It takes an extra-ordinary eye to see the beauty in the ordinary. And it takes even more exceptional talent to make this beauty shine for others to see. Jill Bliss, a gifted artist who describes herself as a modern nomad of the Salish Sea, happens to have both.
Mushrooms have been around billions of years ago and nourished humankind since then. But did you know that these fungi do not only offer nutrients for our bodies? Just like a flower on its full bloom, there are mushrooms whose exquisite colors and exotic sizes can leave you breathless. Take a glimpse of their one-of-a-kind beauty and charm as captivated in Jill Bliss’ collection of photos titled as Nature Medley.
The talented artist photographed each masterpiece while taking a stroll around the enchanting islands and winding waterways of the Pacific Northwest. And true to the name of her collection, Nature Medley features an assortment of small and big mushrooms, flowers, and even plants!
Bliss’ fascination with nature stems from the childhood she spent close to the country. As mentioned on her website, the talented artist grew up on a farm in Northern California. And although her career as a designer and an artist flourished in the big cities, she found herself missing the environment where she grew up.
“In 2012 I sold most everything I owned and bought a van, embarking on a year-long self-imposed west coast sabbatical to reconnect with the slower natural pace and living things I knew and adored as a child…” Bliss shared on her website.
“That sabbatical year has stretched into a new life chapter – I’ve been living, working, travelling and exploring amongst the Salish Sea islands of Canada and Washington State ever since.”
In an interview with King5 News, Bliss shared how she started turning these fungi into the work of a fairy.
“I’m a painter, and in my studio when I’m waiting for paint to dry, I would go for hikes and collect things I found in the forest and I started making just color studies of the things I was finding, and it ended up being mostly mushrooms.” The talented artist said.
Bliss has a keen eye for art, and she wouldn’t hesitate to pause for a while in order to give mushrooms a touch of her fairy dust. Apparently, this character of her makes her a terrible hiking partner for those who are in a hurry. But if you do not mind taking your time, you may find yourself basking in the glory of nature when you are with her.
“I’ve had friends walking on trails with me and all of a sudden I’ll start screaming, and they’ll know that I’ve found one of those two mushrooms. And then everything has to stop, and it’s medley makin’ time!” Bliss admitted.
The talented artist likens her craft to a prayer and her masterpiece a tribute to Mother Earth. “This is a little bit like praying when I’m on my knees,” Bliss said in her interview with King5 News.
And each time her work is complete, all she takes is a picture and then she leaves them be. People may stumble upon her artworks or not. But to the lucky ones, Bliss hopes that it may serve as a beautiful reminder that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
“Color is everywhere; these beautiful forms and shapes are everywhere. You just have to look.” The modern nomad of the Salish Sea advised.
If you can’t get enough of Bliss’ marvelous works, feel free to check out her website and Instagram account which has over 36,000 followers.