Stranded on a Roof in Napa and Other Improbable Adventures

By Morgan Bricca October 25, 2018

Photo courtesy of JL Souza and the Napa Register

 

You might be surprised to learn it is the first time this has happened to me, but getting stuck on a roof is actually quite an accomplishment. First of all, the battery on your cell phone has to run out of juice. Otherwise, you could just call a lifeline, like those cute guys that live over at the fire department to come rescue you, and that would be a great story. You also have to have the door you entered through to get on the roof locked behind you. This is improbable, unless someone happened to come by and notice the door was unlocked, and do you the unexpected favor of locking it. I had a dedicated scissor lift operator to take me up and down from the sidewalk as needed, to make absolutely certain my current predicament would be impossible, but that day I had decided to work late, and Joseph had gone home for the day. One is not properly stuck unless one has a single remaining option: to holler at the top of your lungs in the general direction of the street below.

 

A panorama view from the roof

 

This mural was commissioned by Andy Beckstoffer, who has been growing grapes for wine in Napa for 48 years. Mr Beckstoffer purchased and renovated the original Napa Register Building located on the corner of Coombs and Main Street, and the mural was the final phase of the renovation. The mural depicts the Beckstoffer farm in Rutherford. Only a sliver of the seventy-foot long mural can be see from the street, but Archer guests with east facing rooms can enjoy the full view.

A highlight of the project for me was staying at the newly built Archer Hotel. I would dock them one star in my review because of their slow response time to the concerned citizens telling them there was a woman stuck on their roof. They simply didn’t believe it. When they finally came up to unlock the patio door of my room, which is how I got on the roof, they asked for ID before they would let me in. On second thought, they deserve that fifth star back because their security is so good.

You can watch the mural being painted start to finish in this video:

Click to watch a time lapse of the mural being painted

 

The Napa Register sent over J.L Souza, their photo editor, to cover the project. It turns out that he was born on the same island in the Azores, Portugal, where I painted fifteen “Nature is Home” bird murals last summer. I would put my odds of meeting someone from that teeny-tiny island in the middle of the Atlantic even lower than my odds of getting stuck on a roof, but life is full of surprises. J.L. generously featured photos of the mural on the front page of that week’s Napa Register.

Mural detail of the Beckstoffer Farm in Rutherford, Napa Valley. Photo Courtesy of Bob McClenahan.

 

I would love to take full credit for how beautiful the mural turned out, but the truth is, I can hardly do the subject justice. The soft, rolling mountains and spectacular fall colors are the real deal, just waiting patiently to be enjoyed. What an unlikely coincidence that just this morning you were thinking you would like to book a romantic getaway to the wine country…

 

The full seventy feet. Photo Courtesy of Bob McClenahan.

 

And if you happen to get stuck on a roof, don’t forget to enjoy the view.

Cheers,

 

Morgan Bricca

Morgan Bricca

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.

WHAT CLIENTS ARE SAYING

Our entire staff enthusiastically appreciates the artistic transformation of our clinic. The kids here for medical services LOVE the murals as well. One of our young patients returned from emergency psychiatric services for a self-harm issue and when she came into our office she had a huge smile upon seeing the mural. It is amazing to all of us how immediately a depressed patient responded to the mural art.

It has been a pleasure to work with you. We love both your work and the positive environment and spirit you have instilled in our kids.  Once again Morgan, thank you so very much from the bottom of my heart.

Warm regards,

Chia-Chen Lee
Juvenile Hall Medical Clinic Pediatrics

Review for Juvenile Hall Mural Project by Chia-Chen Lee

Morgan blew it out of the water.  As a general contractor, I would say my decision to hire Morgan for this mural is one of the best decisions I have made in terms of impact of my work.  Every kid will remember this mural as long as he or she shall live. Watching a child see the mural for the first time is an experience words can’t describe. It’s mesmerizing to them. Adults too, for that matter. It’s a show stopper.  So much better than I could have ever imagined.

