I am so delighted to be starting out a new year of Post Art Northwest with Portland, Oregon artist Sonya Montenegro. Sonya is one half of The Far Woods, a “sister run art house on an organic farm”. Sounds pretty amazing, right? The Far Woods came to my attention when this gorgeous moon calendar on the Urban Craft Uprising Instagram feed caught my eye. Curiosity piqued, I popped over to The Far Woods and after approximately 5.26 seconds of scrolling through their lovely and inspiring photos (I am especially obsessed with the mending posts and possibly just ordered myself their mending zine), I knew I had to try to get either Sonya or Nina to be a PANW artist. Social media is mostly making me crazy these days, but I can’t entirely quit it because of the countless number of people I have discovered via Instagram (and sometimes Facebook) who are doing and/or creating amazing things.

The photo for this month’s postcard is an old one from 2015, but it remains one of my very favorite. I took it on my father’s old Minolta film camera when my youngest daughter was home sick from school one rainy day. During a brief break in the rain we quickly folded a few boats out of the morning newspaper and dashed outside to float them in the puddles on the street. A small moment of joy in a dreary, fever filled day.

post art northwest | january 2018 | sonya montenegro & emily mccann

SIX QUESTIONS FOR SONYA

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I’ve always wanted to be an artist, except for that short time when I would confidently answer “paleontologist”

Do you consider yourself an introvert, and extrovert, or somewhere in between the two?

I am somewhere in between, but definitely more of an introvert.

What are your top three Portland area restaurants?

I like casual, humble places, so my old standbys are: Dove Vivi for amazing deep dish cornmeal crust pizza, MeeSen for Thai (best Pad See Ew I’ve ever had…), and Por Que No (for delicious, seasonal Mexican-inspired food – I always get the Por Que Plate!)

Do you have a favorite book?

This is an incredibly hard question for me to answer because so often I finish a book and declare, now this is my favorite book!…until I go on to another and find myself declaring it again. I am a voracious reader of fiction and autobiographies. I can tell you some of my favorites: East of Eden by Steinbeck, My Childhood by Gorky and The Summer Book by Tove Jansson, Light in August by Faulkner, and David Copperfield by Dickens

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?

I just read Willa Cather’s My Antonia on the train ride from Portland to Chicago — I hadn’t planned it but the timing was absolutely perfect — the book takes place in the Nebraskan prairie, so as we trundled through the big, wide open plains of Montana and North Dakota, I felt especially close to the story & characters. I loved it.

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Thank you so much Sonya, for being a part of Post Art Northwest.

Find Sonya: Website | The Far Woods | Instagram (Sonya) | Instagram (The Far Woods) | Etsy

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Emily McCann Photography is on hiatus! I won’t be sending out my monthly newsletter or taking clients until May of 2018. Post Art Northwest will continue during my hiatus, though the method of choosing a postcard recipient will be slightly different than in previous months. If you would like a chance to receive the postcard Sonya and I made together, head over to the Post Art Northwest Instagram feed and 1. follow Post Art Northwest 2. like the photo of the January 2018 postcard. After completing both steps you will be entered into a drawing for this postcard. The recipient will be chosen at random on Tuesday January 16th at 8pm Pacific Time.

2017 has been an amazing year for Post Art Northwest, and I’m so happy to be finishing the year off with the artwork of Seattle artist Rachel Sprague. From her hilarious emu for Threadless to the gorgeous piano she painted for Pianos in the Park, Rachel’s work is infused with personality and lovely details. And can we just talk for a moment about the brilliance of her Seattle inspired re-do of the Hamilton logo? So brilliant. But we won’t talk about how envious I am that she has tickets to see Hamilton.

The photograph for December’s postcard was taken a few years ago while on vacation at the Oregon coast, where the tide pools are always breathtaking. We got up near sunrise on a summer morning to catch the tide at it’s lowest point, and it was well worth the scramble to get everyone up and out the door. The beach was empty except for my family and not long before I took this picture I came upon four or five otters having breakfast among the exposed rocks. As a native Oregonian I’ve been to the coast a countless number of times, but this particular morning was exceptional.

post art northwest | december 2017 | rachel sprague & emily mccann

SIX QUESTIONS FOR RACHEL

What did you want to be when you grew up?

I really wanted to either be a veterinarian or an illustrator. I guess I sort of found a marriage of those two dreams through wildlife art and scientific illustration.

Do you consider yourself an introvert, and extrovert, or somewhere in between the two?

Definitely an introvert. Although I have learned the importance of building and participating in a community of friends ever since becoming a mother.

What are your top three Seattle area restaurants?

