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 was determined to center myself against the hazy timelessness of being trapped inside – so I decided to organize the bookshelves in our cabin. Instead of my usual morning hikes and brisk lake swims, I carried bags of dated paperbacks out to our car. Although these books were destined to languish at the South Lake Goodwill, one title caught my eye – Bliss and Other Stories by Katherine Mansfield.

Back in Portland, this title – Bliss and Other Stories – stayed with me while I worked on a new series of paintings. In the quiet, slowed-down world of COVID, I was released from the routine schedule and daily obligations of my life. I found a rhythm that suited my creative practice and my studio became an escape. I danced, learned new things, sat still and discovered what mattered to me. In that space between doing and not doing, I found contentment. In a word, 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.