Tuesday, August 16, 2011

New Studio!

I really, really want to get back to keeping a more consistent blog. I find it so much more fulfilling than posting blurbs on FB. Unfortunately, posting in a format with 600 daily viewers is a more efficient way for getting the word out about my art and music adventures, so I've been spending most of my online time updating in that realm. But my intention is to get back to the blogg!

This is exciting.. I just moved into a new studio space! After four years at the one-of-a-kind Dumpster Values complex, I found I was avoiding going to work there. I needed a change, something fresh and bright, to recharge my seriously withered art habits. Ask, and ye shall find! As soon as I put in my notice at DV, I ran into my super awesome friend Brandi, who just happened to mention that she had a small room in her house she wanted to rent out. Its bright and quiet, and looks out over her beautiful backyard and garden. There are two cats and one small dog! And yes, that is a painting of Crystal Gale in the works.. part of a series of fast, messy paintings of 'Ladies of the Dollar Bin'. The Lp's you see over and over again in the cheap bin at the record store. The series will be unveiled at fall Artswalk!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


First time I heard her, I just stood still and stared at the record. What. And I've never understood how many music historians have categorized her voice as 'screechy' or 'dischordant'; its simply beautiful and STRONG. Rest in peace, Poly Styrene.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Extending Process of Grief

Its weird now with Facebook. Its like a perpetual yearbook or broken arm cast, you can keep writing your sentiments forever to show all your nostalgia and love. but when someone dies, sometimes they keep existing in this realm. A tagged photo appears of yourself at a hilarious, fun pub night 10 years ago with this beautiful bright shining person next to you. Except they don't get to be alive on earth anymore. And then you keep shuffling, through online archived picture after picture, looking for another sweet word or funny comment they left for you, maybe a year or two before they died. And then 'you', a rational agnostic type, skeptical of other realms and whatnot, choose to leave this person messages on their 'page'.. their yearbook, their broken arm cast. Because of the billions of electronic particles blasting through space, surely one part of the message you launched (typing on plastic keys, words coded into a new language, routed through a dsl cable and finally, hurled into outer space and back) will collide with this beautiful, shiny, special, and now deceased, person's eternal fucking energy/spirit. because they are brighter, always more alive, than death.

I started seeing a counselor with a lot of experience to help me. Its been a really positive experience thus far.. she works with a very interesting method called EMDR, which stimulates both hemispheres of one's brain while revisiting a traumatic event. Then, while still in this mode (which is very simply and gently activated by holding little 'buzzers' in each hand), you go back back back, falling deeper into a well of feeling and associations. I imagine hypnosis acts on similar principles. But while in this state, the counselor helps prompt you to let go of the death stuff and see this radiant friend free of her disease, her cancer, and the hospice process. And then I did see her, the shiny beautiful her, standing on the bow of a sailboat, waving so happily and ecstatically, wearing her classic yellow 'Tahiti' shirt that she acquired when she was 12 while sailing the South Pacific with her family. She is on this sailboat, and its the most perfect summer day in the Northwest. The ship is leaving the port; she is free, she is excited, she has her ecstatic smile from ear to ear.

I still cry some days. I don't understand it, and I have a good reserve of anger and confusion from witnessing a bright light be aggressively put out by something I can't understand: cancer. But when I start to go there now.. thinking of her in the bed wasting away with pain and suffering, I can change it if I concentrate. Natalie is on the bow of her perfect sailboat; excited, happy, and ready for another adventure.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Springtime in the Garden

New illustration work! This is the spring 2011 issue of St. Martin's University alumni magazine, Insights. When I first got the assignment, we discussed doing something bright and spring-y incorporating the themes of regeneration, and of older and younger generations coming together. So, I chose to work with the bronze statue of St. Benedict that lives on campus.. here he is chilling out with his crow friend:

And here's my finsihed product. Trying to paint the likeness of the statue was a real challenge! I think it came out pretty good though. Its always nice to have a project where you have to push your boundaries and perceived limitations as an artist.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Music!

