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Arlington Arts Council

Sarah Arney


Northwest photographer and writer Sarah Arney enjoys documenting her adventures, the natural world and all the textures and colors of the seasons and cultures in the world around her. “I was interested in textiles and folk art when I studied art at Central Washington University, but in the effort to be practical, and to live in the city, I transfered to the world of the Huskies and studied graphic design at the University of Washington, earning a bachelor's degree in art with emphasis in anthropology and communications. After my first trip to Europe in 1974, studying design resources with Ramona Solberg and Jack Stoops, I then studied visual communications at Western Washington University and took a photography class, processing black and white film the old fashioned way in the darkroom. 

Then, in June 1977, I joined Peace Corps, serving in Malaysia through 1981, traveling in Indonesia, Thailand and India. Through the next decade I enjoyed several opportunities to return to Southeast Asia. I studied language in Indonesia in summer, 1984, earned a master’s degree in international affairs at Ohio University in 1984 and won a Fulbright Grant to research batik fabric design, 1985-1986. Then I was hired by the Malaysian Handicraft Corporation to write a book, "Malaysian Batik; Creating New Traditions," was published in 1987. Many of the photographs in the book were my own shots of batik artists, fabric designs and production factories. 

Upon return from Malaysia, I painted batik fabrics in the milking parlor at my father's dairy farm in Oso, selling my own hand-painted fabrics as clothing and housewares at art fairs and galleries up and down the West Coast until 1995. Then, at age 43, I finally got a "real" job as editor at The Arlington Times and was responsible for providing journalistic photographs as well as writing news and community features. In 1998, as editor of The Weekender, through 2004, I wrote travel stories, features on artists and theater reviews. 

In 2009, I accepted a position as copy editor at the Stanwood/Camano NEWS, and upon return from three weeks in Turkey in May 2011, I’ve returned to writing stories and taking pictures as a reporter for the NEWS, along with covering Arlington City Council for the North County Outlook newspaper as a freelancer, and I write northwest destination stories quarterly for Pacific Press, published in Seattle’s community newspapers, Queen Anne and Capital Hill News.

Along the way, I've always enjoyed recording my adventures and attempting to capture the beauty of the world around me. I like big picture landscapes as well as close-up abstracts of patterns of nature’s seasons and history. “I hope my pictures help people notice the beauty of the world around them."

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