Painter Emmeline Craig celebrates five years of Stinson’s Blissful Gallery

Eric Graham

A few years ago, Emmeline Craig was nearly finished with one of her most intriguing paintings—of an inter-dimensional stone archway rising out of a grassy beach—when a friend stopped by her Bolinas studio. “We walked into my studio and the painting was on my easel,” Ms. Craig said. “She was walking ahead of me and then just completely froze for about a minute. And when she came back, so to speak, she said, ‘Emmeline, I just went into there. I went inside the painting and my feet were in the sand. I looked into the arch and it was a very benevolent place.’ My friend was glowing and wasn’t in the same state as when she arrived. That was a blessing. I knew I was on the right track.” The painting, titled “Inside Out Quantum Journey,” has been a symbol for her growing collection. This weekend, Ms. Craig will celebrate the fifth anniversary of Blissful Gallery, the Stinson Beach studio gallery where she sells giclée prints of the painting, along with many other original works. For Ms. Craig, who was born in Provence, France in 1958, art making is a product of a life in pursuit of peace, both for herself and others. She landed in Bolinas in 2000 but wouldn’t dedicate her life to art until undergoing back-to-back hardships: she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008; a week after her lumpectomy, her ex-husband and artistic confidant Buddy Craig took his life. “I decided I was going to go all out and do everything it was going to take,” she said. “As you heal yourself, you want to share it.” She began producing larger and bolder paintings that mix metaphysical concepts and magical realism. In 2013, she had outgrown her Bolinas studio and opened the new gallery, which she made spacious and glowing with natural light to reflect the ambiance of her work. “I want to bring people in to settle their mind and feel better immediately, even if they don’t know why. When you look at something benevolent, your body relaxes and you get into a creative mode. We all benefit from being in that spacious awareness.” Buyers from around the world visit, but her influence is felt among locals, too. Robin Thompson has about 40 of Ms. Craig’s paintings in her Bolinas home and described them as a “gift to the healing world.” “Her paintings are all over my living room’s walls because they’re so soothing and exquisite,” she said. “I think they should be at maternity wards, hospitals and dentist offices, because she has such a gift. You can go to another place when you look at them.” A celebration of Emmeline Craig’s Blissful Gallery starts at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday, Oct. 28. Reservations are required by calling (415) 868.2787 or emailing