Domestically Speaking: From The Studio

How have you enjoyed our week of domestic bliss so far? I, for one, have been captivated. Have you picked a favorite Boysenberry Pie apron yet? And how are those pie recipes coming? Don't forget you could win your very own print of one of Leslie's domestic arts paintings (are you loving them?) as well as a set of notecards that looks something like this.

Today Leslie lets us take a peek into her studio, where all this magic goes down.

There is a definite sequence and process for me creating the domestic pieces. I always work from photo studies. I sneak these photo shoots in while my youngest is napping (must catch that great natural daylight) so I am always working under a ticking clock. Actually, this is the most exhausting task, which sometimes gets me a little neurotic, trying to mentally visualize the composition, choosing the outfits, the props, setting the scene. Then I go so far as to make homemade triple layer pound cakes from scratch and hand squeeze lemonade for the shots (my kids love that).

There is some crazy maneuvering getting the tripod and camera settings right, given that I am my own model and also take my own shots using a remote. The studies alone almost feel like their own piece of art. They are necessary for the authenticity of the piece, not just for the details of the image, but also for the reality of capturing the action of a moment in each painting.

People who know me well recognize the locations in my house, the shoes, the skirts I wear, and the broom I sweep my kitchen with. The studies are shot in either my home, my parents’ or my best friend’s—places that have intimacy, meaning, and memory to me.

The pieces all have what I like to call “domestic artifacts." Most of the aprons were hand embroidered by my great grandmother. It’s rewarding to see the longevity of her work, playing out through four generations. Many furniture pieces were hand-me-downs as well. My uncle’s mother’s tea cart, or my parents’ old dresser. I love those old Tupperware canisters. It’s kind of sentimental for me, building my own personal domestic heritage into the art.

Most of my time gets devoted to being a mom to three sons (9, 5, & 2), but I still stay current and involved in my professional field. So painting pretty much gets relegated to the bedtime hours, when my kids are asleep and I can get a few solid hours of continuous work done. My guilty pleasure is staying up really late to paint, but I always pay for it the next day. I have a big studio in my house, which I couldn’t live without. There is a lot of ‘stuff’ that comes with being an artist. I am known to migrate around the house when I work as well, leaving a trail of paints and canvases in my wake (my husband and kids have learned to just walk around it). I often follow my husband in the evening and set up wherever he is so we can keep company.

Nightly Indulgences: Come Home by One Republic, Walnut Tree by Keane, Straight Away by Mat Kearney, Lay’s potato chips, triple chocolate ice cream with marshmallows and butterscotch, maimeri polycolor in navy, liquitex soft body in parchment, movies on Netflix.

Remember, remember! Only one more day to submit your pie recipe! I am getting ready for a baking whirlwind this weekend, so send me your best!


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