Hair and Walnut Ink

Here’s a collection of work I’ve created in the past month, for a show at Stoneway Cafe (3510 Stone Way N, Seattle), curated by Tiny Dodo Gallery, with the theme of “Hair,” in which I’m the featured artist! There will be a host of other artists, with hair-themed art. These are all inked with a tiny brush and walnut ink on cream paper, and measure 11×17.” Opening night is February 5th, 6-9:30pm.

If you’re in the area, here is the Facebook event page:

I hope to see you there!

Loose and Simple

I am loving using walnut ink on this soft cream paper! Trying to loosen up, and not plan drawings out too much – letting the ink do what it wants. In keeping this exercise simple, I’m currently sticking with anonymous portraits of imaginary women, inspired by all the beautiful ladies I know.

These are all available for purchase in the shop, and I’ll continue putting up new work as it comes out. Thank you so much for looking!

Walnut ink and gentle intentions

Happy 2016!! This evening I’m going to go hang my first show of the new year, a collection of pieces I created in the last couple of weeks, trying a little something new.

Flying Apron Bakery in Fremont! Gluten-free! I don’t follow a gluten-free diet, but I know you might!

3510 Fremont Avenue North
Seattle, WA 98103

I’m working on cream paper, with walnut and sumi ink, and cut flowers from a new batch of fabric that I recently procured from some local fabric shops. While working on these pieces, I’ve been mulling over my intentions for the new year.

I don’t have new years resolutions per se, but I will be focusing on being more mindful, in both work and in my non-work life. These last few years I’ve been so entrenched in my art life, and while I am in love with it, I tend to gloss over other areas in need of attention, and let things get all lop-sided.

If you’re like me and are an artist/freelancer/are self-employed, especially early on – you know how easy it is to become a workaholic. There’s always the fear in the back of your head that if you stop working, even for a day, the momentum will evaporate and your livelihood will shrivel up (like all those little plants you forget to water. Gone forever!). In this rush it’s easy to fall into habits, good or bad, and it’s hard to step back and reassess. I’m going to be doing more stepping back, more spending time with those I love, more focused art-exploration/experimentation and *ahem* I SWEAR this aligns with my motivations – playing more Fallout 4.

I hope this year for you is better than any you can remember. I’ll keep you updated on mine, and I hope to hear about yours. 🙂

I love this post by Martha of the Freedom Experiment: 55 gentle ways to take care of yourself when you’re busy busy busy

And Anna from And then We Saved: 134 Ideas for Random Acts of Kindness

The Potluck – children’s book #1

For nearly as long as I can remember to the question of “what do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer’s been: “a children’s book illustrator.” You know, for the money, the fame, etc. Really, though, I was raised on fairy tales and nightly reading, and the art in children’s books will probably always be one of my major influences.

So when, two years ago Elizabeth Dixon List approached me and asked if I were interested in collaborating with her on her first children’s book, I leapt at the chance and after several meetings, proofs, variations and edits, the finished product is now here! My first copies are in the mail to me right now, and I’m waiting to hold them in my hands. Maybe then it’ll feel real; I’m so excited!

the potluck

Buy here

The Potluck is the story of a girl named Tessa, a young girl with very unique friends. On days when Tessa needs extra cheer, she invites her friends over for a potluck dinner. As each friend arrives at the door, we learn what makes them special and how we can keep them safe. Children will love learning about the diverse animals in this book, and can even help prepare some of the dishes by following the recipes in the back! Most importantly, children will learn how they can make a difference for endangered animals all over the world.

Here are just a couple of sneak peeks!!

the potluck 3the potluck 4

Walker the Gray Wolf. So handsome!

Those of you who know me or have followed my work know that I have some rather adult (*ahem) work under my belt (*AHEM). Between the Virgin Project I and II, Blow Each other Away, Cuffed, Tied and Satisfied, and my involvement over the years with SEAF, I’ve decided that for children’s books I’m taking on a nom de plume (sooo cool, it’s like a disguise! Shhhh). Yukika Kato is the combination of my middle and maiden names, so really, not too clever – but I think pretty neat sounding.

