panel.113240.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>From the moment I was invited, I hoped that my meditation teacher,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.romahammel.com/" target="_blank">Roma Hammel,</a>&nbsp;would join me on the adventure. It seemed fitting that an art project about peace and transformation should include my own unfolding towards peace and transformation as well.</p> <p>I first connected with Roma about four years ago. I had started a daily meditation practice about a year earlier, and was feeling ready to take my practice to the next level. I was flipping through an Esalen catalog when a particular course caught my eye. In researching the teacher I discovered that we lived in the same town, and that she was hosting a&nbsp;<em>satsang</em>&nbsp;that week. It was the beginning of a regular practice that has led to a profound deepening of a felt sense of myself in my own being and as connected to fundamental consciousness. My time with Roma ranks consistently in the top ten of things I am most grateful for in my life.</p> <p>In every sense of the word, Roma is a great teacher. As in, literally, &quot;Teacher of the Year&quot; great. She spent 30 years as a teacher at Los Altos High and developed English program curriculum that is still being used. She also served as AVID Coordinator, an internationally recognized program designed to prepare ethnic minority and/or low income high school students for success in four-year universities. With Roma, I feel like there are no dumb questions. Trust me, I have plenty. She keeps the pace just right so that there is neither boredom nor giving up. She is skilful at facilitating deep inquiry. Roma teaches a form of embodiment meditation based on<a href="http://realizationcenter.com/" target="_blank">&nbsp;Judith Blackstone&#39;s</a>&nbsp;Realization Process. Every week is a unique, powerful experience for me. The caliber and commitment of the other students in the group is intimidating. On a typical week I feel totally out of my league but simultaneously experiencing profound interior resonance, so I continue to return. I am so grateful that Roma agreed to embark on a this China adventure with me!</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i3.createsend1.com-china-trip-montage.092944.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We danced in the town square, a nightly village tradition. We meditated in sacred pagodas. I got sage advice on teenagers while walking a footbridge along the sheer cliff faces of Dragon Tiger Mountain. We giggled at our Chinese hosts attempts to serve a proper western style breakfast. And my artwork benefitted from her savvy contributions.</p> <p>When she saw that I was not open to feedback about the map I was painting when I was up on the scaffold, she waited. That evening, after a hot shower and a fully belly, she broached the subject again.</p> <p>&ldquo;Morgan, maps are quite interesting.&nbsp; Did you know the map we typically use is distorted so the Northern countries all look larger? Here, look at this, this is what the world actually looks like.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Hmmm. That is interesting. But that map looks weird. Africa and South America look huge and misshapen because I am accustomed to the &ldquo;Europe Central&rdquo; map.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Morgan look at this, here is a map of the world from over the North Pole. This is an interesting perspective.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Yes, very interesting, Roma. But it&rsquo;s kind of disorienting. I mean, it takes a bit longer for me to understand what I am looking at.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Take a look at this map, Morgan. When I look up New Zealand, it shows how our world map would look if China and the west coast of the U.S are at the center, instead of Europe.&rdquo;</p> <p>&ldquo;Wow. Hey Roma, that is so cool! I&#39;m having this great idea that maybe I should repaint my map tomorrow and put China and the U.S. at the center. I could even skew the U.S. and China a little closer, to enhance the perception of being neighbors. This would really improve the concept. Wow, I have the best ideas.&rdquo;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i4.createsend1.com-before-and-after-map.122739.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I am grateful to Hua Quan Village founders for their mission and efforts to create a cultural destination celebrating art and inner transformation in such a sacred place. The village was co-founded by legendary music and film director Liu Jia Chang. Mr. Liu has composed over 2,000 songs and directed almost 100 films in the past 50 years. He has received three life-time achievement awards in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. In our conversations, I learned firsthand about the substantial resistance he has received from the Chinese government throughout his effort to bring his vision to life. This project has been over 5 years in the making. In a testament to the momentum the project now has, the local government offered up it&#39;s own real estate in support of the Miracle Mural Gallery project. The wall I painted on is actually the side of a government building. It faces the busiest intersection in the region, an ideal billboard and signage for the art village up the street. I love happy endings.</p> <p>My favorite mural of the whole project might be the mural adjacent to my own, painted by a team of two women from Puerto Rico that call themselves Morivivi. The artwork communicates both vulnerability and power, and nails it on allegory, color and feel. It embodies both peace and transformation. It was a tough act to follow. The white panels to the right of the &quot;Art Capital of the World&quot; signage are being painted this week by an artist from the U.K.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i5.createsend1.com-Birth-Morivivi-Puerto-Rico-usa.151904.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>I told Mr. Liu that for every project I have been a part of, there is someone who holds the vision for the transformation possible through art, despite the obstacles and resistance.&nbsp; This is the person who generously creates a container for the art and the artist to be their best. Art does not exist without art advocates such as Mr. Liu.