Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Daybook Project

Exciting news! The Open Daybook, envisioned/compiled/edited by David P. Earle, is almost here!!

I have a print in it, along with work from 364 amazing artists! Its a perpetual-calendar type of thing.. David asked each of us to create a single piece of work on a particular day that we were assigned. I was going to do something painted, but printmaking is so much more immediate that I switched over and did a little tribute to John Muir. I'm so excited to see the finished product! It's official release date is November 30th, but you can pre-order it here. There are some events coming up in Los Angeles for it's release, hopefully I can make it down to the show at LACE in January.

LACMA is having a Book Release Party for the Open Day Book on December 5 from 4 to 6pm.
LACE will be having a show of the work included in the Open Day Book Project, exhibit is set to open January 6, 2011.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Highway Robbery!

I just perused this list of the most beautiful public libraries in America, and was SHOCKED that one of my most special places on all of the west coast was omitted!! The BRAND LIBRARY, folks! Look at this beauty:

Who needs fancy stainless-steel ultra modern architecture when you've got a Taj Mahal theme, arabesques, a Japanese Tea Garden, and one of my favorite sculptures ever?

I have to say, I was pretty stoked to hear cartoonist Jim Woodring wax all kinds of nostalgic about his deep love of the Brand Library in the documentary The Lobster and the Liver that played last week during the Olympia Film Fest! Fascinating film, btw.

A public all-art-and-music library in the heart of the Valley? Yes, please!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Birthday Surprise

This grainy photo I saw this morning on FB totally made my day!

My old pal Kimya Dawson's awesome hubby Ange bought her one of my paintings as a birthday surprise!! They live in an incredible log house with their daughter Panda (cutie pictured above), and these foxes are gonna look just about perfect in there.

In other grainy photo news, here's my Corin Tucker Band tshirt design in actual physical form! Freshly printed by Scott and his robot down at Olympia Screen. So excited to get my paws on one; they'll be available in the KRS shop soon!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Punks on Film!

Destroy All Movies came to Olympia!!

Hailed as "The most dazzlingly insane film reference book of all time, Destroy All Movies!!! is an informative, hilarious and impossibly complete guide to every appearance of a punk (or new waver!) to hit the screen in the 20th Century", its 600 pages of goodness, co-authored by former Olympians and bonafide film nerds Zack Carlson and Bryan Connolly!

Zack was my bandmate in one of the many, many, many incarnations of Witchypoo. Dare I say it, but I think we had one of the most stellar lineups. Joe Preston, Jessica Espeleta, Slim Moon, Zack and myself. When we came back from tour, three members declared it 'the WORST trip' they ever took, while Zack and I looked at each other and said 'that was FUN!'. go figure.

At the Olympia Timberland Library's event last night, Zack and Bryan showed a HILARIOUS 15-minute mashed-up montage of some of the 'best' punk moments ever captured on film.. it'll be up on the interwebs later this week; I'll be sure to post a link!

Saturday, November 13, 2010



I have made a really sad 10 posts this entire year to blogger! Holy WOW, that is crazy. An extreme downward trend, much like the economy, and much much like the amount of daylight available to northwest-dwellers lately. Crummy.

I knew I was being aloof.. floating around in the woods of Kamilche and working in the dark recesses of Community Print. But truthfully, it took just glancing at those stats to realize that i have been in a weird space. Depression is a rough word that I don't like to throw around, so I will just say 'weird space' for now.

I didn't write about our dog Otis dying or Natalie dying or the time that I've spent since Natalie's death with her son Dillon, and her husband Dee. I haven't been painting, just working quickly with letterpress, trying to keep afloat, and yeah I also played electric guitar again for the first time in 5 years, that was something! Now we're looking down the barrel of a long deep dark Olympia winter, and I'm trying.. going back to Hot Yoga (best therapy for this brain and body), getting back in the painting zone, and borrowing lots of instructional videos from the library. Should I Master the Bullwhip? Fish for Elusive Steelhead? Learn the Secrets of Ninjitsu??

I think I'll just be psyched that my community is amazing, and that New Things are happening constantly.. like Wild Flag, like getting a plane ticket to Maui, like walking my dog Rosebud on the most perfect unbelievably sunny and crisp November day, with Mt. Rainier peaking out above the treeline, across the inlet, sneaking into my Mason County viewpoint to remind me of big, big things that blow up and stand still and guard over our little world with precise beauty and soothing familiarity.

Wild Flag at Northern, Olympia Washington, 11/10/10 from sarah utter on Vimeo.

New Stuff + Kings Books

I'll be at Kings Books in Tacoma today peddling my letterpress wares at the TACOMA IS FOR LOVERS artists craft fair! You can pick up on of these guys:

Hall & Oates represent!

Carpenters, speaking the truth..

