by , NBC
Friday, September 21, 2018

Morgan Bricca has painted close to 500 murals in her 18-year career as a professional artist.

No two are even remotely alike.

The different wall spaces she is asked to cover and different subject matter she is commissioned to paint guarantee that each work is unique.

The mural she is currently working on at the Stoneridge Creek Senior Living Facility in Pleasanton, however, is unique in a different way. It's not because of the wall space or the subject.

It's because of the company.

With this job Bricca didn't just win a commission, she gained a friend and collaborator in Ray Rychnovsky.

"Ray's a sweetheart," Bricca said.

Rychnovsky, it should be noted, wasn't part of the job from the start. Bricca was planning a multi-panel, panoramic landscape with a few animals but then she met Rychnovsky.

"The first day I show up and meet Ray and he shows me some photos," Bricca said.

Rychnovsky, a resident of Stoneridge Creek for the past five years, has been an avid photographer for most of his 83 years.

Three times a week, Rychnovsky takes his camera along hikes the trails near Stoneridge Creek. What he finds is a wildlife photographer's dream: hawks, egrets, foxes, and deer to name just a few.

So, Bricca decided to incorporate Rychnovsky's work into her art. At the time, though, she didn't realize that by adding his images she was infusing her work with new meaning.

"For me on this project, it is reminding me why I paint. I have this special power and it's more powerful because we're doing it together," Bricca said. "It's celebrating his passion with him."

"It's very special," Rychnovsky said. "I like getting pictures displayed but this is going to be here a long time."

Bricca and Rychnovsky have even begun taking walks together to visit some of his favorite shooting locations. There is a plan afoot at Stoneridge Creek to decorate all the utility boxes and the two have some ideas about that.

The muralist and the photographer, it appears, are not done making great art together.

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