Paintings & Drawings


Artist Statement

My art is inspired by my work over the past  three decades as a teacher of Zen and a mentor ..  to artists, activists, business people, and prison inmates.

I use large calligraphic brushes with Sumi inks on paper. Each stroke involves meditation, a ‘point zero’ inner stillness before or as I am creating each piece. I want to make visible this inner world. The intention is to invite the viewer to access ‘a whole body state of being present, in the presence of the art.’ To see the art with the experience I had while I was painting. A transmission.

In traditional Japanese calligraphy, the negative space around the brush-stroke holds equal importance, to create space in the viewer’s mind.

The brushwork is instantaneous, using One energetic stroke or One continuous brush stroke lifting on and off the paper. My brush movement inspired by decades of training and teaching Japanese sword forms., specifically Iaido.

I either leave the work as is, or I add detailed figurative forms in pencil or other media to the brushwork.

The intersection of brush strokes with highly detailed figurative realism, came from a dream I had two decades ago when I dreamt of my work in the future. It was in 2007 that those images started to come through as the integration of my two styles of the brushwork, and the realism.

My art is  an intersection between East and West, Realism and Abstraction, my Japanese and my North American heritage. In addition to my art, I am co-founder of ‘Five Changes ’and Manzanita Village Retreat Center near Warner Springs, in  Southern California, where my studio is located.

Contact me at mbm@fivechanges.com  310.339.3531

You can see more of my art at https://www.facebook.com/artistmbm


Selection of  Galleries and Awards

My work has been shown in over a hundred group and solo exhibits, including:


  • Solo Exhibit LAAA-825 Gallery, Los Angeles
  • Solo exhibit, first place award in a juried competition ‘Power’ at CMATO (CA Museum of Thousand Oaks)
  • Solo Exhibition at Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Art, Las Vegas NV
  • Hammer Museum, Westwood, CA
  • Sunset Boulevard Billboard Display, Los Angeles CA
  • Brand Library Art Gallery, Glendale CA.
  • TAG Gallery, Santa Monica CA
  • Grey McGear Fine Arts Gallery, Santa Monica CA
  • Studio Channel Islands Black-box Gallery, Camarillo CA
  • Hud/Dab Gallery CA
  • MD Gallery, Los Angeles CA
  • Arc Gallery, San Francisco CA
  • Soma Arts Institute,  San Francisco CA.
  • Noel Baza Fine Arts Gallery, San Diego CA
  • Solo show at Infusion Gallery, Los Angeles CA
  • Soho Gallery, Studio City CA
  • Lark Gallery Online Gallery, coordinating with several group shows Los Angeles CA
  • Jarvis Center, New York
  • Awards for Best in show, first prize, and  honorable mentions at shows curated by Laddie Dill John, Jim Morphesis, Kent Twichell, Peter Mays.
  • California Legislature Assembly, Certification of Recognition for my art – 43rd Assembly district Mike Gatto.