Thursday, December 17, 2009

Paint Paws

My studio is next door to many wonderful things-- the world's best pizza, a plethora of vietnamese restaurants, an all-ages venue-- but I recently discovered a new fave. A cabinet shop, Carras Cabinets, and their infinite recycle bin of thick wood scraps.

This is a piece I just made for my nephew, who lives in Florida. I love working on reclaimed materials that aren't janky; I'm totally really not into pastiche-style assemblages on found cardboard scraps (and believe me, there was once a time when I loved and made that kind of work!). I like a clean edge and nice presentation. I'm thinking of launching a line of these wood mini-paintings after the new year.. so many projects!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

By Hand and Machine: A Gift Guide

I made a super limited run of letterpressed gift tags for the shop! They come in packs of ten, all hand-set type on reclaimed paper (a lot of fancy letterpressed goods you see these days are made with polymer plates, which are usually designed on a computer. Don't get me wrong, a lot of this work is beautiful! But I definitely think there's something special about working the old-old-old-fashioned way). Wrap your goods with style and flair!

Now, I'm all for making presents for your loved ones. Most of my special peeps are getting something made by my tiny hands. But, there are also little manufactured treats out there that are what I deem to be SIMPLY THE BEST.. just say no to the obligatory go-to's of yesteryear (candles, a wallet in a box, picture frame, shoeshine kit!) and take a moment to peruse these beauties:

'Prince Vladimir' is the BEST black tea! anyone but a total fool will love this. Bonus = pretty tin.

No one (unless you are a spelunker or night cyclist) thinks they need one of these. Then --poof-- someone gifts you one and your life changes FOREVER!! You could give one of these to your granny and she would be so stoked.

Jews and gentiles alike find these little juice cups delightful!
I gifted a set to my BF last year and they now live in the 'no touchy' section of our kitchen-- so prized that they may not risk breakage by actually being used. They are display ware. A perfect office gift!

A snazzy stocking stuffer. Their shea butter is a miracle on craggy gross winter skin, and you can dab it your hair for shine too! Plus awesome points for supporting their company; the founder -- Olowo-n'djo Tchala -- grew up in Africa and works with villagers there to fairly harvest the oil that is then brought to OLYMPIA (!!) where his small company handcrafts each batch of butter.

I hate making flyers and other propaganda on the computer, and I have a feeling that copy machines will someday become as hip as that other dinosaur of documentation, the polaroid. My bible is CRAPHOUND. Thank god (Sean Tejaratchi) has made three of these rare beauties available again, with another reissue due any day now. PRINT AND DESTROY!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Dog Bloggin'

My pal Brandi just forwarded me this image titled Unfinanced Love and said 'this reminds me of you and Rosebud'!! SO TRUE. If any of you out there aren't familiar with our saga, Rosebud is my scrappy little feral hound that I rescued while living in LA. Then she came down with an insane freak bacterial infection in her chest cavity and almost died.. but after $10,000 in vet bills, she lived and is currently thriving out here in the paradise of Kamilche. I LOVE THIS PAINTING! Artist: Sara Antoinette Martin. Check out here other work right here.

Rosebud in her body bandage with chest tubes (I only started taking pictures after she turned a corner on day 3 in the doggy ICU.. it was just too brutally sad the first few days):

Truly: Unfinanced Love. She's the sweetest.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Friday Friday Friday

It's happening! Our record release party!! I know, we've only been a band for like a month or something (ok, actually since March) but when you work with seasoned professionals like Craig and Kris, and recording wizard Matt Buscher, you get RESULTS! And so we have in hand 300 full-length Lp vinyl records. All that's missing is the cover art, which i'll be letterpressing today down at Community Print. Come to the party!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Manxgiving!

5 little paintings I just finished for a charity gala thingy in Tacoma.. my mom and her friend are decorating a tree (sponsored by the Humane Society) with 100 tiny paintings of dogs, cats, and bunnies made by Northwest artists, and then the tree will be auctioned off to benefit the Mary Bridge Childrens' Hospital. Happy Howlidays and Merry Catsmas to all!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Good Advice

Lookee! Another new letterpress print available in my shop, right here. Only 20 available, hurry hurry!

Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
Keep On With The Force Don't Stop
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough
[Ad-Lib To Fade]

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Print Treats

Exciting!! Four of my Song Lyrics series of letterpress prints are now available in my shop! Each is 8.5" x 11", and limited to an edition of 20. Signed and numbered on the back, and packaged w/ a reclaimed LP cover. Oh, and printed on thick cover stock that was slated for the dumpster (extra inventory from a print shop here in town). Choose between the sweet stylings of Neil Young, John Denver, Paul Weller, and Lionel Richie. And there's one more on the way.. hint: sequined glove.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cyber Shout-Out

I totally missed this!! The lovely Tula (of the even more lovely Whorange blogg) included my one of my Poketo wallets in her Halloween Orange n' Black roundup.. thanks Tula! Visit the page here.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Here is what I've been working on!

The 26th Annual Olympia Film Festival poster and program. The film lineup looks ruling this year! Meet me in the mezzanine.

I also finished painting this bench for the City, part of the downtown beautification program. It lives on the Franklin side of Dumpster Values, where my studio is.

Western Hymn (the band I play in) is in full effect:

We finished recording our debut album, and I letterpressed fancy recycled cardboard cd packs for a limited release..

Vinyl will be available soon.

And if you're in the Olympia area, please come to the Bike N' Bike benefit this Wednesday, 10/7! We'll be playing w/ the fabulous Broken Water and other bands tba. 1611 4th Ave. Bike to the show!

Friday, August 14, 2009

For The Longest Time

I took a total vacation from the Blogg! Where have I been? Here, in Kamilche, and over there, in Olympia. Splitting my time between dog-wrangling and art-making. Mostly letterpressing; my pal Themba Lewis and I just finished a MAJOR poster project, funded by the City! I need to find a large-format scanner, so I can post the fruits of our (serious) labor. We had to pull some crazy late-night sweltering summer letterpress jams in Community Print to meet our August 1st deadline.. a few tears were shed in frustration, sweating over the Vandercook and trying to register everything just so. Here's one of Themba's:

And an in-process shot of one I made about pioneering environmentalist (and Oly resident) Margaret McKenny:

The magical lair, Community Print:

Also I've been doing a bit of night canoeing, watching the bioluminescent dinoflagellates glow in the oars' wake.

Mostly with this guy, when he's home from park ranger duties at Mt. St. Helens:

And what's on my plate for August/September?

1. Paint a bench for the City (i heart public arts grants!)
2. Finish the Olympia Film Festival poster/tickets/program.
3. Keep on printing!
4. Western Hymn jamming.
5. Start work for the 2010 Tacoma Public Library show.
6. New shirts for
7. Hug this guy:

8. Design cover art for Angelo Spencer's bitchin' upcoming release on K.
9. Paint cover art for Chalk Circle re-issue (!!!!!!!!!!!!)
10. Try not to panic; I will get it all done.

And with that, I leave you with a little montage of a print project I finished last week:

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Update and Interview

So, things are happening!! There's the commission from the City of Olympia for the letterpress posters, I've been tapped to paint the Olympia Film Society's 26th Annual Film Festival poster, and I just found out yesterday that this downtown business association thingy is paying me $1000 to paint a bench!! Crazy. Right before I received the phone call about the bench commission, I was literally wandering around in the woods by myself having an existential dialogue about my place in the world.. feeling aimless/useless as an artist. Wondering if I should just go to Grad School and become a teacher. And then all of these projects fell in my lap! The Universe is indeed mysterious.

On top of all this great art news, I've been playing in a band called Western Hymn that is so inspiring to me.. I get to step back and play bass with two incredible musicians; I am learning how to work with a drummer, really figure out how to integrate the parts, for the first time. This kid Steve interviewed me for his metal (!) zine called Rot and Roll, about my old band, Bangs. Here you go!

1)you and maggie had bangs when you were in bangs. what are the advantages and disadvantages to having bangs? do you still keep your bangs cut?
The advantages to having bangs are two-fold: first, when grown to the appropriate length, they can be used a social defense-mechanism to avoid eye contact and hide one's shyness. secondly, if you have those premature wrinkles across your forehead from worrying and/or questioning your place in the world all the time, bangs can be a curtain of youth. yup, i still got bangs.

