Palace, Michael

I always knew I was here to create.  My parents taught me all the flora and fauna by name, They built a custom home in the forest that had a 150 foot Cedar growing through the deck, as they had refused to cut it down to make room for the house. It’s an image I learned from and have continued to live by. After graduating high school I majored in art, but after a year of 101 classes, I decided to “ live the life” rather than be schooled.

I lived in Arizona and spent three years painting photo-realism of geologic formations in acrylics, watercolor and Prismacolor.

I worked many different jobs, but throughout them all, I kept painting as a way of keeping balanced  and sane. I built 747s as a modification mechanic on the flight line at Boeing, making engineering repairs on commercial airlines. I took art classes, worked as a picture framer, and painted signs. After moving to the Bay Area and working as a carpenter I got my contractor’s license so I could build homes and do custom remodels.

I see all of these experiences as pieces of a puzzle that when viewed as a whole, they make up the education that has given me the knowledge and world experience to create in wood and paint. I learned how to visualize complex structures and make them. It didn’t matter if it was in aluminum or wood, I learned to “see” in three dimensions. Certainly building houses, allowed a vision of structure that was a very exciting addition to my predisposition for natural forms.

As a contractor doing custom remodels. I started seeing materials that were to be thrown away, as viable, and useful and took beams, siding, all sorts of wood, including whole trees home to be incorporated into furniture and sculpture. I realized that materials were just down the street in my neighbor’s home and growing in his yard. It has always been a pervasive part of my life, that like my parents, I feel I need to respect life and not waste it. Using materials that have been cast aside is central to my creative process. The main message is illustrated through my process, and followed in the design: we are not separate from nature, we must be in contact with the natural world to be healthy people, reverence for life, in all its forms is paramount to us and the world.


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