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.

New Work at Sassafras for Belltown Art Walk!

Woah! It’s September already? What happened?!?! This is only three days away, but here it is: I’ve got some new inked girls up at Sassafras for the next month, and opening night is during the Belltown Artwalk, this Friday, September 11th from 6-9pm.

If you haven’t been to Sassafras (and even if you have, of course!) do stop by. They are great. On the corner of 1st Ave and Bell St, at 2307 1st Ave. We’ll have wine! Do come!

flyeri love noodles_sample

“I Love Noodles!”

bad hair day_sample

“Bad Hair Day”


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):


The Tarot Deck

Drumroll, please….tarot 03

I’ve created a tarot deck! This was actually a custom project for a man in New York, who over the course of the year waited patiently while I slowly worked on this project – something I’ve wanted to do for ages, but finally was asked to, so I couldn’t put it off any longer! This is a 22-card deck, of the Major Arcana.

tarot 04

Painted on watercolor paper with Windsor & Newton Inks and watercolor paint, backed with thin, thin sheets of wood and painted with gold detailing on the backs and edges.

tarot 05

I tried not to cling too tightly to the symbolism of classic decks, though did pick and choose some odds and ends that I do like.

tarot 17

tarot 24

tarot 09

tarot 10

tarot 11

tarot 12

tarot 20

tarot 21

tarot 22

tarot 26

tarot 27

tarot 29

tarot 32

I am super proud of this deck and sadly sent it off in the mail just a few days ago. I plan on creating a reproduction deck, if only to have one for myself, but possibly to sell, too. 🙂

Thank you

Hello, you.

My family, my friends and friends that I haven’t yet met. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US, and I’m going to be spending it with dear friends.

I’m taking the day off, and I hope you can too. Even if you have to work, I hope you find some time to spend with those close.

periwinkle sm

I take for granted how lucky I am to have such an amazing, art-loving support group. I’m humbled and my knees go weak to think about it, but I am so thankful to have you.

As a tiny token, if you will be shopping this weekend, I’m having a special sale in my etsy shop:

25% off everything, Black Friday – 11/28 through Cyber Monday – 12/1 – by using Coupon code: BLACKFRIDAY upon checkout. 🙂

Okay, back to the important stuff: thank you, thank you, thank you. We’re going to take a trip back to Montana the week after Christmas to visit for the holidays – it’s been a while, and it’ll be so good to see family. But you’re all my family. And I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving.

Much love,