Leslie Graff

August 15, 2011

I’m captivated by the domestic series of Boston-based painter, Leslie Graff. The images are so pretty and idealized (heels in every image — is it a statement? a wish?). I’m drawn to the strong compositions and I love looking at them. The originals go on sale in October and you can buy the series as notecards in Leslie’s shop.

How about you? Are you drawn to domestic art? Would you prefer images that showed the real-life nitty gritty of home?

 

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{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Adventures In Babywearing August 15, 2011 at 6:54 am

Oh I love this perspective. My favorite photos are not the staged, but more the real life.

Steph

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2 sarah August 15, 2011 at 6:56 am

i love the idea of never seeing the mom’s face, but knowing she is there working hard for her littles!! i love to wear heels out, so that’s not a wish at all and i still do with baby boy!

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3 Design Mom August 15, 2011 at 9:40 am

I love wearing heels too! I’ve definitely cooked in them, but I can’t say I’ve bathed the kids or ironed while wearing them. : )

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4 Renee August 15, 2011 at 8:00 am

These are fantastic! I think there’s at least two distinct ways to look at them and love them. The first, the obvious, is that many women love to wear heels and look “put together” and feel like they can mother and look glamorous at the same. But my first impression, and from experience as a full time working mom, is that some nights toddler needs dinner, play, bath, bed, all before I can even think about having a few moments to myself to change my clothes and shoes.

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5 Design Mom August 15, 2011 at 9:45 am

Love that, Renee!

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6 Genevieve August 15, 2011 at 8:07 am

Well said, Renee. That is how I thought of the images, too. Love every one of them, especially the one of the mother and child by the tub.

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7 elz August 15, 2011 at 8:09 am

It’s not necessarily idealized for me. I’m in heels most every day and getting the kids ready for school, etc. I think they are gorgeous prints, thanks for sharing.

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8 Rebecca August 15, 2011 at 8:43 am

I’m rarely in heels, but I may wear them more often if they help my legs look this good:)
I love how the loving acts of service and care a mother gives to her family 24/7 are beautifully captured by Leslie. It also seems to me that this mother knows who she is and how significant her work is.
My favorites from this series are “Easy as Pie” and “Homemade.”

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9 Lori August 15, 2011 at 8:48 am

I love them! Just added to my “gift ideas” bookmarks.

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10 Louise August 15, 2011 at 8:54 am

I love her work too – we actually featured her on the Mormon Women Project a little while ago where she talks about her motivations and her work. Is it okay to post a link to the interview we did with her in the comments?

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11 Design Mom August 15, 2011 at 9:46 am

Sure, Louise.

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12 Ashley C August 15, 2011 at 9:01 am

I LOVE these pictures! I’m obsessed with domestic pictures of this nature and strive to be this type of woman someday!

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13 Johanna August 15, 2011 at 9:05 am

Totally just bought the mothering set 1 art cards. We all know what the nitty gritty of the daily grind looks (and feels like)-sometimes it is nice to escape into an orderly and pretty idealization of it all.

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14 Design Mom August 15, 2011 at 9:41 am

So glad you bought a set!

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15 M August 15, 2011 at 9:23 am

I like these too! If there were some pictures of women with brown legs, I’d really LOVE these.

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16 Lynne August 15, 2011 at 10:28 am

Different skin tones, different shapes…I would really love that, too!

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17 Angela August 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm

I agreed with you until I clicked on Graff’s website, where it says that this is actually a self-portrait series. So these are all the artist’s legs. :)

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18 Denise Laborde August 15, 2011 at 9:38 am

These are lovely. I like the heels!

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19 Heather B August 15, 2011 at 9:45 am

That’s our Leslie! I have adored her work for years and years…. you should go get the prints she has of these (and others )on her website.. totally worth it. Promoting good art is a GREAT thing to do… I’m so blessed to get to work with her (and her fabulous ideas) at our literary magazine, segullah.org. It is such an honor to get to be associated with so many, many astonishingly creative and brilliant women.