2)going through some youtube footage i noticed you dye your hair. how often do you dye your hair?
These are weird questions! Who cares? Ok, for anyone who actually cares.. I dye my hair on a whim when i feel like it. I usually do blonde, but then when it starts melting off from over-processing i go back to dark brown. i experimented with growing out my natural mousy-brown shade when i was 27 and it was BORING. so here i am back at blonde again. but let me explain that the name Bangs was never really about hairstyles.. it was a reference to many things, for me it was all about cacophonous noise, and for Maggie (I think) it had to do with her affinity for Lester Bangs.

3)do you still play in bands?
I took 4 years off to focus on visual art, but have recently started playing in a band called Western Hymn. I am super psyched about this band! I play bass, my friend Craig Extine (he was the guitar player/singer in the band The Old Haunts) sings and plays guitar, and our pal Kris Cunningham is the drummer extraordinaire. We're gearing up to do our first recording in the end of June.

4)besides birds and backgrounds, what do you like to paint?
Anything! Except people. I paint all kinds of animals.. tigers, raccoons, housecats, deer, foxes, penguins, owls. I paint on paper and on objects like tambourines. I paint on walls and on the floor, it's basically what I do all day long.

5)what mediums do you paint with and how long does it take to finish a picture?
I paint with acrylic on paper.. the size of the piece determines the length of time needed. For a bigger piece, like 27" x 36", it might take me two weeks.. I'm definitely not the kind of artist that can 'knock out' a painting in a few afternoons. I take lots of breaks to look at field guides and go on walks. I practice headstands while the paint dries.

6)how long have you painted and played guitar? how long after you started did you feel comfortable playing or painting?
I started playing guitar when I turned 17 (I'm 33 now); I received an awesome cheap pointy-headstock Yamaha electric guitar for my birthday! But I come from a musical family (my dad was a jazz drummer), so it's always been a part of my life.. before I played guitar I played violin for years. I would say I was fairly horrible at guitar for the first year, but also incredibly determined-- I practiced scales over and over in my room. I played in my first band at age 19, we were called Plastique, we were a two-piece that put out a couple of 7"'s on K Records. I was terrified at the first show (I've never been much of a ham or center-of-attention person), but after that I just let go and performing became incredibly transformational at best, and at the least, a good form of cathartic energy-burning. Visual art was always my first love (my mom's an artist and really creative), so I basically was on the path to becoming a cartoonist or painter when I got 'sidetracked' in high school by the punk music scene-- there were tons of great all-ages shows happening at that time. I didn't get back to art (aside from making flyers and tshirts, graphic design stuff) until I went back to school in my mid-20's and took a full-time painting course. I think I've always realized that you have to be willing to be REALLY bad at something for a while in order to get really good at it, so that's how I approached painting. Though I still get really nervous when I have art shows, way more so than when I play with a band. Because when I put up my pictures on a wall, you're really seeing what the inside of my head looks like, and that can make anyone feel a bit vulnerable.

7)what else do you do artistically?
I maintain my painting habit by doing graphic design; I have a line of t-shirts on the great site that has done just well enough to pay my cheap rent.. hooray! So, there's that. I make flyers for local venues, I'm involved in a cooperative printmaking studio called Community Print here in Olympia; I do letterpressing and silkscreening for various projects. I take photos for my blogg, I play records at my friends' bar for fun, I try to stay busy with my hands everyday.

8)what musical equipment do you play on?
For guitar, I play an '85 Gibson SG through a Marshall JCM800 combo amp. I also am strongly in favor of old Music Man guitar heads! I played on a variety of Music Man gear in the early days. I think RAT pedals are the best simple distortion pedal, but I don't play through one anymore. I have a tuner and a distortion pedal called a 'HOT CAKE' that I bought in New Zealand from the guy that builds them, Paul Crowther himself, the original drummer from Split Enz.. he gave me a really nice deal.
Now that I'm playing bass, I'm borrowing a bunch of gear. I'm playing a Univox Hi-Flyer 3/4 scale bass through an Acoustic head (not sure of the model), and an old Fender 15" speaker cabinet. No effects, just a tuner and guitar cables. Sounds great!

9)what influenced bangs' music and lyrics?
That's a separate question for Maggie and I. We both grew up in Olympia and are steeped in the early 90's punk scene, but have fairly different influences. I loved Black Sabbath, she loved the Who. I loved the Stooges, she loved the Replacements. I think we found common ground in the Go-Go's and Cheap Trick.
Lyric-wise, I've always written songs to 'get something off of my chest' whether it's about an ended relationship, getting harassed on the street, or my own battles with anxiety and depression. I'm not very abstract, it's usually pretty literal.

