I study & depict Salish Sea & Pacific coast ecosystems.  I'd love to share my NEWSLETTER with you! -->


First off: yes, that’s my real last name. (That’s usually the first question people ask me, especially out here where lots of people adopt a chosen island name for themselves.)

I spent my seminal childhood years on a farm in northern California, while my adult life as a designer and artist took place in the big cities of New York, San Francisco & Portland OR. Until I sold my house and most everything I owned in 2012 for a year-long self-imposed sabbatical to reconnect with the slower natural pace and living things I knew & adored as a child. That sabbatical year has stretched into a new life chapter – I’ve been living, working, traveling & exploring amongst the Salish Sea islands of Canada & Washington State ever since.

Modern nomad of the Salish Sea

Since committing my art work to my specific bioregion, 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 small 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 people in my island community and our seasonal visitors. In the summer tourist season I primarily work as a naturalist and deckhand aboard M/V Odyssey in Friday Harbor on San Juan island. Summer is my season for working with others, 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, chopping wood, stoking wood stove fires, hiking & kayaking in the rain. Sometimes in my PJs.

Simple seasonal living

In winter 2016 I plunked down my life savings for a modest half acre of cleared land on a small island of 30 full-time households to live out the rest of my days in tune with the natural world. I am looking forward to building my own natural homestead and gardens while observing the seasonal and yearly changes tied to a specific place in the Cascadia bioregion. My own small piece of land, my own homestead, my home island, my home – and radiating outwards from here. As another islander artist remarked, “This will be your biggest art project of all!”

Support for localized, resilient communities & organizations

When you purchase my artwork or wares, know that you are supporting my ongoing studies & work, my small island community, and environmental and social justice organizations. Nature is my church, I share 10%+ of my earnings each year with organizations doing important work in the world.

2018 Donations:

ACLUAlexandra MortonBunny MichaelCenter for Whale ResearchCharles EisensteinThe GuardianKWIAHT Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish SeaLakota LawNafeez AhmedNature ConservancyPacific WildRAICES Bond FundSassy LatteSea LegacySierra ClubSustainable HumanTogether Rising

2017 Donations:

SeaDoc SocietyFriends of the San JuansLong Live the Kings Wolf Hollow The Whale MuseumCenter for Whale ResearchKwiaht Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish SeaCascadia NowPacific Wild Ocean Conservancy Puget Sound Mycological SocietyNRDCEarth JusticeSierra ClubSkeena WildSea Legacy’s Turning the Tide One Million Redwoods ProjectTreesistersNelson Tiny House Building SeriesAmerican Black CrossFree Red Fawn Fundraiser Lakota People’s Law Project ACLUPlanned ParenthoodSouthern Poverty Law CenterBear’s Ears Legal Fund– Unidos Disaster Relief Fund to Support Puerto Rico

2016 Donations:

SeaDoc SocietyFriends of the San JuansLong Live the KingsThe Whale MuseumCenter for Whale ResearchKwiaht Center for the Historical Ecology of the Salish SeaThe Washington Sustainable Food & Farming NetworkCascadia NowPacific WildHeiltsuk Tribe Efforts in Oil Spill Clean upPuget Sound Mycological SocietyNRDCEarth JusticeSierra ClubOceti Sakowin CampSacred Stone CampStanding Rock Medic & Healer CouncilLakota Youth Against DAPLFree Red Fawn FundraiserVeterans for Standing RockDemocracy NowThe GuardianUnicorn Riot MediaACLUPlanned ParenthoodSouthern Poverty Law CenterThe White HelmetsWikipedia

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All images and content © 2017 Jill Bliss | Website by Island Business Design

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