And I personally think that I need one of Leslie’s paintings in a large scale in my home…. if I could ever afford one :-) I am so drawn to domestic art, versus things that are, to my lifestyle, more imaginary or far away. I love to see, for example, great art from all ages, but in the end, it is the paintings of mothers and children, of nursing mothers, of family life which resonate to me particularly.

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20 Gwen August 15, 2011 at 10:03 am

A toddlers’ early imprint of Mom. In fact, I know these women! I have family photos of them …! :)

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21 Heather @That Uncomfortable Itch August 15, 2011 at 10:20 am

I wear heels so often that I feel odd when wearing flats. In fact the only true flats I have are Converse shoes. Aporns are also fabulous sexy. I love these prints for their timelessness. To me they say a woman can be all things while also being fully glam. I’m going to have to snap up some cards.

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22 Reading (and chickens) August 15, 2011 at 10:31 am

Oh, these are so lovely! The one near the school bus makes my heart pound a little. If I owned it, I wouldn’t be able to glance at it until at least November.

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23 Linnea August 15, 2011 at 11:18 am

Wow. these are just beautiful! I love the way it shows the strength of the mother, but also portrays her as beautiful, graceful, gentle. I love the bold colors, and yes, I think I would hang a few in my home!

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24 Deb August 15, 2011 at 11:22 am

I find it interesting how some see the images as idealized and others as a representation of their everyday life. As a mother of three and an attorney, my heels go on in the morning and usually do not come off until after baths are given, books are read and children are in bed. The images struck a cord with me…thank you for sharing.

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25 Lola August 15, 2011 at 11:56 am

I like the modern twist on idealised 50s adverts – she’s clearly a working mother in some of the paintings.

I think they’re beautiful. And we already have the real life nitty gritty in, well, real life; nothing wrong with some idealism in our artwork!

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26 Chrysula August 15, 2011 at 12:45 pm

There are so many lenses through which to view Leslie’s work. The 50′s iconography of Stepford Wives, the contemporary working mother just home or on the way to the office, or Sunday best… Choosing your point of view changes everything about the work. I love Leslie’s eye and social commentary in such exquisite ways and have one of her works on request! Also for those wondering about some
More diverse legs and shapes, I believe these are all self-portraits and so the skin tone and shape are Leslie’s. Finally Gabrielle, as the wife of an art dealer and part of a family obsessed with art, THANK YOU for highlighting women’s contemporary work in a way that is so accessible.

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27 Margaret August 15, 2011 at 2:24 pm

I think these paintings are gorgeous. And the moms are wearing really fantastic shoes.

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28 nadia August 15, 2011 at 2:46 pm

i know leslie, in fact i met her and she showed at my shop. i have pieces of her work still life and abstract. leslie is lovely and i love how her subject and medium changes, when i first saw these i thought of leslie and all the different hats she wears( she is amazing woman) but she as what i see when i look at the these images is mother before all things, very feminine.

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29 Mary August 15, 2011 at 3:32 pm

I absolutely love these. While I would love a full size art print, I settled for a handful of the notecards. I just ordered them and plan to frame them together near my desk at home. These are great.

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30 kelleyn August 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm

Though I never wear heals, I love this collecton.

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31 Carey August 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm

I love these! Maybe a little ‘idealized’ but I prefer to think of it as a reminder that even the every-day mom stuff is sexy and glamorous, through the right person’s eyes. :)

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32 Debbied August 15, 2011 at 4:43 pm

I really like the artwork..Strong, yet pretty.

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33 ann August 15, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Thanks Design Mom –

I enjoy that you expose your reader to arts in the U.S. We lived in Kyiv, Ukraine for two years and were able to visit artists lofts, learn about art and purchase it.

The artists lofts included primarily older artists from the Soviet period, as the lofts and artists were originally funded by the government. It was interesting to see the range of the artists work during the soviet period and after 1990.

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34 Kristy August 15, 2011 at 6:37 pm

I love the top left (bath) picture. It is really sweet, plus it makes me laugh to think of bathing my kids while looking so polished. Leslie is fantastic.

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35 Zsa Zsa August 16, 2011 at 4:02 am

I’m usually more drawn to fashion illustrations, but these domestic art pieces are lovely! Leslie’s work is fabulous!