</p> <p>I am truly grateful for all the readers, cheerleaders, referrals, art advocates, friends and family who are helping me along this path. I am part of a beautiful web of support, and you are making my journey as an artist possible. Thank you.</p> <p>With love,</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <img height="49" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i9.createsend1.com-morgan-signature-bold-2x.gif" width="160" /> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>More about the Murals</p> <p>&ldquo;The Miracle Mural Gallery aims to remind us that countless miracles occur in our everyday lives. It is only when we are able to stop in our tracks and appreciate the simplest things and the smallest gestures that we are able to find inner peace. When all our international artists came to this rustic countryside to complete this gallery, a true miracle occurred. It is our wish that these murals will inspire you to stop in the midst of your busy lives and take a moment to listen to your heart&rsquo;s call. We believe that this single moment of resonance will have a deep and long lasting impact on you. Perhaps one day, miracles might begin to appear before your very eyes. It is when we experience this total transformation of the heart that we can come together as family and friends to make this world a better place.&quot;</p> <p>Here are some of my personal favorites from the Miracle Mural Gallery:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img alt="Winds of Change, Charlie Johnson, Canada" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i6.createsend1.com-Winds-of-Change-Charlie-Johnston-Canada.145812.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> Winds of Change, Charlie Johnson, Canada</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i7.createsend1.com-MotherEarth-Long-Jungchuang-Shenzhen-China.145738.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> Mother Earth, Long Jungchuang, China</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i8.createsend1.com-Dreams-and-Peace-Liang-Yu-China.145842.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> Dreams of Peace, Liang Yu, China</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i9.createsend1.com-Floating-Paola-Delfin-Gyatan.145712.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> Floating, Paola Delfin, Mexico</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i10.createsend1.com-Stephen-Juenneman.150016.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> The Garden of Myth, Stephan Juenemann, Germany</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-Awakening-the-Divine-Serge-Malenfant.150108.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> Awakening the Divine, Serge Malefant, Canada</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div> <img label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i2.createsend1.com-Lotus-on-Green.150215.jpg" style="height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin-left:auto;"> Lotus Flower, Wan Mingzhi, China</div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> Fri, 03 Nov 2017 00:12:32 +0000 mescalante 435 at https://www.morganmurals.com The California Avenue Underpass Mural Renovation Project https://www.morganmurals.com/blog/california-avenue-underpass-mural-renovation-project <table border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="border-collapse: collapse;" width="100%"> <tbody> <tr> <td align="left" class="body-text" style="text-size-adjust: 100%; font-family: &quot;Open Sans&quot;, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;"> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">Never underestimate how attached a community can become to a mural.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I learned this first hand while renovating the underwater mural at the California Pedestrian Underpass at the end of California Avenue in Palo Alto. It is a heavily used underpass. Throughout my days painting there, I heard a steady stream of comments that revealed how attached the community was to this particular mural. People would stop to point out their favorite fish, or want to share with me their fond memories of watching the original mural go up. Most commonly, people stopped just to make sure that&nbsp;<em>I am only touching it up, right</em>?</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">Just to clarify, this is what the beloved mural looked like before I started painting:</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img alt="California Underpass- before Images" class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i1.createsend1.com-California-Underpass-Before.091412.jpg" style="color: rgb(53, 65, 71); display: block; margin: 0px auto; max-width: 600px !important; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; background-color: rgb(164, 156, 162); color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-size: 12px; line-height: 25px; max-width: 600px;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <a name="toc_item_1" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"></a> <p style="line-height: 29px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 20px; color: rgb(53, 65, 71);">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">Faded paint was peeling off the wall. The tunnel walls were starting to make the tunnel feel more scary, not less. It was attracting taggers and vandalism.&nbsp;The underpass had fallen into disrepair, and it reflected badly on city maintenance.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">Figuring out how to remedy the situation was more complicated than you might expect. This heavily used pedestrian underpass has structural issues that cause water to seep into the walls, but there were no funds available for the substantial public works project that would be required to remediate the issue through the City or Caltrain.The ocean themed mural was originally created as a community art project painted by volunteers, and the artwork itself was not consistently of professional quality. Because of the water seepage issues and quality of the original artwork, it did not make sense to invest in a complete restoration of the mural. The city was in a pickle: how to patch up the current art so it can last just another five or ten years until a long term solution is decided?