..and look at these stylish new totes! Perfect for groceries, sundries, library books, and records. oh! also buyolympia is having a FREE SHIPPING event through tomorrow night!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Under The Sun

I got a new camera! FINALLY. I think Jt was noticing how lost I've been without a way to visually record daily experiences, and so upon my 35th birthday, generously presented me with a digital buddy. Which I hope means a return to regular blogging, because this year has had a lot more downs than ups, and reveling in epic pools of loss is no way to live. Here are some nice things from the past few weeks:

This is a small hot springs located way, way, wayyyyy out in the eastern Oregon outback. I loved the landscape.. the high desert, low fluffy clouds against blue sky, nice buttes, wild ponies, raptors, junipers and pines.

Rosebud liked it too. She enjoys environments best described as 'scrubby'.

We drove through Burns, Oregon, land of fantastic signage! And dreamt of getting 20 of our most creative and enterprising friends to move there with us.. land is cheap, and the Steak Castle is for sale. Wanna go?

Oh! And we met a FALCONER!! Just as he was collecting his three minions and putting them back into the truck after a beautiful sunset flight. This is a view of the less glamorous side of falconry, the shitty side.

Sunset in the high desert. Magical. I'm headed back to the studio now, after 3 months of inactivity. I hope to have ridiculous amounts of new projects and happier days to share.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mime Machine

Well, it turns out I am a terrible blogger after all. My camera is broken, but that's not really a proper excuse. I think something about stupid Spacebook and their extremely addictive scrabble application has usurped my energy for posting daily updates over here. Lame! I will say it here and now: I'm coming back to the land of BLOGGG!

I had an awesome art show in Portland, and Mecca Normal blew us all away (as usual). I really need to get some personal trainer tips from Jean.. holy moley, nice guns!

Two brave folks bought a painting of an ECHIDNA, one of the world's only egg-laying mammals. Whoa.

And then I went on tour with Western Hymn. West Coast Extravaganza! Since the camera was broken I will give you a brief rundown:

1. The van needs a name. Space Goblin?
3. Merch trends are weird. No one likes tshirts?
4. I ate a burrito in the Mission.
5. So many awesome friends and all of their awesome cats and dogs and hamster/chinchillas.
7. and parlayed that into a really bad mood in Oakland.
8. Bezerkely!
9. Los Angeles and the outlying area is where all of my best friends live.
10. I love playing music live.
11. A row of pelicans working in formation over the waves of No Cal.
12. Phil's coffee is the best, but man: it is made out of CRACK CAFFEINE.
13. I am 34 and have a hard time staying up till 3 am every night (worth it, though).
14. Home sweet Kamilche.

Monday, April 26, 2010


I'm having an art opening with lots of new work, some old work, and giclee prints at the beautiful gallery, Land, in Portland on Friday April 30th. There will be catering by the Korean taco truck!! And, MECCA NORMAL will be playing a set at the opening! So rad. Check it out:

Starts at 6 pm, with MN playing at 8. Hope to see you there! And, as if that wasn't enough excitement for one night, I'll be dj'ing a dance party at Valentine's w/ my buddies Maggie Vail and Justin Trosper from 10 pm onward. It's a fundraiser for Team Natalie -- come boogie with us!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


hey oly!! this rad show is happening on saturday! come on out and help us make $$ for the team natalie fund!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


My awesome, radical, and inspiring friend Natalie Cox is fighting a rare and aggressive form of cancer called Angiosarcoma. She needs all the love and support of the community that helped to raise us: we both put in time at The Punk Rock Dollar Theater aka the State-Tri Cinemas (back in the early 90's), and we both have played in punk bands (Neon Panda!!), growing up in the amazing Olympia DIY scene. I just set up this little blog page where Nat can post updates on her treatment at the Natural Oncology Center in Del Mar, but in the meantime we need to raise some serious $$$ so that Natalie, her hubby Dee, and son Dillon can focus on her health and remission and not worry about the costs of treatment, travel (they live in England), and medications. GO TEAM NATALIE! To donate directly to the cause, just send a paypal donation to

I kept trying to make a direct link to her paypal page, but blogger is being a real jerk about it! You can also go to my facebook page and there is a 'donate' button if you scroll down on the left hand side -- instant link. Hooray!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

News + Prints

Upcoming awesomeness!

I'm having an art show at Land, the sweet little shop/gallery that opened in Portland. There will be birds, foxes, squirrels, moths, and.. an echidna. And vino and the Korean taco truck!! Kimchee tofu tacos! But the most exciting part is that the radical Mecca Normal of Vancouver, will be PLAYING at the opening!

April 30th - 6 pm - Land Gallery - 3925 N. Mississippi - Portland, OR.

between SARAH UTTER and Mecca Normal's JEAN SMITH

I like the idea of Mecca Normal doing something to make the event cohesive as opposed to us doing a set of unrelated songs.... you know, unless the critters in your paintings have been doing more online dating than I suspect...

I'm so excited that Mecca Normal will be playing at the opening! -- and yes, in a way it is maybe an odd pairing. Fairly non-subversive paintings of penguins and owls with your music, but what I think is interesting about our two different representations of 'art' is the confrontational aspect.

David and I are at the beginning of a project called The Black Dot Museum for Political Art and Music. The museum will be online with traveling exhibits, some of which will include our lecture "How Art & Music can Change the World". I'm trying to figure out where your work fits into what we're doing.

