A round painting of a mushroom house.

“Amethyst Deceiver.” All images © Nicole Gustafsson, shared with permission

Nestled in the stalks of toadstools and fans of turkey tails, illuminated doors and windows invite us in to Nicole Gustafsson’s growing collection of mushroom dwellings. The artist, also known as Nimasprout, creates vibrant paintings and illustrations of fantastical worlds (previously), and she recently returned to a theme recurring in her practice since the beginning: home.

During the past few years, this theme spurred a series of small paintings featuring houses nestled into the forest floor. When Nucleus Portland supplied Gustafsson with a couple of basic wooden mushroom shapes earlier this year for an exhibition titled Clusters, she created 3D pieces for the first time. She says:

I found smaller wood mushroom shapes that I could keep trying out different ways to alter and make even tinier little houses from. The smaller size also allowed me to make more of an environment to nestle the mushroom sculpture into…It was around here that I started thinking of the project as ‘mushroom summer,’ and I was going to keep working on mushrooms until I tried everything I wanted to.


A round painting of a mushroom house.

“Cozy Turkey Tail”

Gustafsson often draws on other peoples’ interests, which inspire miniature circle paintings customized to their favorite species. “Part of the fun of talking about nature with others is finding out what types of mushrooms people really enjoy imagery-wise, cooking with, foraging, etc.,” she says. The commissions are determined using prompts, such as mushroom types, colors, time of day, and weather.

“The idea of being immersed under leaves and tucked away in a cozy space is really appealing,” the artist says. “At a small size, every little leaf and turn around a log can be a whole new world to explore.”

While commissions for new custom paintings are currently on hold, Gustafsson has a range of small works, prints, and stickers available in her shop, and you can follow her on Instagram for updates.


A painting of pink mushrooms in green foliage.

“Dew Drop Glade”

A round painting of a mushroom house.

“Lighthouse Mushie”

Pink mushrooms surrounded by a tiny village.

“Mushroom Grove”

A wooden sculpture of a mushroom house.

“Mushroom Marsh House”

A round painting of a mushroom house.

“Pixie Mushroom”

A tiny sculpture of a mushroom house.

“Tropical Mushroom House”

A grouping of small sculptures of mushroom houses.

Do stories and artists like this matter to you? Become a Colossal Member today and support independent arts publishing for as little as $5 per month. The article Roomy Toadstool With a View: Nicole Gustafsson’s Vibrant Mushrooms Are Move-In Ready appeared first on Colossal.


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