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!

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.

USB Business Cards!! + a giveaway!

The kind people at USB Memory Direct recently sent me a small pile of super cool business cards! Check them out: business card 4

They’re standard business card-sized, double sided, and come equipped with: get ready for it: an 8G USB drive!business card 2 business card 3

Aren’t they pretty?! Also, super handy. I’m going to keep one in my wallet for data-storage emergencies. 🙂 business card

Okay, like I said before, I was sent a small pile of these bad boys. And I’d like to give some of them away! I’ve never done a giveaway before, but I think there are supposed to be rules. And instructions. Okay, here goes: comment here or on facebook (here’s my official page) with your favorite dumb/funny joke, and on Monday, August 31st I’ll randomly select and announce three winners! Okay, go!

FAQ – Who are you, anyway?

So, hello! You know me, I’ve been sorta-kinda adding to this blog for years now, and it’s time I got more serious! I figure, if you don’t know me, I’d like to give you a short primer. This will be a page that I keep updated with new info as you get more inquisitive, but I find that I get asked a lot of the same questions when I’m out and about at art shows/craft fairs, so here they are in one short, sweet blurb. Enjoy!


How do you say your name?

Stay-juh, like Asia, or Anastasia (nix the Ana).

How long have you been doing this?

I’ve been drawing since I was really small, and have always wanted to illustrate children’s books. I went to college for fine art, dropped out, returned to get that degree, and since graduating (2009) have been working full time as an independent artist.

Where do you get your inspiration?

I try to create art that I want to see, that makes me feel. You can’t help but be influenced by your environment so I try to keep that rich with people and things I love. Short answer: people watching, children’s book illustration, directors: Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie) and Wes Anderson (Moonrise Kingdom), visual artists: Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, Alfons Mucha, Egon Schiele, Aguste Rodin, Kiki Smith, Sam Weber, Yuko Shimizu, Jillian Tamaki, Jeffrey Brown, among others. Seeing the beautiful work that others are creating are equal parts humility and inspiration.

What media do you use?

Pencil, charcoal, sumi ink, Windsor and Newton inks and watercolor paint mostly. Sometimes I will create the initial drawing with pencil and ink, and color/texture it digitally. I am attached to cutting designs (flowers, insects) out of cotton quilting fabric, and then using them to collage over an existing drawing. Recently, I’ve been challenging myself to get into oil painting. I’ll let you know how that goes!

Do you do custom work?

Absolutely, yes. It is one of my favorite things.

Do you design tattoos?

I do this too.

What’s your ethnicity?

My Papa’s Japanese, Mama is mixed Scandinavian/English/French/Scotch-Irish mutt. I was born in Texas.

Can I visit your studio?

If you’re willing to drive to Seatac, WA – sure! I have coffee, tea, and might even make you cookies.


Well, that’s it for now! If you have a burning question you don’t see answered here, please ask, and I’ll do my best!

Read more in some past interviews here:



Consortium Gallery


Japan Cinema:


Sequential Tart (talking about the Virgin Project):


More Sale-art!

So, last night I packed up three boxes of mugs. I may have a problem. We’ll likely be moving Memorial day weekend, and I am more excited for this move than I’ve been for one in a long, long time. It’s gotten so bad that I have been having dreams about it, and about altering the house Minecraft-style, deftly adding and removing blocks, complete with sound effects. Here is a sneak peek of the backyard, and yes, that is a treehouse. A future treehouse studio? Perhaps.

our house 13

Yesterday I put up some pages from my sketchbooks in the Etsy shop for purchase, to further facilitate our move. A lot of these are from last year’s Inktober challenge. Take a look-see! book face“Book Face” – sumi ink on Strathmore kraft drawing paper

burlesque 10-24 2 2

“Burlesque Girl 2” – ink on Strathmore kraft drawing paper

burlesque 10-24 3

“Burlesque Girl” – ink on Strathmore kraft drawing paper

kiki 3

“Kiki in the Studio” – sumi ink on Strathmore kraft drawing paperlegs 2

“Legs” – sumi ink on Strathmore kraft drawing paper

rain 3

“Rain” – sumi ink on Strathmore kraft paper SOLD. 🙂 Thank you!

 steve 3

“I Love Steve Buscemi” – sumi ink on Stonehenge kraft drawing paper  witch 2

“Witch” – sumi ink on Stonehenge kraft drawing paper