March Featured Artist - Morgan Grether

Morgan Stone Grether

Current place of residence?

Portland, Oregon, USA

Your website?


When was the last time you ate a pancake?

This morning!

Favorite day of the week?

Friday! I like to stay busy during the week, but on Friday night I’m usually hanging on the front porch.

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Give us a brief description of you and your work.

I am living out dreams in Portland, Oregon as a working artist, wifey, and stay at home mama to a super fun 5 year old! I love colors, sweets, summer, gardening, drawing, and adventuring! I have been running my business handmadejulz for the past 10 years, and it continues to evolve each year. Since becoming a mother, I have realized that my true passion as an artist is found in illustration and teaching. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to stay at home and raise our daughter and figure out what the day will bring when we wake up in the morning.

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What's your goal as an artist?

As I said before, I’m always following my heart. I try to capture the honest, natural beauty in the places and people I work with. Overly-controlled studio work bores me. Every image I print or put online should touch me emotionally, and the hope is it will touch other people as well when they see it.

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Why did you chose photography?

It chose me. I’ve been doing it my whole life. I have very early memories of shooting Polaroids with my grandparents in the central Idaho mountains, where we lived.

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Where do you draw inspiration from?

Nature is a constant inspiration. Living now in the Pacific Northwest, I find it impossible not to be inspired by nature here. The mountains, the rivers, the trees, the waterfalls, they can overpower you with their beauty and vitality. But I also love the tiny side of nature. Few things in life are better than watching a bee working in the middle of a gorgeous little flower. So, I always love macro photography. All of these things, the tiny or the giant, I have learned are constantly in flux. It’s all in a permanent state of impermanence. I find that incredibly inspiring. I’m pushing myself every single day to grow and change and learn new things and be better than I was the day before. I’m not always reaching that goal of course, but it’s that romantic quest I hold so dear to my heart.


What do you do when you are not shooting?

I’m a musician. I love to go out to some little club and while away the hours singing and playing guitar, making a fool of myself someplace. But this winter I’ve been so busy and haven’t been doing that. I must make time for important stuff like that. I also love to build websites. I run the site for Lewis & Clark College for instance.

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Camera of choice?

I hate to pick one as a favorite, but most often you’ll see me with a Canon t3i. I love the light weight and feel of it for being a powerful DSLR. It can get hauled around almost anywhere.

Film or digital?

I love film, shooting a lot with things like a Canon AE-1 and Polaroids. But a DSLR gives you the control and flexibility to really get dive into a project whole-hog.

What was the last full album you listened to?

Guided by Voices, Bee Thousand

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Top three movies of all time?

Ask me tomorrow and I’ll say a different three, but today it is these:

• Fitzcarraldo: a gloriously fun film of the idiocy and gloriousness of romantic fools like me. Werner Herzog is such a wonderful director that I see all his films, but this is my favorite of his.

• Seventh Seal: dark and funny and stark and clever. Bergman has us dancing with death, and even plays chess with him, and I love every second of it.

• Bullets Over Broadway: Woody Allen hilariously explores the collaborative process behind all artistic endeavors. There is no “artist” who stands alone; his or her work is always in some ways part of a collaboration.

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Have you seen this high speed video of jello:

Yes, it’s like ballet.

Why do you chose to show your artwork on Plywerk?

The weight and texture are tremendous. I also love the simplicity of it, as opposed to putting an image in a frame. You get a very clean, precise photo, but with some heft, some oomph.

Does thinking of Plywerk give you love butterflies in your stomach?

Of course. It gives me wood.


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