I would go out of my very busy way to recommend Ms. Morgan Bricca on every possible level, with no hesitation. Please feel free to call me if you are considering hiring Morgan but can’t quite take the leap. I will be glad to push you in.

Chris Carver
Aquatic Management Group
Raleigh, North Carolina

Mural artist review by Chris Carver

Morgan offers a unique collaborative approach with her clients. On our project, she struck the perfect balance; she listened to our ideas and feedback but very much maintained her role as the creative expert, making us feel comfortable the entire time.

I would absolutely recommend Morgan with no hesitation. With all that she has done, she is going to find the right approach for just about any client.

Jonathan Meyer
VP, Marketing and Community Relations
San Mateo Credit Union

Mural painter review by Jonathan Meyer

We absolutely love our mural! I anticipated that it would add beauty and a much-needed “nature element” onto our campus, I never could have imagined what a huge impact this would have on our school. I have seen countless children, parents, and teachers walk by in awe, totally captivated. Not only does it make our campus a brighter, more beautiful place to learn and play, it reminds our entire community of the tremendous importance of art. This is a gift beyond measure, especially in tech-obsessed silicon valley. Once again, you have exceeded my (already high) expectations!

You are so fun, inspiring and professional to work with and your projects in our kinder yard and now this mural have been my most satisfying collaborations on PTA.

Warmly,

Christy Flahavan
PTA President
Springer Elementary School

Mural Artist Review for Springer Elementary School by Christy Flahavan

The real value and pleasure of working with Morgan was that we connected with her. She was very personable, very sincere, very collaborative, but not one to sit back and let us lead it in a wrong direction. We trusted her completely from the past work she had done for us, and told her, “here is a wall, do something with it – surprise us.” It’s like dealing with a friend.

The murals she has created for us make our home more intimate, warm, and personal. I was surprised at how quickly she worked, how easily it got done, and how watching the process was enlightening. It just flowed; it was like watching a very large masterpiece being created before our very eyes. It was especially interesting when she got into the tonality and the tints. For us, it turned out better than we could have expected. I absolutely recommend her without a doubt.

Mural Painter Review by Sandy Bland

Morgan, the mural you created for our building has been a major attraction for both locals and visitors in Downtown Napa. The transformation of an eye sore, to a work of art, has been nothing short of amazing. I feel a little guilty receiving so many compliments for your work, however that doesn’t stop me from stealing part of your credit. Your attention to detail and sensitivity, bringing the Wappo tribe into the process, unified Napa’s residents with its history. This public recognition of the Wappo Indians is long overdue, reminding us all of a different time in the Napa Valley when nature and people could live harmoniously.

Every day, as I watch children and adults transported to an earlier time in the Napa Valley, I appreciate your ability to be the vehicle for their journey. I hope soon you will return to sprinkle some more fairy dust on another wall, so I can watch your magic talented creations at work.

Thank You,
Michael L Holcomb

Mural Artist Review by Michael L Holcomb

Hi Morgan,

We had an end of the school year party at our house and everyone raved about your mural. I see your name and date, 2012, on it and can’t believe it was 4 years ago.

Just wanted you to know it brings me joy every day.

Warmest,
Josh Weinstock

Mural Artist Review by Josh Weinstock

I have worked with Morgan on five mural projects at our house over the past six years. I love her work and she is a pleasure to work with. Once you see how transformed your space is by the first mural, it is easy to start seeing other rooms that could benefit from a “Morgan”.

Susan Wojicki
CEO, YouTube

Mural Painter Review by Susan Wojicki

Morgan’s work is exquisite. She loves what she does, works extremely fast, and is a true pleasure to work with.

David DaPonte
Architect, HKS

Mural Painter Review by David DaPonte

Without fail, anytime someone comes to our house who hasn’t seen the painting, they comment on it and how much they like it.

Adam King
Director, Intel Corporation

 

Mural Painter Review by Adam King