Underwater Atlantis Explorer – Part 1

A company who works with children needed to transform an environment!
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When this customer and I initially walked through the empty commercial building and began brainstorming themes and ideas, we started with an aquarium theme.  We needed something that would transform the sterile commercial feel into a warm, inviting therapeutic environment that would not detract from what the organization was doing.  

There was a round ceiling with pillars and strategically placed walls with cabinets, plus wavy walls along the hallways. I made the suggestion for an underwater Atlantis explorer theme and we ran with it!

I found myself feeling a little bit like Michelangelo as I painted the ceiling! I have painted other ceilings but this one had more detailed areas with the dolphins, sea turtles and fish.  The ceiling is about 32’ in diameter across.

Some challenges that I ran into were the lighting on the ceiling and trying to build the lights into the mural (for example, I put a ripple effect in the water around one of the light fixtures.) Additionally I used an airbrush for some of the water effects. With the sprinkler system there, I had to be cautious not to set off the sprinklers with the dust particles from spraying. 

I often underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete some projects. Or maybe my desire to have the final project look how I envisioned it in my head takes over. Interestingly, I was scheduled to have surgery that would limit my lifting and movement for 6 weeks, so I had to get to a certain point with this mural prior to the surgery. In addition, my wife was in the third trimester, pregnant with our twins so the pressure was really on! I finished it the week before our babies were born, just in time!

See Part 2 of this project here: Underwater Atlantis Explorer – Part 2


It was an absolute pleasure working with Mike on our underwater exploration project that came to life in 2021. Our business provides therapy services for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. Our goal was to provide an environment that sparks the imagination into wonder and peace from the real world challenges our kids face every day. Mike exceeded all expectations and surprised us each day during the project. Working with Mike was as much fun as seeing the ideas evolve. He has an incredible ability to take the smallest of ideas and create a story for the imagination to run with. Thank you Mike for your passion and dedication to creating an amazing place for our team and kids to explore!
Todd M.
Colorado Springs, CO

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