November 25th, 2013
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.
October 31st, 2013
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.
September 26th, 2013
September 6th, 2013
Many of you who follow the mkc photography Facebook page know I’ve spent the summer getting ready for (then exhibiting at, then coming home and making art to fill orders from) NY NOW. Many of you also asked what the heck it’s all about, so here is my attempt to summarize this crazy sole-proprietor-of-a-small-business whirlwind for you with a few photographs shot with a very unprofessional iPad. Hey, don’t judge…there was not one single spare inch left in the car to pack my trusty Nikon.
(For bonus witty commentary, feel free to mouse over the following photos. Actually, I can’t promise that it’s really all that witty. Or much of a bonus. But feel free nonetheless.)
Step #1: Ask your children for help redesigning your 8×10 booth space for the summer NY NOW show. Try not to laugh when they hand you a perfectly scaled, yet oddly colorful rendition of that booth, complete with Lego mom who has better hair than real mom. And Lego heads. Because no booth would complete without them.
Step #2: Insert every item necessary to build the above booth (minus Lego heads) into the car. Okay, so there was probably enough room to squeeze my camera right into that spot behind my head on the left. But I didn’t.
Step #3: Drive to NYC. Or, rather, have husband drive to NYC while taking annoying iPad photographs along the way.
Step #4: Arrive at the Javits Convention Center and begin glamorous job of unpacking car.
Step #5: Start setting up booth. Try not to cry when you look at clock and realize it’s taken you 1.3 hours just to get this far. Go get more coffee. Get yelled at by three union guys for trying to install your own lights on their turf.
Step #6: Seven hours, three cups of coffee, two tired people, and one dozen roses later, the booth is complete. Time for dinner in the city!
Step #7: Spend 10 hours every day for the next four days in this 80 ft. space. Meet a TON of gallery and boutique owners, members of the press, and fantastic artist neighbors. Write orders with really wonderful stores and realize your work is now in nearly 50 stores across two continents. Also realize you won’t be sleeping very much once you get back home to the studio…time to make some art, people!
In closing, I’d just like to say that my two children managed to get pretty close with that Lego model, didn’t they? They’re hired.
August 26th, 2013
It’s official: the shoes have been outgrown.
I’m not a particularly sentimental mother, so this is odd for me. I’m the one that loves each stage more than the last, the one that celebrates milestones and achievements without getting misty for days already passed…but these shoes were particularly meaningful to me in the lives of both the boys.
They climbed the stairs of the bus for the first day of Kindergarten, twice.
They went to one Christmas mass on the feet of the youngest child who refused to wear shiny black dress shoes as we were ready to leave the house.
They went to the wonderful doctors at CHOP on the feet of the oldest child when he was diagnosed with Aspergers.
They lived on the floor of our mudroom for five years, next to the rather dilapidated matching pair that belong to my husband, and they appeared in two pieces that propelled my art career forward to a degree I never imagined possible.
I usually donate the items that are still tidy enough to serve another boy well after my own have grown too large, but these shoes will stay with me, in my studio, as a reminder that sometimes the smallest things bring the biggest surprises.
August 2nd, 2013
Is there anything better than sailing through the air on a warm summer evening, the air salty from the nearby ocean, and the moon rising in the brilliant blue evening sky? Most people look toward the sun as it sinks low, enjoying the brilliant rosy hues it paints across the sky…but I’ve always been drawn to the other side, the eastern sky, during what’s known as the “gloaming” (which comes from the Old English version of “to glow”). And glow it does: the trees, the houses, the spinning swings all shine with this splendid light. Next time you’re out walking on a bright summer evening, turn to the east while all others are tempted to gaze west.
July 30th, 2013
July 12th, 2013
There is nothing so lovely as the beach on a bright summer morning: I love to arrive early enough that the crowds have yet to descend, yet late enough that the morning chill has already given way to the warmth of the sun. The sight of the gulls dining on their freshly caught breakfast, the sounds of the waves breaking on the cool, wet sand, and the comforting shade of an umbrella are the most lovely way to begin a day.
**mkc photography will be on vacation from July 13-19, but you can still reach Michelle through her contact form and she’ll be happy to get back to you as soon as she returns.**