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36 Mona Keegan August 16, 2011 at 7:53 am

These are wonderful. As a child of the 50′s, I can tell you that my mother, pretty much did this. We lived in the south and always had a “maid” but she was a hands on woman. She sewed beautifully made garments for us. She loved to iron, keep a spotless house, neatly arranged drawers and closets with a sachet in every storage spot. She cooked like a chef. She was usually in something lovely with comfortable but stylish shoes. Maybe a wedge/slide style. Her hair was always in place with a once a week beauty shop appointment. She might wear a lovely house dress from time to time. I think some of these women, like my mother, grew up without so much on the farm and during the depression and then the rationing of WWII that when they were able to make life lovely, they did it. My sister-in-law commented early on that she never saw my mother in blue jeans or tennis shoes. She was right. Mother had her standards every day, all day. She kept up polished as well. It was pretty amazing and a hard act to follow.

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37 Mona Keegan August 16, 2011 at 7:55 am

The next to last sentence should read “She kept us polished as well.”

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38 Michelle August 16, 2011 at 9:34 am

I love the series. I enjoy the strong images while also appreciating the deeper more subtle message. I just finished reading The Help so I have been thinking a lot about our domestic roles as women. These are beautiful, thanks for sharing.

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39 invitation consultants August 16, 2011 at 9:59 am

really great work! love these!

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40 Jodi August 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

These are so amazing. I will definitely buy prints and find a place for them in my home. As a working mom who adores spending time with her children, these really resonate with me.

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41 bettijo @ PagingSupermom.com August 16, 2011 at 10:55 am

I love Leslie Graff! I stumbled upon her work a little over a year ago and couldn’t get enough. I love all the fun shoes in the paintings! My favorite is “Cleaning up the Mess.” I actually planned a meeting for the ladies in my church based on this artwork. It was so interesting to see the varying reactions to the paintings from the different age groups of women. Leslie’s series really speaks to me about the importance of the everyday household chores that are so often overlooked (and that I so often dread doing!) I think Leslie is so inspired!!

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42 teresita August 16, 2011 at 11:41 am

Such nice painting! I can see myself in some of them, haha!

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43 Jenny August 16, 2011 at 3:11 pm

Love these prints. The heels can reflect the working from the office or home mom. And I love how the pictures portray the act of service, compassion, work, real life, and great looking legs and heels all in one painting. Love them and I would definitely considering buying one (or more) and hanging it in my home. Great share Gabrielle.

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44 leslie graff August 16, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I have to say this has been the most enjoyable series I have painted so far (but I totally should have planned ahead and bought more shoes– a perfect business expense!) i am glad so manyof you can find meaning in them– thanks for all the love and compliments-

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45 Joanna August 16, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I love how the ‘heels’ make the mom looks stylish with no matter role she portrays. The heels portrays that before we became mothers we were women first.

Great work!

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46 Erin August 17, 2011 at 6:47 am

I just want to know, does anyone actually give their child a bath while wearing heals? Really? the other scenes are more plausible but I just can’t imagine doing bathtime in my best clothes and heels.

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47 Ann August 18, 2011 at 6:09 pm

I really love these works and I wish I dressed like that more often. For me it would be the same scenes but in flip flops and t-shirt.

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48 Nicole August 19, 2011 at 9:11 am

I love the series! I like that she made the everyday and mundane look beautiful and put together (the heels help!) I do wish she had included some women of color in the a few of the prints though.

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49 leslie graff August 20, 2011 at 4:14 pm

i would love to do some women of color- (it is a self portrait series hence the lack of variety- no matter how much i go in the sun i seem to stay very pale!) painting those great rich skin tones is actually something I have missed being confined to painting myself– not to mention i’m a little tired of my own legs at this point…

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50 Carrie RS August 20, 2011 at 8:22 pm

These are beautiful. I am a stay-at-home mom and almost never wear heels and nice clothes. But I think about how while I’m with my children day in and day out, I should be giving my best and happiest self, like I’m wearing heels on the inside.

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51 Deila August 26, 2011 at 3:38 pm

Thanks for sharing these, they are beautiful and capture a mother in her many roles, and looking so feminine too.

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52 Janet August 29, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Love them!

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