Last Autumn, we covered an Instagram sensation concerning mushrooms and in a strangely timely coincidence we’ve just stumbled across another amazingly colourful tribute to world of funghi. The work of artist Jill Bliss, this series focuses not just on individual mushrooms but rather group compositions that Bliss has created herself with a strong eye for colour combining.
Bliss calls her works Nature Medleys and to make them she uses “natural objects found on daily wanderings among the islands of the Pacific Northwest.” The artist lives on a small island in the Salish Sea, which sits between a network of coastal waterways that stretches between British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest – the local natural biodiversity is her inspiration and her palette.
Photographed against a bed of vibrant green moss, sedums and coastal plants, the mushroom medleys combine natural browns and greys, murky purples and sedate blues shot through with hot oranges, yellows and pinks. Sometimes they feature feathers, bark, slabs of wood, even antlers and they look for all the world like wonderful bouquets of blooms.
Bliss grew up on a farm in northern California and later worked as a designer and artist in New York, San Francisco and Portland, Oregon. In 2012 she sold her house and belongings to embark on a year-long sabbatical, expressly to embrace a slower pace of life. As she has noted on her website, “that sabbatical year has stretched into a new life chapter – I’ve been living, working, traveling and exploring amongst the Salish Sea islands of Canada and Washington State ever since.” She describes a rather lovely way of life dictated by the seasons, her desire to do her bioregional studies and the need to earn enough to support her new life. You can buy prints and stationary from her online shop and follow her Salish sea life on Instagram.