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San Juan Island mushroom artist makes masterpieces inspired by Mother Nature

"This is kinda like my nature graffiti."

No, this is not the work of fairies.

It's the work of San Juan artist Jill Bliss. Who makes magic – with mushrooms.

"So you can always tell where I've been. This is kinda like my nature graffiti.”

Bliss turns wild mushrooms into works of art.

"I call these Mushroom Medleys,” said Bliss, who discovered this unlikely artistic medium while doing something most people consider the embodiment of boredom:

"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.”

Her forage has fans -- 30 thousand just on Instagram.

Sometimes, the environment adds a finishing touch to Jill's work:

"My favorite was one of the medleys I made on San Juan Island, I went back a few days later and a fox had pooped in the middle of it. That was like the funniest critique I've ever had."

Oh, and Jill's an awful hiking companion if you want to get anywhere in a hurry. Especially if there’s an amanita, or any purple mushroom on the trail.

“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!”

Each of her creations is a tiny shrine to Mother Nature.

"This is a little bit like praying, when I'm on my knees."

And when a mushroom masterpiece is finished...

"Now I'll just take a nap."

A rest...and a photograph are the only things the artist takes.

"I will leave them, I'll leave them be. And people will find them or not."

And if you find one of Jill’s works in the wild, the message is always the same:

“Color is everywhere, these beautiful forms and shapes are everywhere. You just have to look.”

To see more of Jill's art, or get a Mushroom Medley Calendar for 2017, click here.

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