Pacific Inn Pub, Kwanjai Thai, The Fat Hen

Do you have a favorite book?

Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh is a favorite. So is Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?

I am currently reading The Fault in our Stars by John Green. It is breaking my heart, and I love it.

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Thank you so much Rachel, for being a part of Post Art Northwest.

Find Rachel: Website | Instagram | Facebook

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Congratulations Jessica L., you are the winner of our December postcard! I will be in touch shortly to get it to you.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. All subscribers are automatically entered into a random monthly drawing for a chance to receive a postcard from Post Art Northwest.

The photograph for this postcard was taken at Golden Gardens a few years back, during the year I shot at least one photo on film every day for an entire year. On this particular day I was using my father’s old Minolta camera. It was a chilly winter day, and I’m pretty sure that I had walked from my house down to beach with my friend Karen. I love that I can walk to the ocean from my house, though I think perhaps that the Puget Sound can’t technically be called the ocean. It was a happy accident that the gull flew through the frame just when it did. Can you see the kingfisher sitting on the very top of the mast in the middle? That was likely my focal point. I remember talking with Karen about the kingfishers that hang around Seattle’s shoreline.

I thought of the ocean when choosing the postcard for November’s PANW artist, Nikki McClure. We’ve never met, but I know from her work and from following her on Instagram that the ocean plays a pretty significant role in her life. This image seemed like a good fit. If you’ve ever had a session with me, chances are that along with your prints, you’ve received a card with Nikki’s artwork on the front. And it’s been a few years since picture books were a part of my daily life, but if you asked me about my favorite picture book, chances are I’d first say that I don’t do favorites. If pressed however, I’d likely choose All in a Day by Cynthia Rylant and illustrated by Nikki. I read it to my children countless times when they were little, and can still nearly recite it by heart. A day is a perfect piece of time to live a life, to plant a seed, to watch the sun go by…it’s a quiet book about not taking your days for granted and living each one to its fullest. Nikki’s art beautifully complements the rhythmic lines written by Cynthia Rylant. At this point it probably goes without saying that I’m a pretty big Nikki McClure fan, and so happy to have her as a guest artist this month.

post art northwest | december 2017 | nikki mcclure & emily mccann

SIX QUESTIONS FOR NIKKI

What did you want to be when you grew up?

An artist, but because that was not thought possible, I wanted to be a Marine Biologist.

Do you consider yourself an introvert, and extrovert, or somewhere in between the two?

I am very awkward at both.

What are your top three Seattle area restaurants?

This question made me sit back and sigh.
Navarre in Portland. I have been eating there for 15 years and haven’t tried anywhere else that has sprung up in Portland during the years because they are so PERFECT.
The Mark in Olympia. It is my friend’s place, so I am a bit biased. Mostly organic and local, relaxed fancy, a place to linger in.
Cheeses, olives, salamis, and fancy chocolate from DeLaurenti in Seattle eaten picnic style on the Bainbridge Island ferry or at the Sculpture Park.

Do you have a favorite book?

The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson and her Moominpappa at Sea

What was the last book you read? Did you like it?

The Hobbit. Of course I liked it! We read it out loud at the beginning of each Fall. This is the 8th family reading. It is a grounding ritual and braces us for the winter ahead. We then start reading The Lord of the Rings. They are in the blizzard at the breakfast reading and will enter Moria this evening. My dreams are written and narrated by Tolkien now. On my own I am reading Seven Knot Summers by Beth Hill, an account of cruising the Inside Passage of Canada in the late 70’s: people and place history.

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Thank you so much Nikki, for being a part of Post Art Northwest.

Find Nikki: Website | Instagram | Buy Olympia

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Congratulations jrelko, you are the winner of our November postcard! I will be in touch shortly to get it to you.
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to sign up for my newsletter. All subscribers are automatically entered into a random monthly drawing for a chance to receive a postcard from Post Art Northwest.

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50 swiss francs | emily mccann photography

Tucked behind my keyboard is an old Calissons tin filled with an odd assortment of things from beach rocks to spare keys. Going through it earlier today I even found receipts for the Christmas gifts I got for my husband in 2016 (Those I did just toss-I think the time period for exchanges has definitely expired). For the most part however, I use the tin to store things I want to hang on to for sentimental reasons-things like this banknote for 50 Swiss Fracs. My friend Sheena gave it to me in 2010, when we were still living in Switzerland, in exchange for some photos I took for her. That was the very first time someone paid me for my photographs. It was four more years before anybody paid me for my work again, once we moved back to Seattle and I officially began taking clients. Looking back, the photos were not worth 50 CHF (so sorry, Sheena!), but that first gesture of faith in my abilities sure meant a lot to me.

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