My work is very much about repetitive patterns in nature colliding with man-made imitations such as textiles or wallpaper. I've always been a bit of a 'maximumist', overloading each painting with bright colors and graphic elements. It's a busy environment, but what remains still/quiet in each piece is the stare of the fox or egret or echidna -- unblinking, looking right at the viewer. I feel like Mecca Normal is also unblinking, looking right at the listener. It can be uncomfortable, in a way, but in a good way!

The idea for the museum is to have artists submit their work to be archived, featured and in some cases exhibited. If general promo and the museum name are available as infrastructure to share, then this may create a way to have centrally-curated group exhibits reciprocally hosted in cities and towns, here and there, encouraging artists to travel to their openings to give talks and exchange ideas etc. I dunno... like an indie music touring structure for painters.

Compared to the music I've made, painting and visual art has always been my happy place, a space I go to feel good things and play.

For myself, I see almost everything as 'political' or it seems that I can look at things in that way, whereas I notice other artists take the term literally and create narrative art intending to have the viewer understand a specific political perspective or event, let's say. I intend to make political a broader and more inclusive idea. It isn't essential to me that the viewer "gets it".

I don't have much interest (right now, at least) to make paintings that explore the darker realms of existence, because I feel like that's what I do all day long when I'm going on walks or grocery shopping or whatever. Having my little existential crises peppered with bouts of laughter, but mostly over-thinking life and the world and what it all means, etc. So then I go to my studio and play with bright colors and talk to squirrels and it is a major release from everything else there is to think about. It's a more automatic way of working; I rarely plan out a painting or do any sketches, I just pick a starting color and go with it.

What I'm getting at here is... is your art political?

I've always had a difficult time with the word 'political' in relationship to my own music or art. As a woman in a loud rock band, putting out albums on a label known for its roster of very political female artists, I often felt critiqued for 'not being political enough'. When I was asked by interviewers about my lyrics, why they weren't more feminist or radical or whatever, I always felt baffled. Like, 'hey -- I am a woman who has taught herself to play electric guitar, who has composed music, who has written words to go with this music, who has driven herself and her friends around the country playing shows without financial help, who has led workshops to teach guitar to young women, who has endured sexist creeps at every turn to continue doing what it is I want to do, to not have a 9-5 life and/or a marriage and kids -- that's not radical enough for you??!' I think I've always felt that my approach to being a feminist is to live this life as an artist free of guilt or self-judgment (still working on that, btw), and to remain prolifically busy with my hands.

Can you tell me about the art for the show at Land (in Portland Oregon)?

I'm super stoked for the April 30th show/performance/party and feel honored that you have written 'Blue Sky and Branches' especially for it!! All of my work is on my website at, just click on the 'art' tab. There will be 6 new big paintings of the animals at the end of the alphabet, u - z, those are hanging right now at the Tacoma Public Library and haven't been photographed, and then I'm going to make a bunch of smaller pieces this month on wood panels. Not sure if they will just be birds or what. Like I said, I'm kind of a spontaneous worker!

And also, the Reading is Sexy limited-edition letterpress print is available in the shop. So much going on!

Monday, January 25, 2010


I did a little maintenance and makeover over at ye olde website. Oddly, this default blogger template came up w/ a really bitchin' color combo, so I borrowed it for a subtle, yet valentine-y home page. Could it be that I'm favoring 'understatedness' right now? CRAZE. Now.. if only I could figure out how to post mixtape podcasts! Baby steps, Utter, baby steps. Behold:

Speaking of mixtapes, the Western Hymn album is finally available online for purchase! Both K Records and Kill Rock Stars are distributing it. Its just a few clicks away from actually being listed on the KRS site, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, grab a copy of letterpressed northwest punk rock goodness at K: go here.

And finally, a shot of what's going on in the studio as of last week. A mess, basically! I'm working on 6 big new paintings for the show Animal Abecedary, which will be up at the Handforth Gallery in Tacoma during March. My mom is in the show too!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Blogg Love

Thanks to Jena from the fabulous Modish blog for featuring my prints.. rad! Snag one while you can, they are selling fast and I have another totally new batch on the horizon.

I promise to post some new work soon.. I'm in the middle of a tornado of projects! 6 big new paintings for a show in March at the Handforth Gallery, signpainting class (!), scrabble addiction, full body-mind cleanse (a totally boring but healthy way to spend January.. no sugar, alchohol, wheat, soy, fruit, root veggies, etc.), designing a wine label for Deux Punx (SO STOKED FOR THIS ONE!), letterpressing Western Hymn Lps and Cds, playing shows, getting back into the Hot Yoga practice. Whew. I'm exhausted already.

P.S. I finally watched 'Beautiful Losers' streaming online, and it was pretty inspiring.. particularly the Margaret Kilgallen part. Though I still have a lot of questions rolling around about women in the Art scene. I'm glad to see a few up front and center in this doc, but disappointed at the general imbalance.