I listened to the new Thao and Mirah record via NPR yesterday.. its STUNNING. I have to admit that I haven't really followed either of their music before, except when I recognize Mirah's sweet voice over the Kaos 89.3 radio waves now and then. Kill Rock Stars, you have done it again; putting out an unexpected, interesting, and beautiful record. My favorite tracks so far are 'Little Cup' and 'Spaced Out Orbit'. I love all the instrumentation and production as well. Let's hear it for an excellent record performed by two women and co-produced by a third woman! Release date is April 26th, you can pre-order from KRS here.

*photos by the lovely and talented Sarah Cass.

Monday, April 18, 2011


It seems that Spring (FINALLY) has sprung out here in Kamilche. Today is beautiful, and yesterday we were treated to this epic double rainbow!

I went up to Tacoma for Wayzgoose, which was crazy and crowded and awesome. A bookstore crammed with letterpress nerds! I was in heaven..

A new print I made for the festivities; it'll be in my shoppe soon. Now that I've done a lot of song lyrics, perhaps its time to do a set exclusively dedicated to movie quotes!

Thursday, March 31, 2011


One of my goals for the next year is to grow my hair out. I haven't had a haircut since last july (except my own uneven bang trims at home) and the front section of blonde has finally grown out. I don't really like having long hair, it gets in my way and takes too long to dry! But, I do enjoy a challenge.. so I'm gonna let it be, au naturelle, for the next year until I have enough to cut off and donate to this program, which makes wigs for women undergoing cancer treatment. This is in tribute and in solidarity with my beautiful friend Natalie, who passed away last August.

*A little worried about that 'hair may not be more than 5 % grey' part! I don't even know if I have grey hair in the back! Who wants to check for me??

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Love Notes

Hey look! it's a new letterpress print in my shoppe. This one pays homage to that enigma-wrapped-in-a-puzzle, inexplicably perplexing Joe Cocker:

This print is super limited-edition, as getting the transparent tri-color effect just right was extremely befuddling. But not quite as befuddling as this guy:

Drink in the magic!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Touch of Today

My painting style is really tight and picky and perfectionistic. Although I love painting, I was starting to question whether or not I actually found it enjoyable.. or if it just appealed to my self-torturing Virgo side. So I've begun an experiment, and its FUN! It turns out that I do like painting!! This experiment involves busting out a fast, loose piece when I get to my studio. And using the pallette knife a lot to mess up the image, which I LOVE. Since I have a big pile of discarded Lp's laying around (I collect them from the recycle pile at Rainy Day Records and usually cut them up as backing for my letterpress prints), those became the source materiel. No masking, no thinking, just painting. Here are some pieces from a little series I've started calling Ladies of The Dollar Bin:

Tammy Wynette, Greatest Hits

Nancy Wilson, A Touch of Today

Donna Fargo, The Happiest Girl in The World

Fun fun fun.

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Year

Gearing up to switch over to the peaceful Year of the Rabbit from the tumultuous Year of the Tiger. Stoked!

Speaking of the new year, here's JT doing the inaugural Kamilche Polar Bear swim on 1/1/11 at 11:11 am. BRRRRRRRR. I was sidelined with a crummy cold. Next one is scheduled for 11/11/11 at 11:11. Be there!

And as for the old year, I capped it off with BOOGIEBOARDING in Maui.. yes, I, Sarah U., landlubber extraordinaire, went whizzing along waves and it was FUN.

Speaking of travels, starting off the new year with a trip to Joshua Tree is highly recommended.

Crisp blue skies, mysterious J-Trees, piles o' slabs.. magical. And THE SUNSET!

Looking west..

..then turn your head east..

..and back west again. That, my friends, is some high-grade delicious nature crack. I'm applying for the JTNP artist-in-residency program, hopefully hopefully come this fall I can commune with the jackrabbits and roadrunners in the middle of the California desert.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Otis Love

Is there such a thing as Dog Of A Lifetime?

Yes, there is. Ten months since I said goodbye and I love you the same, Otis. My heart.