Tags archives: interview

I found Rebecca’s work in a west chester interior store and I loved it. I think we have something in common–our subjects are women.

1.    How and when did you decide to be a painter? 

I started painting about five years ago. I left my job in New York City as a magazine editor to stay home with my son and was in search of a new creative outlet after moving to the Philly suburbs. I’ve always loved art and interior design and thought why not? My sister was moving abroad and gave me some old paints she had lying around so I began to experiment. 

2.    Who were the artists inspired you most? 

There are so many amazing artists on Instagram that inspired me to start painting–women that are professionally trained, self-taught, painting with a kid under one arm. I’m currently saving up for a Claire Johnson collage or a Rebecca Russo portrait or a Gee Gee Collins anything. I’m obsessed with Milton Avery’s use of color and patiently waiting for a nearby museum to give him an exhibit. 

3.    Do you work from life, photographs or from imagination?

I work from photographs to find poses for my figures and then let color and imagination take it from there. 

4.    Please tell us some of your considerations when using color in your work? what sort of paints do you put out on your palette?

Color makes me happy! Acrylic and oil pastel are my go-to mediums and I find a lot of pleasure just mixing paints on my palette. I love the way color creates a mood. A mark of fuchsia or indigo or chartreuse can totally transform a painting. Finding the perfect color composition is one of the most rewarding aspects of painting for me. In many ways I find the process similar to writing. It’s all about piecing together a puzzle.

5.    what are you working on now? 

I’m working on a still life commission for a friend’s new office and gearing up to try some different substrates like wood and unbleached linen. 

          How did you get into music?

 My father is an avid music lover, and as a young child we would listen to records of his favorite        classical pieces. I think that is when I first got the music bug.  I then began learning the piano, and my piano teacher during my high school years thought I might be interested in conducting. That was when I began to explore conducting opportunities, My first time on the podium was with an amateur orchestra, and I remember it being much harder than I thought it would be. How hard could it be to wave your arms, I thought!  Nevertheless,  the thrill of conducting an orchestra was undeniable, and I have been  fortunate enough to have  those opportunities ever since.

What do you find to be the most challenging part of being a conductor?
The joy of conducting is bringing a great work of art to life.  The great irony is that on the one hand you make no sound at all, but on the other hand you are responsible for all that happens on the stage. One of the great challenges is to establish a musical chemistry with the orchestra such that collectively you produce a performance of the highest emotional and communicative power.  This begins with a great amount of  private score study, an ability to rehearse effectively often with only a few rehearsals, and then giving the orchestra the impetus and inspiration the music needs in performance. 
What is one piece that you’ve always wanted to conduct?  -And have you had that chance yet?
There are so many pieces that are thrilling to conduct, some I have gotten the chance to and others that I haven’t. One of my career highlights was conducting  Mahler’s 2nd Symphony. It is work that in Mahler’s words ‘encompasses the whole world’. It expresses the full range of emotions that we as human beings experience. The music also requires a very large orchestra, chorus and vocal soloists.   The power and the tenderness in the work are compelling.  It takes one on a emotional journey that stays with you long after the performance.  
 
 What are you listening to in your car (ipod, etc) right now?
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When I am in the car on my own, I  most often listen to sports radio. When my fiance is with me, we will sometimes listen to 80’s stations. I don’t usually listen to classical music unless it is pieces I am working on. Every now and then, however, I will go on a stretch of  listening to classical pieces that I do not know to broaden my knowledge of the repertoire.
What do you think about Kennett Square? 
From the minute I came to Kennett Square for my audition, I was taken by the beauty and quaintness of the region.  That was almost 4 years ago. My family and I enjoy walking on State St, browsing the shops and enjoying a coffee or a bite to eat at the Market. In fact, we recently moved into the borough and are thrilled. It is an honor to be the Music Director of the Kennett Symphony and to work with these very talented professional musicians. If you haven’t enjoyed a concert of the Kennett Symphony, I invite you to come and enjoy one of our many concerts. 
 

Meet Shannon, Mother of two beautiful girls, owner of  Penny  lane emporium.

Can you tell us about yourself?
 
I live in Chadds Ford with my two daughters, Lily & Quinn, and my husband, Rob.  I grew up in Chadds Ford and we moved back a few years ago to raise our family here.  I love this area so much.  It holds a lot of personal history and happy memories and I’m so grateful we came back.  I worked in corporate retail for 17 years, most recently at Urban Outfitters Inc, where I spent 14 years working in Merchandising in the Planning & Allocation department.  I recently left my corporate career to venture out on my own and chase a life long dream of opening a retail shop.  My family is my biggest Joy.  I think good girlfriends and good wine are an essential part of life.  I love to travel,
be silly with my kids and believe that life is truly what you make of it.
What made you want to open a children clothing store? 
As I was exploring what I wanted to do with the next chapter of my career, I knew I wanted to open a local shop in the community.  In the end, I put together the elements of what I believe I know best:  Retail + Parents + Kids.  I use my own daughters as inspiration and follow their lead on what they like in their personal lives.  I like the fun, whimsical nature of children’s retail.  I felt that was missing in Kennett Square and I wanted to bring something unique and fresh to the town.
Where did the name Penny Lane Emporium come from?
Penny Lane has a whimsical feel to it.  To me, it feels like a warm and welcoming location, a place I would be curious to visit.  Emporium also feels very fun and magical and helps communicate the variety of items we sell.  Clothing, accessories, gifts, shoes, novelties, ice cream, etc.
What makes your store unique?
Penny Lane Emporium offers a engaging retail experience for parents and kids.  I really wanted to create a space that kids would want to visit.  As a parent, I am very familiar with the challenges of shopping with children.  If I can engage the kids in the retail experience as well, it’s a win win for everyone.  We have a small, but cheerful kid’s area with chalk board and coloring activities, a Little Free Library that serves as a community book exchange for kids, a Mouse Hunt riddle for kids to solve for a prize and of course, Mochi Ice Cream.  I hope kids, as well as, parents will want to come back again and again.
What do you think about Kennett Square?
 
I have always loved Kennett Square and was really excited to become a local business owner in town.  Little did I know how amazing it really is!  The community feel of Kennett is fostered by the amazing merchants, business owners and borough government.  Everyone has been supportive, helpful and welcoming to Penny Lane.  It truly is a unique and wonderful place and I feel very fortunate to be fulfilling my dream in this community.
For more information visit website here:https://pennylaneemp.com
  1. Janet Cook and family said:
    Best of luck Shannon in your new endeavor. We wish you all the best.
    June 7, 2017  1:14 pm
    Reply