So!! Without further ado, here is the culmination of two years of collaboration between author Elizabeth Dixon List and wholesome children’s book illustrator (!) Yukika Kato:

(official web page)

the potluck 2

Our little “about the author/illustrator” blurb:

Elizabeth Dixon List has a passion for animal advocacy and inspiring children to change the world. She lives in Issaquah, Washington with her husband, daughter, stepson, two codependent dogs, and one cat that thinks he’s a dog. In a perfect world, she would have at least ten more animals. Yukika Kato was born in Texas, grew up in Montana, and now lives and works in SeaTac, WA with her favorite man and two cats. She spends nearly all her time painting, drinking coffee, and napping.

>>> I will update you guys once I have the hard copy in my hands! Till then, stay warm (or cool, you Southern Hemispherists!) and cozy.

I wonder if this will kill me

twilight flyer

I have a new collection of paintings up at Twilight Gallery in West Seattle! Opening night is Friday, Oct 2nd, from 6-9pm and the show will be up until October 31.


I was in a car accident two years ago. I keep thinking back to it, only seeing it a split second before it happened. Disbelief. No fear, just surprise. I hit the breaks and closed my eyes and let it happen. Force. Noise. I thought,


I wonder if this will kill me…

I did not see that coming…


When I came to I was afraid to move. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to. I couldn’t see anything because the car was full of dust from the airbags. After a bit I moved my head first, slowly, side to side. I didn’t feel pain, which freaked me out. I moved my fingers and toes. Disbelief again. I started to hurt once I got out of the car. Then more in the ER. And for a brief bit I couldn’t read, or make words come out of my mouth in the correct order. I just wanted to go home.

I broke my collarbone and got to experience the joy that is whiplash. “Whiplash” sounds so benign, right? I thought so. Sounds cute, even.

Death’s been on my mind. I’ve been dreaming about it, always thinking, “huh, I thought it would be more painful. This really isn’t so bad.” But the crash didn’t kill me; it wasn’t even that serious. And it wasn’t painless. Physical therapy hurt. My neck is still recovering. Sometimes, when I lay really still, mostly in the mornings when I’m still in bed and just barely awake, I can’t feel it at all. And I lay there, curled up, feeling what it’s like to be in this body. I always liked sleeping in, but had never appreciated it this much.

It occurs to me that there are emotional crashes, and those can also stick you with whiplash. I feel residual sadness, and like with my physical injury I don’t do my exercises – even though I should, cuz it hurts. So this art is my way of tugging at old wounds, stretching out and gnawing over old heartbreak and disappointment, using vague images of my body as the language. The materials are simple, and straightforward: one color of oil paint on bleak birch panels. I’m trying to create a portrait of longing, of a fleeting, anonymous stillness. I am remembering sadness.

For three of these paintings I used a model other than myself: the beautiful Justyn Rebecca, an incredible photographer currently based in New Zealand (Muse, Handful, Curl 2).


“Cover” 30×30,” oil on wood panel

Curl 2“Curl 2″ 12×16,” oil on wood panel

Fold “Fold” 30×30,” oil on wood panel

Handful“Handful” 8×10,” oil on wood panel

Home“Home” 12×16,” oil on wood panel

Introvert“Introvert” 20×24,” oil on wood panel

Pine“Pine” 12×16,” oil on wood panel

Tuck“Tuck” 30×30,” oil on wood panel

Whiplash 3“Whiplash 3″ 20×24,” oil on wood panel

I tried to keep this collection of work simple, only working with one tube of paint and four brushes. I primed the wood panels with clear gesso, and painted the pieces directly onto the wood, without sketching or transferring drawings first. Once dry, I gave the pieces a protective coating of varnish.