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Artist timeline

Whimsicalia is a word I use to describe the playful convergence of
magical realism, psychedelia and make believe in my art. Anyone can be a part of Whimsicalia. 

Buttercup Sandwich is how I refer to my collection of illustrations, comics, musings and mixed media art pieces that are rooted in storytelling, historical documentation and the desire to inspire and create laughter.


The name is borrowed from a lyric in a mostly forgotten song by a 60's era British folk singer named Bridget St. John. The song tells of a woman who ducks out of the hustle of the city's crowded buses and passersby rushing through the rain. It goes on to explain where she retreats to with this refrain:



"But as for me, I'll sit and eat a buttercup sandwich and wait til the shower is over."


In the past few years, a handful of life changes have spurred a lot of personal growth and recovery from things like old childhood wounds. Last year I was able to rediscover myself as an illustrator. Through a rainy winter in Portland, Oregon I sat up night after night in a cozy wood paneled attic and created Buttercup Sandwich.

At first it felt like I was starting from scratch but over time I was able to retrain my hand and hone back in on the drawing skills of years past. I knew nothing of comics other than that I felt they would be an interesting new medium to explore in the storytelling realm (a favorite pastime of mine).


I used my background in naturalistic drawing (allowing at first only the use of a #2 pencil so as to push myself creatively) to make a series of non-traditional, overly detailed, technical-yet-childlike, comics and drawings that would put me in touch with my roots as an artist and lead me to some mixed media work as well. From lighthearted and funny to sad and heavy, I draw from things like personal experiences and family stories to weave imagery that dips in and out of reality. The experiment is ongoing...


1989     When I was four or five I sat on the floor of our shabby trailer home nestled in the crick of a canyon's neck somewhere between Malibu and Ventura and told my mother I was going to be an artist. I had watched my grandfather paint in his studio and had seen my mother's drawings. I noticed that could draw equally well with both hands and I inherently knew that I too was an artist.


One of my favorite oil paintings by my mother,

(Dawn Starke)



2002     I used drawing and mixed media in grade school to document family tales of bygone eras and conjured up historical fiction based on old photographs. In art college I skipped around a lot and worked in mediums ranging from dark room photography to lithography, intaglio, painting, video art and figure drawing but after my fourth year I began to burn out and instead centered my focus on music (I was a classically trained violinist from the age of eleven).















Late nights in the Lithography Lab at The

University of Texas, Austin


2007       In my early 20's curiosity and wanderlust got the best of me and I was swept into the exciting though sometimes grueling world of living as an indie touring musician. I played violin and sang with with different groups and participated in hundreds of performances all over the states and Europe. Oft desperate to get by financially I stuffed freelance graphic design and photography work in between tours and swapped out hand drawn art for pixels, deadlines and dpi.


Performing in Paris, France with Agent Ribbons


2010     I became increasingly out of touch with all traditional tactile art forms. I suppose I was filling my creative void with performance art, writing and traveling. For a decade I avoided doing much with hand made art work because it was disappointing to see how weak and untrained my hand had become, techniques in different mediums lost and muscle memory for accuracy faded.



Performing in Austin with Technicolor Hearts, photo by

Ish Quintanilla

Starke, Dawn Little Flower.JPG
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