</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">There were no easy solutions. I worked closely with Elise DeMarzo and Nadya Chuprina, who do an incredible job running the city&#39;s public art program, and they trusted me to &ldquo;do the best I could&rdquo; with some of the inherent challenges of a touch-up project. Our aim was to get rid of all the cobwebs, grime, and the worst of the peeling paint, as well as brighten up the colors on the fish. My intention was to preserve the original spirit of the mural, while adding my own creative flavor and details that would improve the trip through the tunnel.&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">It&rsquo;s hard for me to go halfway into the pool.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i2.createsend1.com-California-Underpass---Octopus-detail.095302.jpg" style="color: rgb(53, 65, 71); display: block; margin: 0px auto; max-width: 600px !important; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; background-color: rgb(164, 156, 162); color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-size: 12px; line-height: 25px; max-width: 600px;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <a name="toc_item_2" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"></a> <p style="line-height: 29px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 20px; color: rgb(53, 65, 71);">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I ended up covering every square inch of the wall tunnel - 3500 square feet of sea life - in the seven days budgeted for the project. After the mess of the scraping, it was a marathon of rolling on vibrant blues and painting portraits of aquatic life. I loved being a block from my favorite paint store on the peninsula, California Paint. They even provided onsite deliveries for me.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i3.createsend1.com-California-Underpass-Montage-1.095342.jpg" style="color: rgb(53, 65, 71); display: block; margin: 0px auto; max-width: 600px !important; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; background-color: rgb(164, 156, 162); color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-size: 12px; line-height: 25px; max-width: 600px;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <a name="toc_item_3" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"></a> <p style="line-height: 29px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 20px; color: rgb(53, 65, 71);">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">The tunnel is a major artery for Caltrain commuters, kids going to and from the middle school, and as a link from the residential to comercial side of midtown Palo Alto. I was struck by how upbeat the energy of the commuters were. From day one, and every day I was onsite, it surprised me. Maybe it was just the coffee in the crowd, but I think there is a unique energy to people who use their feet or bike instead of cars for their commute. I was even included in bike to work day festivities where volunteers tallied about 900 people that had gone through that tunnel in a four-hour time span. I tallied that about 890 of them seemed cheerful. Maybe it was the free pancakes and coffee at the event.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i4.createsend1.com-California-Underpass---Fish-montage.094040.jpg" style="color: rgb(53, 65, 71); display: block; margin: 0px auto; max-width: 600px !important; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; background-color: rgb(164, 156, 162); color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-size: 12px; line-height: 25px; max-width: 600px;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <a name="toc_item_4" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"></a> <p style="line-height: 29px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 20px; color: rgb(53, 65, 71);">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">When I came back for my last day of touch-ups, a woman came up to me and told me that the mural had been a point of family discussion each night at their dinner table, what had changed, what was new, etc.. She said that her eight-year-old son had ventured that it was unfortunate that I couldn&rsquo;t paint the ground as well.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I happened to record this conversation. You can&nbsp;<a href="/sites/default/files/content-uploads/CA-underpass-you-should-paint-the-ground.mp3" target="_blank">listen to the request from this passerby</a><span style="color: rgb(95, 108, 114); font-size: 16px;">&nbsp;and see how I integrate her son&rsquo;s idea on the fly into what I had planned for the day.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <div style="text-align: center;"> <img class="img-max" label="Image" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i5.createsend1.com-California-Underpass--pavement-art.100517.jpg" style="color: rgb(53, 65, 71); display: block; margin: 0px auto; max-width: 600px !important; height: auto !important;" width="100%" /> <div style="margin: 0px auto; padding: 0px; background-color: rgb(164, 156, 162); color: rgb(255, 255, 255); font-size: 12px; line-height: 25px; max-width: 600px;"> &nbsp;</div> </div> <a name="toc_item_5" style="color: rgb(9, 33, 235);"></a> <p style="line-height: 29px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 20px; color: rgb(53, 65, 71);">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I painted about fifty ground elements, including starfish, seashells and sand dollars. I included a caution to bikers that might have been written in the sand with a stick: Walk your Bike.&nbsp;</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">I invite you to take a field trip and go walk the renovated California pedestrian underpass in Palo Alto. Count the starfish with a child. Pick out a favorite fish. Let me know if you don&#39;t hear the roar of the ocean just a little bit as the crowds of happy commuters pass you by.</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);">Enjoy,</p> <p style="line-height: 24.96px; margin-top: 1.6em; margin-bottom: 1.6em; font-size: 16px; color: rgb(95, 108, 114);"><img height="49" src="https://www.morganmurals.com/sites/default/files/imgpaste/i8.cmail20.com-morgan-signature-bold2x.gif" width="160" /></p> </td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>&nbsp;</p> Tue, 17 Oct 2017 18:27:41 +0000 mescalante 434 at https://www.morganmurals.com