First off: yes, that’s my real last name. That’s usually the first question people ask me, especially here in the islands where lots of people adopt a chosen “island name” for themselves. Now if I WERE to chose an “island name” I’d change my first name to Joy, ha!
I spent my seminal childhood years on a plum and walnut farm in northern California, while my adult life as a designer and artist took place in the big cities of New York, San Francisco and Portland OR. 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. 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.
Modern nomad of the Salish Sea
I am not able to work in my studio creating art year-round. Out of financial necessity, I take on other types of work as well. Sometimes these jobs relate directly to my ongoing bioregional studies, other times I am doing work to help others in my island community. These jobs allow me the breathing room to create the art work I feel most compelled to do, while also constraining the time in which I have to create it.
I relish the spring and summer months working with other community members and our seasonal visitors. For several years my primary summer work was naturalist and deckhand aboard M/V Odyssey in Friday Harbor on San Juan island. These days, you can find me at the Bellingham Farmer’s market every summer Saturday, or at the Lummi Island Gallery on Legoe Bay (opening May 2019). Summer is my season for socializing, learning and sharing my knowledge about the natural world here in Cascadia and encouraging visitors to explore and learn about the natural world that surrounds them wherever they live.
Gentle adventures in art & nature
I equally relish big blocks of time in the winter to draw, paint, think, explore. I satisfy my nomadic nature by holing up in various off-grid cabins on small islands, preferably with wild animals and semi-feral people for neighbors, mentors and muses. These are the months for hibernation, quiet reflection, close observations of discreet moments in nature, art making, sleeping, reading, cooking, stoking wood stove fires, hiking and kayaking in the rain. Sometimes in my PJs.
more to Read
If you need to know even more, here are some things others have written about me and my work:
Foraging For Art in the Salish Sea – San Juan Island Mushroom Artist Makes Masterpieces Inspired by Mother Nature – Magic Mushrooms: Art Foraged From Nature – Vibrant Mushroom Arrangements Photographed by Jill Bliss – Photographer Captures Colorful Mushrooms in Vibrant Arrangements – Nature Artist Puts Down Roots in San Juan Islands
Support for localized, resilient communities & organizations
Your purchase has purpose! When you purchase my artwork or wares, know that you are supporting my ongoing studies and work, my island community, and favorite environmental and social justice organizations. Nature is my church - I share at least 10% of my earnings each year with individuals and organizations doing important work in the world. If you’d like to support me, my community & my favorite charities directly, you can do so via Venmo or Paypal. Thank you!
ACLU – Building the North Star – Bunny Michael – Canoe Journey 2019 – Cascadia Now – Center for Whale Research – Charles Eisenstein – Free the Snake River Canoe Fund – For The Wild Podcast – Gaslit Nation – Hawaii Community Bail Fund – International Rescue Committee for Yemen – Kendriana Speaks – KIVA Lending – Leesa Renee Hall – Nafeez Ahmed – Native American Rights Foundation – Natural Resources Defense Council – Nature Conservancy – The North Star – Paddle to Lummi – Patricia Okoumou – Planned Parenthood – RE Sources Clean Water Program – Sassy Latte – Sea Doc Society – Sea Legacy’s Turning the Tide – Sierra Club – Southern Poverty Law Center – Yes Magazine
ACLU – Alexandra Morton – Amplifier – Bunny Michael – Cascadia Now – Center for Whale Research – CSSDP – Charles Eisenstein – Dammed To Extinction Movie – For The Wild Podcast – Gaslit Nation – The Guardian – KWIAHT Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish Sea – Lakota Law – Nafeez Ahmed – Nature Conservancy – No Bayou Bridge Pipeline – Pacific Wild – Planned Parenthood – Puerto Rico Strong – RAICES Bond Fund – Sacred Sea – Sassy Latte – Sea Doc Society – Sea Legacy’s Turning the Tide – Sierra Club – Southern Poverty Law Center – Stand for Salmon – Sunrise Movement – Sustainable Human – Together Rising – Unist’ot’ten Camp Fund – The Whale Museum – Whale Scout – Yes Magazine – Youth Climate Activists Bail Fund
SeaDoc Society – Friends of the San Juans – Long Live the Kings – Wolf Hollow – The Whale Museum – Center for Whale Research – Kwiaht Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish Sea – Cascadia Now – Pacific Wild – Ocean Conservancy – Puget Sound Mycological Society – NRDC – Earth Justice – Sierra Club – Skeena Wild – Sea Doc Society – Sea Legacy’s Turning the Tide – One Million Redwoods Project – Treesisters– Nelson Tiny House Building Series – American Black Cross – Free Red Fawn Fundraiser – Lakota People’s Law Project – ACLU – Planned Parenthood – Southern Poverty Law Center – Bear’s Ears Legal Fund– Unidos Disaster Relief Fund to Support Puerto Rico
SeaDoc Society – Friends of the San Juans – Long Live the Kings – The Whale Museum– Center for Whale Research – Kwiaht Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish Sea – The Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network – Cascadia Now – Pacific Wild – Heiltsuk Tribe Efforts in Oil Spill Clean up – Puget Sound Mycological Society – NRDC – Earth Justice – Sierra Club – Oceti Sakowin Camp – Sacred Stone Camp – Standing Rock Medic & Healer Council – Sea Doc Society – Lakota Youth Against DAPL – Free Red Fawn Fundraiser – Veterans for Standing Rock – Democracy Now – The Guardian – Unicorn Riot Media – ACLU – Planned Parenthood – Southern Poverty Law Center – The White Helmets – Wikipedia