the kitchen table © kjm

This Thanksgiving, the Miyazaki-Lund-Hoff-Knode family will go modern: we're having a small plate dinner today. Mostly, it's to accommodate the late arrival of family members, but I kind of like the idea of skipping the big sit-down. Of course, small plates can be filled often... Here's what will be on the table above, today:

Turkey (small, store bought)
Shrimp Tempura
Salmon (cooked in parchment)
Inari Sushi (Hawaiian style)
White Rice (Japanese)
Wisconsin Cheese Plate
Green Bean Salad

Flaky Feta Tart
Marilu Salad
Brussels Spouts With Figs
Mrs. Mukai's Manju
Cranberry Pie
Pumpkin Pie


within reach: illumination

after replacing the bulb © kjm

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]


close focus

Just Before Zenya
© kjm

I heard an interesting interview with the photographer Judith Fox today on Fresh Air. In her book, I Still Do: Loving and Living with Alzheimer's, Fox has made beautiful, intimate photographs of her husband as he suffers through the disease. It made me realize that I haven't made many meaningful pictures of those closest to me. I've never found it easy, but that isn't really an excuse, is it? This picture, of my brother Kurt and his wife Ruth, may be an exception.


i love this photo, #34

© Jon Horvath

I love this photo by the Milwaukee-based photographer Jon Horvath.

The image, Jon explains, "is from a series titled, Subterranean, which became a meditation on the nature of the Basement. I've always been fascinated with how these spaces can simultaneously enshrine the objects of our pasts, as well as conceal them from our everyday existence. It is a place suggesting a passage of time, halted and compressed, into one solitary event."

[See past 'i love this photo' entries here.]


salt + pepper

halloween costume mustache
© kjm


chicago show + tell

Dave Jordano, left, Colleen Plumb, center, Brian Ulrich, right © kjm

I love it when artists whose work I admire turn out to be the nice, thoughtful people I hope they are. Thus was the case on two recent trips to Chicago - the first, with my class from MIAD, when we visited Dave Jordano and Colleen Plumb. Then, a week later with the Photography Council of the Milwaukee Art Museum, where we paid a visit to Brian Ulrich.

Thank you all for sharing your work and time!


within reach: rouen

postcard on the bedroom wall
© kjm

[within reach is a series of photographs examining the environment of home in detail]


within walls

the bathroom and hall closet doors © kjm

A year ago, I was asked to write an essay to accompany a photography book. The sponsor (it was a benefit for a charity) had seen my Early Places series and asked me to reflect on the importance of home. My essay never made the cut, but I was pleased to be asked, and thankful for the opportunity to reflect on the subject. I thought I'd post it here, and upon reading it again, it probably should be the artist statement for Early Places.

Within Walls

At the entrance to my sister’s bedroom in my childhood home, the wooden floor panels creak. They did when I was a child, and they still do, decades later - I know this because my mother still lives in the house. And so I also know that there’s always been a dowel missing from the second floor banister, that the first step into the attic is oddly higher than the others, and that the door to the spice cabinet sticks slightly when pulled.

Within our lifetime, we may call many different places home, and the memory of these spaces can be powerful. When recalled, what we remember is not an overall view, but rather details - the texture of the place. The sound of a screen door slamming, a pattern of wallpaper, the smell of a basement laundry room.

Similarly, what occurs within the space we call home is an accumulation of small moments, the intimate texture of our lives. Within walls and throughout rooms, this is where our daily lives unfold. At the kitchen table, for example, we share nourishment and read the news of the day; it’s where we pay bills and where we discuss what we’ve learned in school. It’s where we blow out candles on birthday cakes.

In the living room we tune in to both history and hooey, we read quietly under the warmth of a blanket, we wrestle siblings on the carpeted floor. In the basement we create and repair; and in the bathroom we cleanse, beginning and ending our days. In the bedroom, we dream.

In the most basic terms, a home is structure – a roof and four walls, providing shelter and protection for its inhabitants. But in intimate terms, the elements of home provide human structure – which anchors both our lives and our memory - through the power of place.