As a lover of trees and nature, Andrea seeks to live from a place of joy and unbridled curiosity. Like many of us, Covid really shook up her world in a delightful and uncomfortable way. She was a full-time artist for a few years with mural and teaching contracts before developing a severe allergy to all acrylic paint fumes. All contracts came to a halt at the perfect time for her to catch her breath and figure out the next right step. She learned permaculture practices, how to collect spring water, how to forage her food, and trust her heart even when it doesn’t make logical or practical sense. After nearly a year, she finally had a major breakthrough with digital art and has brought her deep love of nature to the digital platform.
Mushrooms. Little aliens emerge from seemingly nowhere, creating a web of mass interconnected communication totally defies expectations. Who would've thought that the fruiting bodies of the largest organism on earth would be so… strange and vibrant with energy. To heal or to kill, that is the question they pose to the unfamiliar eye. Mushroom hunting is an experience with which I have only more recently become familiar and as every old, or bold (but not both) mushroom picker would tell you, the mushrooms find you maaan. They only show up when they wanna. You just gotta like.. Align your energy with the cosmos and you’ll find some.
Symphony of oyster mushrooms
Pleurotus ostreatus, or also known as delicious dinner is really inexplicable in it’s ways. Sometimes when foraging a person can find upwards of 80 pounds of them on a single hike and other times they are as elusive as catching smoke with a net. Humans grow them commercially, which is where I first discovered my love affair with these fingerling aliens. One can buy a grocery store variety grow-kit to make and after spending the time creating the perfect tent with the right humidity and airflow, an oyster mushroom just may grow with great gumption. They are bizarre and skillful in their ways, knowing the perfect time to emerge and be seen. Their wild forest counterparts also keep a watchful eye for the hungry humans who can identify their genus.
Do you ever feel like you want to just let loose and dance under the smouldering stars? Meet Carrie. She is happy to do so any day with a little wiggle wiggle wiggle yeah. She is full of ideas and mental loops and therefore has a lot of energy to get out on nights off. Don’t be fooled by her sweet smile. She is determined to dance until dawn.
All sweet, no spice. He sits and observes his surroundings with infantile curiosity. He loves watching foragers go by and notice all their behaviour without the faintest hint of judgement. He has just emerged from the ground and has not yet fully opened or hardened to life. Charles is a blank slate ready for the experiences of life. With no preconceived notions of who or what to be, Charles is quietly bracing for the chance to be whatever the heck he wants to be.
A lover of cheesy 90’s music, Dan feels that rhythm is a dancer, it’s the soul’s companion and you can feel it everywhere. Although the Madman’s music may not return back in style, Dan’s loop-de-loop always will be. Go Dan, Go Dan, Woop, Woop, Woop, Woop! Ghost like, he moves with amazing fluidity and speed. Morel mushrooms are known for their ability to hide and only be seen if they want to be, Dan is jumping in the limelight but only for a moment before returning to his sleepy forest home with his diskman.
Trouble. Secretly, trouble. A sly and inconspicuous wink to say “let’s do this.” Frankie may look like a bubble brian, but he sure knows how to get into mischief. Once his mischief is managed, he goes back to sitting in the warm summer moss… and thinks of his next endeavour.
Morel Mushrooms are so… unique and unpredictable. They are one of the mysteries of the forest that can either light up and exclaim “here I am! I’m delicious!” Or, their unpredictable location forever a mystery to even the experienced forager. Just like every other mushroom, their chitin in the cell walls make them akin to the exoskeletons of insects, spiders and clams and require a full frying before their qualities are rendered bioavailable to humans. Gavin waits patiently as he awaits to be found to fill and nourish the bellies of his chosen forager.