The bowl a lake inspired and nature's reminder to be authentic (via PCT backpacking)

3 min read 2 Comments

As many of you know, I get a lot of my art inspiration from hiking, backpacking, and generally being in nature. 

In August I backpacked Section J of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) with 3 girlfriends. And this trip was no different...

The hike was packed with insightful moments I look forward to turning into art in the coming months. 

Catherine Grisez setting off to hike Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass on the Pacific Crest Trail

For now, here's a little recap of a few highlights as well as art in progress that the trip inspired... 

If you aren't familiar, the PCT is a 2650 mile trail that travels from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington. In our case, we did just a small section over 6.5 days.

We started at Steven's Pass and hiked to Snoqualmie Pass, a 75 mile stretch that travels by epic vistas, calming lakes, and rushing rivers. According to my phone tracker I hiked 93 miles with the extra wandering around camps and a few miles of unexpected (and exhausting) backtracking to a lake camp spot that turned out to be well worth it. 

Sunset at Waptus Lake on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) while hiking Section J

-Waptus Lake

We camped with a donkey named Lou, swam in alpine lakes (some surrounded by snow), scrambled through the destruction of avalanches, saw countless wildflowers, and bonded with marmots, butterflies, deer, and an adorable salamander. 

mating butterflies, pet donkey, gecko, avalanche destruction, marmot in fog, pink fireweed wildflower, all things seen on backpacking onthe PCT

The most surprising moment was running into a guy whose trail name is Whole Foods. He started the Appalachian Trail the same day as Ken and I last July and we hiked the first few days in Maine together. Otherwise known as Patrick, he finished the Appalachian Trail in February and immediately started in Mexico hiking north on the PCT for 1000 miles, then flip flopped up to Canada and was working his way south. 

What are the chances we'd run into each other?! Crazy surprise. 

Dramatic sky over Spectacle Lake on PCT backpacking adventure

-Spectacle Lake 

The skies were a major factor in this trip... we started out in a wildfire smoke haze, eventually hit blue skies only to be tortured by heat and direct sun on a particularly grueling exposed climb up to Escondido Ridge, and ended our trip in a cloud of fog and mist.

mountains in a cloud experienced while backpacking the Pacific Crest Trail

I loved traveling through these various weather patterns and the variety and electrifying (quite literally in the case of one afternoon's lightening storm) drama they provided. 

Catherine Grisez hiking in a cloud up a mountain on the PCT in Washington

Walking in a cloud near ridgelines was particularly awe-inspiring. Seeing only glimpses of mountain outlines or the hint of a tree line felt other worldly. 

We had the pleasure of walking by and camping at several gorgeous lakes. At dusk and dawn, when the water was most still, there was often a glassy reflection of the mountains and trees above.

These reverse images often made me ruminate on life's bigger picture...

Do we accurately reflect out into the world what we are feeling on the inside? Or are there ripples cutting through our outward appearance so as to disguise our true selves? 

I'm fascinated by this concept of reflections and all they represent. 

So I introduce you to a new copper enamelware bowl (and potentially a series)...

Reflect, an extension of the Landscape Collection. 

As I drew the pattern on this bowl, I thought a lot about what I'm putting out into the world and how I hope my desire to translate the lessons nature has taught me into art comes through.

In this case in particular, this bowl is meant to be a reminder to be true to ourselves. I believe the more authentic and genuine we are, the more goodness we contribute to the lives of those around us. 

Reflect, and copper and glass enamelware oval bowl hand drawn with blue and green and black reflecting patterns by Seattle artist Catherine Grisez

This Bowl is available for purchase here

I'd love to know what you think!

Have you been reflecting on any of your summer adventures lately?

Do you like the bowl concept? If so, do you want to see more?

Comment below! 


Catherine Grisez

2 Responses


August 29, 2021

Katie, your interpretation of your adventures are brilliantly unique-I may need to use the video & background nature sounds for my bedtime relaxing routine! Lol. Your reflection questions above resonated & I had to reread & “reflect” on this a bit! Beautiful design & you make it look so easy! God has blessed you with a great talent, thank you for sharing!


August 25, 2021

My initial reaction to this new design…WHOA! I love it. Would love to see more reflection bowls.

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