10)why did bangs end?
For no other reason than that I decided to move to Los Angeles. It was a totally amicable break-up; I just needed a change of scenery after living in Olympia for 27 years. Our last show was amazing and bittersweet. I loved playing in Bangs!

11)what would you like to do if bangs were still around?
Well, touring Europe and Asia were always two things we really wanted to do that never happened. We were fortunate to get to tour the US a bunch of times w/ amazing bands, and also spend time overseas playing in England, Scotland, New Zealand and Australia. And I would hope we would still have the same drummer!

12)what songs do you miss playing?
I don't really think of old bands that way. I just miss playing with that group of friends.. not songs in particular. I guess if I had to name one, I'd pick our cover of 'Southern Girls' by Cheap Trick as I got to do some really fun things on guitar, and Maggie held down the vocals.

13)i saw you play with sleater kinney and the gossip in cleveland years ago. what were they like and what do you think of the music they've created over time?
Both groups are comprised of stellar people and musicians. Our shows with both bands, who were gracious enough to play with us on tour, were always a highlight. Sleater-Kinney's fans are the most supportive music freaks I've ever met! I actually sold merch for S-K after I moved to California, and had a great time touring with them as part of their 'crew'. With both of those bands, I can remember seeing their first shows in living rooms or basements of Olympia, and to see the places they've gone through an insane work/tour ethic and talent is unbelievable. Very inspiring to say the least!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Button Button

Hey pals!
It's been so long.. I've been a busy bee, hatching a hundred plans for the summer, 80% of which involve making art: letterpress, painting, music. It's gonna be a rad sunny time! I promise to update more often with new work and anecdotes and random pictures of dogs and seaweed. Until then, behold the latest creation from the Utter/ laboratories! The OFFICIAL 'I Heart Public Transportation' button!

Seen here on Buyoly's #1 top model, Vinnie C.!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Hands Are Filthy

So tomorrow night is Olympia's big old spring Artswalk.. and instead of showing paintings, I'm going to be hanging tough in my favorite ramshackle renegade printmaking hive, Community Print. If you're downtown, do stop by! We'll be having an open studio, print show, and print sale, and I believe there will be a letterpress demo. Come see how the MAGIC happens!

You can pick up one of these bad boys for ten bucks! Btw, isn't it time we all reclaimed that particular slang term? From now on, I'm gonna call mass rad super cool objects of desire 'bad girls'. Summer of bad girls, coming up!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Letterpressed Goodness

This is EXCITING: my friend Themba and I received a grant from the City of Olympia with which we can run creatively wild! We will be making a series of 10 letterpressed posters depicting lesser-known tidbits of Oly's 150 years (opium dens! gunfights! sloppy joes!). To gather inspiration, I started taking a look-see around the interweb, and found these beautiful pieces, which are on display RIGHT NOW at the University of Puget Sound's library gallery. Behold the Feminist Broadside Series, designed by Chandler O’Leary of Anagram Press and printed by Jessica Spring of Springtide Press:

Beauty! The pink and orange print is still available right here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

With Extra Flair

I think I just wanted to hang onto Hawaii tight and never let it go, and so I stopped updating the blog. BUT! I have an art opening happening this Thursday, April 16th in lovely Tacoma, Washington at Two Vaults gallery. Among the new work is..


(jingle jingly jingles)

(and more jingling)

Here's the info!

Opening Thursday, April 16th
Reception 5 - 9 pm
Two Vaults
602 Fawcett Ave
Tacoma, WA 98402

And now I have a very rambunctious, but patient, feral Ibizan Hound staring at me longingly, and so we must go on a forest adventure. Hope to see you Thursday! I'll tell you all about my next project on the horizon, involving teapots and letterpressed Black Flag lyrics. (I had a vision).

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

In the Middle of the Sea

HAWAII, friends. The Big Island. Best escape-the-everlasting-Northwest-winter plan. Here's what it felt like:

Black sand, white sand, two volcanoes, lava beds, rainforest, caves, snow, surf, dolphins, whales, sea turtles, coral. Living Aloha.