Bliss and Other Stories 2021

Bliss and Other Stories – Waterstone Gallery, Portland, OR, 2021

Last Summer, at our family cabin on Fallen Leaf Lake, I was quarantined again, this time by ashen skies and red flag warnings. California was experiencing its largest wildfire season in history. I’d never been so acutely aware of the fast pace of change in our world and I grieved for the blue Sierra skies of my childhood. To ground myself in the hazy timelessness of being trapped inside, I organized the bookshelves in our cabin. As I sorted through creased topo maps and wildflower field guides, I thought about the impermanence of nature. Could the granite-lined trails, the stable foundation of my childhood – my escape, my bliss – change forever? I’ve always relied on the reassuring permanence of the lake and surrounding mountains to carry me through difficult times.

Back in Portland, faced with the continued traumas of 2020, I longed for the steady rhythm of life at the lake. But in the quiet, slowed-down world of COVID – I found a new routine that suited my creative practice. My studio became my escape, where I danced, explored, sat still, and discovered what matters to me. In that space, I found contentment, and I found bliss. My new series, Bliss and Other Stories, is a tribute to Fallen Leaf Lake, the place in the world that matters most to me, and to the peace and freedom nature brings in times of hardship.

Ten percent of all proceeds will be donated to the Clean Air Task Force.