Mushroom Foraging V

Collage with Monoprint and Photo Transfer Elements on Rag Paper
15 x 11 inches

This collage is part of a series of prints about fungi, aka mushrooms. Through my healing practice, I have developed a transformative relationship to mushrooms, a fascinating life form. Unlike plants, mushrooms have no leaves or roots, and they never form flowers nor seeds. Human beings have a long relationship to mushrooms because they evolved with us, and they are among the oldest species alive. We are more closely related to fungi than we are to plants.

In February 2020, I went mushroom foraging for the first time in my life at Salt Point Park on the California coast with a group of close friends and mushroom lovers. Guided by a mushroom expert, we were able to identify most of what we found and were determined to find edible mushrooms that we could prepare to eat.

I felt so much joy surrendering to nature as I felt my way through the forest in search of my colorful little friends. At one point, I felt very cared for by the natural world around me. I was ecstatic to find a bunch of different colored mushrooms hidden near fallen logs or streams. Mushrooms were giving me a way to shift my perspective: to look down and get on my knees. These artworks were inspired by that perspective as I roamed through a dense lush forest.

Later that evening, as my friends and I settled down in the cabin to prepare the mushrooms, I was given the honor of cooking them for our group. I was blown away to be chosen for this role. I LOVE to cook, but I was nervous about cooking these particular mushrooms because they were varieties I had never prepared before. But I talked to the mushrooms and asked them to guide me as I cooked them on an iron skillet. That weekend was one of the most memorable weekends before COVID-19 arrived on the West Coast.

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