Domestic Relations: Leslie Graff

13 Feb

I guess by technical definition, I’m a housewife.  Besides writing and curating this blog ( which is completely a labor of love at this point ), I don’t work outside the home.  Housewife would be a lot easier to explain than “art blogger” when people ask what I do.  For the first time in my life, I’m taking care of a household consisting of more than just myself.  In her Domestic Series, Massachusetts artist Leslie Graff explores perceptions about domestic life and relationships in our post-modern world.

Picking Up, acrylic on canvas, 30x40

Her cropped compositions and classic environmental and clothing choices create a universality to the imagery.  These could be snapshots of life from virtually any decade in the last six decades.

Stirring Things Up, acrylic on canvas, 30x40

As much as our roles seem to have evolved over the years, have things really changed that much?  My own husband definitely never pushes for our home to be immaculate or for dinner to be delicious and perfect every night, but as a woman, I find myself striving for that perfection and disappointed when I don’t deliver.  Why is that?

6:12pm, acrylic on canvas, 30x40

Why, even when our husbands are happy to help with cooking, cleaning and kid care, do we still expect ourselves to be able to “do it all”?  Is it Martha Stewart syndrome?  Are we comparing ourselves to standards impossible to keep?

I'll Wash, You Dry, acrylic on canvas, 30x40

It's Homemade, acrylic on canvas, 30x40

How about those among us who are artists as well as spouses, parents and perhaps have another day job, as well?  How do you do it?! 🙂

Featured image is So Satisfying, acrylic on canvas, 30×40.  All images are via the artist’s website.

This artist found via Pinterest.

5 Responses to “Domestic Relations: Leslie Graff”

  1. Carlynne February 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm #

    These things are so ingrained in us that we find it difficult to escape it’s clutches. Maybe it’s expectations of generations past, maybe it’s expectations that we put on ourselves. All I know is there are days when I finally sit down on the couch after a long day and if hubby comes home immediately after I find myself wanting to jump up as if to prove that I haven’t been lounging all day eating bon bons. Why is that? It seems ridiculous but so many of us do the same thing! I’m now a full time artist so it feels like I have something to prove. If I’m not bringing in the equivalent of his paycheck I feel like I should be contributing something more no matter how many hours I spend in the studio working. I don’t know what the answer is…. wish I did….. it’s certainly not something he pressures me to do. He’s been nothing but supportive. *sigh*

  2. Heather February 13, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

    Whew! Thanks for putting it out there. I’m all new to this as a part time stay at home Mom, part time professional and part time artist. And no matter how amazingly supportive my husband is I feel the same way. (the whole jump off the couch thing, I do too). I don’t feel like I’m pulling my weight. How do people do it?

  3. Distance Landaverde February 14, 2012 at 4:19 pm #

    This is very interesting these works could be included in a women’s gender class…who really prances around in high heels on a everyday basis to be the perfect housewife it’s kinda sadistic and sexist to say the least. I was married for 16 years before my husband passed away, and I was 33 years of age before a box of kraft macaroni ever make it into my home. My husband expected everything to be made of scratch and if it wasn’t….wooo for me. That was back in 1997, I married young so I thought it was a given, once I realized it wasn’t I became resentful, but then I realized that instead I should have taken great pride in that I was a good mother and wife, and that I did it to the best of my ability. It is very hard work juggling a family, school and /or work. I have five children all grown with families of their own, and I still have a hard time picking up my paintbrush because just because they grow up doesn’t necessarily mean your job is done. It seems like Im on call 24/7 and it can be a bit suffocating if not plain frustrating. What do I do to increase my productivity under such circumstances I wake a couple hours earlier and take advantage of the quiet the sunrise, and my palette.l

  4. j.harms March 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    How do I do it ? I have eight hands..
    Thanks for the hard work.
    great blog !

    • Lesley March 17, 2012 at 1:02 pm #

      Haha! I’m sure it seems that way sometimes.. or all the time!

      Thanks for stopping by!

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