Master architects of the Arts and Crafts movement Greene and Greene, whose Pratt House Estate is home to the Casa Barranca Winery, have held considerable inspiration for me. Their attention to detail, nuanced lines, and naturalistic styles along with the overall ethos of the Arts and Crafts movement have frequently and subtly affected my work.
This mural, designed for the Casa Barranca Tasting Room in downtown Ojai, CA, is a combined vision of design motifs - the color combinations of leaded stained glass windows, the naturalistic tendencies of the Greenes, and my own inspiration and vision.
Learn more about the Casa Barranca Winery here: Casa Barranca Winery.
Casa Barranca, located in beautiful Ojai, CA, is the estate at which the preeminent Arts & Crafts architects Greene and Greene built their famous "Pratt House" in 1909. The house and estate, a classic "bungalow style" masterpiece, features hand hewn woodwork, sprawling gardens and sumptuous mountain views.
The yoga studio, built in 2002 on the estate and separate from the house, blends the Arts and Crafts style with a contemporary spiritual aesthetic. The mural above the fireplace as well as accompanying mosaic were intended to add to the sense of joy and beauty one feels when practicing yoga in the Ojai mountains.
This mural, created at Raices y Brazos, a community yoga center in San Jose del Cabo, is an exploration of the union of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine principles of creation. On the left side of the mural is the Goddess, who sits in the sphere of Earth energy. On the far right is the God who sits in the sphere of Sky energy. In the tree in the middle, with its roots reaching towards earth and its branches towards the heavens, is the union of these two aspects of creation as manifest in the human spirit. The central tree is now the symbol and logo of Raices y Brazos (translated as Roots and Branches) and the figure in the middle reaches up into the sky, bridging the two opposing aspects within itself, while seated firmly on the earth. The central image is based on a design by Violet McKeon Divine, who co-created this mural.
In the spring of 2001, Michael created several murals for the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Lenox, MA, the largest yoga center of its kind in the country. Kripalu is founded on a philosophy and practice of yoga based on the inherent intuitive wisdom and compassion of the body as taught by its namesake, Swami Kripalvananda.
Michael painted a fifteen foot tall mural in the Dining Chapel that is a centerpiece to the large and airy room. He also painted two other pieces in the building. All of the paintings were painted with latex and acrylic paints.
Tucked back into a secluded valley in the mountains outside of Ojai, this house was an art piece in itself. The owner wanted murals and design throughout his house that drew both on the natural elements surrounding the property as well as more cosmic themes and motifs. The faux finishing lends a textured look to the walls and the fine details in the flowers and designs create a spectacular palette of colors and shapes on which to feast the eyes upon.
The project took approximately one month of fairly steady work to complete.
The Union Street Yoga Studio, run by Lisa Limoge, was located in Burlington, VT . It functioned not only as a place for yoga but also had various rooms for healing arts. In the fall of 2001, Michael painted several murals there and did extensive interior design. The intricate lines of the mural are echoed throughout the studio in the framing of the doorway and fireplace and the deep reds and oranges of the room complement the cool electric blues of the mural prefectly. A framed mandala by Michael hangs over the hearth.
Unfortunately, as of this writing, the yoga studio has moved. It is unknown whether the mural remains.
Located in Ojai, CA, this yoga studio is on a private residence that is available for rental. This is an on-going project.
The Sky Vortex opens over a beautiful hardwood yoga studio floor in Venice Beach, CA. Symbols to the north, south, east, and west in the outer ring framing the opening signify the owners totem spirits. As one moves about the room, the vortex seems to take subtle inhalations and exhalations, helping to create a soft spaciousness.