Story Behind the Picture: Helpful Studio Dogs

March 28th, 2014

Most people who have jobs also have coworkers. Coworkers can be wonderful, they can be annoying, they can be your support system, they can be the most challenging thing about your day. Sometimes, they can be all of those things at once.

I have two coworkers in my studio.

They have very loud barks which alert me to the presence of the mail carrier and the Fed Ex guy (good) and to the presence of every pedestrian, squirrel, bird, and leaf that dares travel anywhere in the vicinity of their lair (bad). They keep me company (good) and they never leave my side, which is generally not an issue until you’re asked to send photographs of your new pillow design to a textile magazine and you end up with the results above (bad).

I eventually had to lock them out of the room in which I was shooting, only to open the door a few minutes later and discover the toilet paper from the bathroom had been unravelled and rolled throughout the entire surrounding area. The younger dog seemed quite pleased with this situation (bad), while the older one slunk away in shame (good), but at least I was able to submit my photographs on time…right after I cleaned up 627 yards of toilet paper.

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April 2014 Newsletter

March 27th, 2014

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March 2014 Newsletter

February 27th, 2014

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February 2014 Newsletter

January 29th, 2014

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Story Behind the Picture: Dreaming Stars

January 17th, 2014

This is one of the first pieces I’ve created in 2014, and a part of what I hope will become a larger series featuring the beautiful architecture of row homes both in Philadelphia and beyond. I’m now on the hunt for houses. I carry my camera with me at all times, and can often be heard saying “Wait, pull over!” if I’m the passenger in the car. If I’m driving, it’s my children who do the talking: “Seriously, Mom? Again with the row homes?”

“That’s life with an artist, my darlings,” I usually respond, though I know they secretly enjoy being part of my process…when they come tip-toeing into my studio, the first thing they do is look at my computer screen to see what I’m creating, and they’ll often pull up a chair beside me as I work. Or, in the case of my seven year-old, will plop down directly onto my lap. He’s getting a bit tall for me to see over his head when he does this, but I love it nonetheless.

Sometimes I ask them for input as I work, and sometimes I finish pieces late in the night, long after they’ve gone to bed. They know they can always scamper into my studio in the morning to see what I’ve done while they were asleep and dreaming under the stars.

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January 2014 Newsletter

January 3rd, 2014

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December 2013 Newsletter

November 25th, 2013

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Story Behind the Pictures: Boys’ Silhouettes

November 1st, 2013

Those that follow mkc photography on Facebook already saw these two creations earlier this week, but I thought I might share them here as well. If the cobbler’s children never have shoes, then certainly the artists’ home rarely has artwork: it goes on exhibit, it sells, it never stays in one place for long. I decided to create something for our home with which I’d never be tempted to part: silhouettes of the boys at this wonderful age, surrounded by a Lewis Carroll poem (that’s another way you know it’s never leaving our house – I always use my original writing in my artwork, but since this is for our family, I’m okay with borrowing the words of my very favorite author).

I’m making gigantic prints of these and they will hang in our dining/music room, and when the boys eventually morph into unpleasant teenagers, my husband and I will still have these pieces to remind us of when they were all young and sweet and deigned to acknowledge our existence in public places.

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November 2013 Newsletter

October 31st, 2013

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Story Behind the Picture: Piano Keys

October 11th, 2013

These little – well, not as little as the used to be – hands belong to a kid who’s only been taking piano lessons for one year. Why only one? Because he likes to write his own music and do his own thing, and until he was eight, he’d refused to let anyone teach him anything other than the names of the notes. But that didn’t stop him from composing complex songs that sounded like they came from someone who’d been playing for years.

We never pushed him to take lessons. In fact, I wouldn’t let him until he promised he’d actually listen to his teacher, actually do the homework, and actually put in the practice time. “It’s not just about playing songs,” I said, “it’s about being willing to learn.”

Last year, he finally asked us if he could begin lessons. We made him sign a contract (“I will not roll my eyes or sigh heavily when I have to do my homework,” etc). After whizzing through one year and five levels of piano books, comfortably playing complex musical scores by Hans Zimmer, and being told by his very talented first teacher that he’s no longer able to continue working with our child because our child has already surpassed his teaching capabilities, I’m now holding a very delicate world in balance.

I don’t want the terms “prodigy,” “gifted,” “special,” or anything in that vein to be applied to him. It’s too much pressure. I know he was born with this talent, but there’s a lot of living left to do for a nine year-old and I don’t think it’s fair to burden him with external expectations. Is he amazing? Yep. But he’s my kid, so I’d think he was awesome if he could only pluck out “Mary Had a Little Lamb” with his index finger on a toy piano. But I don’t tell him he’s special. I don’t tell him he’s the best. I tell him I’m proud of all the hard work he’s put into learning this instrument. I tell him I’m happy to see how much he practices, even though it’s tough work sitting up tall and holding his arms properly. I tell him things, to borrow a phrase from my dad, that he can take to the bank.

I’ll still always make him sign no-eye-rolling contracts, though, because I’m his mother and that’s my job.

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