Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, videos and more!
Start Your Free Trial
Advertisement

Macy Sprinkles & Heather Duris

Published:

I am Macy Sprinkles Duris, and I am studio assistant to artist Heather Duris. The Durises adopted me from a shelter nine years ago when Mom fell for the “we’re painting the kennels and need to clear out the shelter for a couple of weeks” ploy by the Lawrence Humane Society here in Lawrence, Kansas. I am an English Setter, and I love to hunt. From Mom’s studio, I keep watch over the open backyard which is a playground for squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, deer and bobcats. Sometimes Mom yells when I bark suddenly, saying that I made her heart stop, but I am just warning her that various animals are running amok out there.

Keeping an eye on backyard critters from the comfort of Mom’s studio.

As for the origins of my name, Mom explains it this way: “Our two girls were ages 9 and 6 when we adopted Macy and they loved her spots and wanted to name her ‘Sprinkles,’ but my husband planned to run with Macy and didn’t want to have to call out that name in front of his running friends, LOL.”  I go by Macy most of the time — unless some naughtiness requires the use of my full name to get my full attention, like when I’m dashing back and forth across Mom’s studio to get a better look out the window (birds! squirrels!) and her artwork is in the way.

Sometimes art projects get in the way when I try to get closeup views of the yard through the window.

Our typical day begins with getting my two sisters up and out the door for high school. Then Mom does chores, makes more coffee, and we head to the basement studio. Mom makes and ships the personalized jewelry she sells on Etsy in the mornings. You can find her stuff at Etsy, as well as on all the social media platforms. I usually curl up on my window-side bed and nap until lunch, unless I sense that Mom needs a break. Then I stare at her intently until she realizes that she needs to take me on a run. After lunch we resume work in the studio. Mom tries to devote the rest of the day to painting. 

Here is where I try to get as involved as I can, just to show Mom my support, and try to convince her to paint me. So far, she has only drawn me in charcoal, but I would like to have my portrait painted. I show her by lying on top of the wood panels that Dad builds for her or wagging my tail aggressively near wet paintings.

I do keep a close eye on Mom. Some days I lie across the exit of her studio, so I know if she leaves the room. Mom calls me “Velcro-dog” because I am stuck to her side. Sometimes I sense that Mom feels overwhelmed, so I hold paws with her or I sleep on her feet so she doesn’t get too uptight about things. It’s a tough gig, but a pretty good life.

Posing in the studio with my mom, artist Heather Duris.

I am Macy Sprinkles Duris, and I am studio assistant to artist Heather Duris. The Durises adopted me from a shelter nine years ago when Mom fell for the “we’re painting the kennels and need to clear out the shelter for a couple of weeks” ploy by the Lawrence Humane Society here in Lawrence, Kansas. I am an English Setter, and I love to hunt. From Mom’s studio, I keep watch over the open backyard which is a playground for squirrels, rabbits, coyotes, deer and bobcats. Sometimes Mom yells when I bark suddenly, saying that I made her heart stop, but I am just warning her that various animals are running amok out there.

Keeping an eye on backyard critters from the comfort of Mom’s studio.

As for the origins of my name, Mom explains it this way: “Our two girls were ages 9 and 6 when we adopted Macy and they loved her spots and wanted to name her ‘Sprinkles,’ but my husband planned to run with Macy and didn’t want to have to call out that name in front of his running friends, LOL.”  I go by Macy most of the time — unless some naughtiness requires the use of my full name to get my full attention, like when I’m dashing back and forth across Mom’s studio to get a better look out the window (birds! squirrels!) and her artwork is in the way.

Sometimes art projects get in the way when I try to get closeup views of the yard through the window.

Our typical day begins with getting my two sisters up and out the door for high school. Then Mom does chores, makes more coffee, and we head to the basement studio. Mom makes and ships the personalized jewelry she sells on Etsy in the mornings. You can find her stuff at Etsy, as well as on all the social media platforms. I usually curl up on my window-side bed and nap until lunch, unless I sense that Mom needs a break. Then I stare at her intently until she realizes that she needs to take me on a run. After lunch we resume work in the studio. Mom tries to devote the rest of the day to painting. 

Here is where I try to get as involved as I can, just to show Mom my support, and try to convince her to paint me. So far, she has only drawn me in charcoal, but I would like to have my portrait painted. I show her by lying on top of the wood panels that Dad builds for her or wagging my tail aggressively near wet paintings.

I do keep a close eye on Mom. Some days I lie across the exit of her studio, so I know if she leaves the room. Mom calls me “Velcro-dog” because I am stuck to her side. Sometimes I sense that Mom feels overwhelmed, so I hold paws with her or I sleep on her feet so she doesn’t get too uptight about things. It’s a tough gig, but a pretty good life.

Posing in the studio with my mom, artist Heather Duris.