ART & MOTHERHOOD

 

At LES, we are incredibly fortunate to work with a diverse group of talented female artists, many of whom are also devoted mothers. This Mother's Day, we are taking the opportunity to celebrate these remarkable women who balance their artistic passion with the demands of motherhood. Amidst the chaos of colors and inspiration, they find moments to wipe away tears, kiss scraped knees, and whisper words of encouragement. They sculpt with clay and the future of their children, molding character with patience and grace. Their unique perspectives not only enrich their art but also our community, bringing depth, resilience, and a profound sense of empathy to the work they create. 

To our artists who are mothers and all the mothers supporting and fostering creativity in the world, we honor your unwavering devotion and the breathtaking beauty you bring to the world. 

 

In celebration of Mother's Day, we spoke with some of our own LES Collection Artist/Mother hybrids to hear how motherhood has influenced their practice and how they've chosen to share their work with their "kids".

 

LAUREN SANDS, Painter and Founder of LES Collection

Before founding LES Collection, I had a lot more time for my own art, specifically painting. Now, I run the day-to-day at LES, and I have very little time for this. The only time I have to make physical art is actually with my children. That means using their art supplies like crayons, magic markers, colored pencils, glitter, tissue paper, etc. It has forced me to get really creative in a totally different way than when I was painting by myself. I never create work anymore that I think about selling. Some of my work hangs alongside my kids on their art walls. It is all just playful and fun, such a release, and a great bonding time with the kids.

Art is a huge part of our family life, creating it, looking at it, talking about it. My kids are young (4 and 6) and have a natural love of art. They love to create with such a wide range of mediums. They make art in an entirely un self-conscious way (as young children do); it is such a breath of fresh air. I try to foster this and to never make them think their art has to look a certain way or fit into any box. They also love to look at art, whether at galleries or museums. We live amongst a lot of art, so it is often a topic of conversation. It is such a special bond that brings us together.

 

LAUREN SKUNTA, Painter 

Much of my work involves the female form so watching my own figure transition throughout pregnancy absolutely provides fresh inspiration. It really is amazing to me that women have been experiencing this for as long as humans have existed - it feels like such a unique experience, but at the same time such a universal one. It brings new heights to my appreciation of all things human. I'm excited to share my art practice with my child in whatever capacity they gravitate towards whether that be drawing & painting or cooking, gardening, weaving, sculpting, or anything else their mind wants to experiment with! My husband and I are also excited to share our entrepreneurial spirit years from now with our child - we both can't wait for their first lemonade stand.

SHOP LAUREN'S WORK


TALIA NIDAM WARSHAWSKY, Ceramicist

Last year I became a mother. An experience shared by many that at the same time is so unique and personal. My life changed, a new love appeared like no other, there's no words. As mother to mother you'd understand but there's no explaining how big it is. I haven't been back to work fully yet since having my son last July, it's so hard to tear myself away. I often think about it, what does it mean to be a mother as an artist? is it an experience that I should reflect in my work?  Will these changes come organically? I'm yet to see how this change will affect my practice but I can feel it will in some way, if not immediately, over time.  How will I share my work is another big question. My husband and I are both in creative fields, in very hands on, craft focused workplaces. We're starting off slow, explaining everything, pointing out details we see. We hope to raise a child that's curious and questions enough to be able to explore his own creative side. I dream one day when he's all grown up we can have long discussions and show each other our work.

SHOP TALIA'S WORK

 

NATHALEE PAOLINELLI, Ceramicist

As a single mother one of the most rewarding joys in life is to have my daughter enjoy the studio and integrate her art education with my art practice.  She has become such a huge part of my ceramic practice. Her ceramics are my favourite and our home is filled with pieces we have collaborated on.

SHOP NATHALEE'S WORK

TINA SCEPANOVIC, Ceramicist

 

As a mother, I've realized that sometimes the greatest gift we can give our children is space – stepping back to let them learn and grow on their own. This shift encourages them to seek validation from within rather than seeking my approval, fostering independence and self-confidence over time. This mindset has influenced my own creative journey, serving as a valuable reminder to trust my internal compass and resist the urge to follow trends for external validation. I often pause to ask myself: if no one were looking, would I still be doing this? When the answer is a resounding yes, I know I’m on the right path. While I initially anticipated sharing my art with my children, I've found the opposite to be true. They continually inspire me with their own artistic expressions, daily revelations, and interpretations of the world around them. Their unique perspectives inspire and influence so much of my creative  process.

SHOP TINA'S WORK

 

EVA MARIE PAPPAS, Sculptor

My “children” are Daniel Oglander, 38, and Eric Oglander, 35. Daniel is an art consultant and Eric is a sculptor and curator.

Making art was a challenge when they were growing up. Studio time was usually short-lived and work was often left unfinished. 

My husband and I each had a studio at home. Materials were readily available for the boys and they took advantage of it. My fondest memories are the times we shared creating in the studio. We grew together as artists. 

The tables have turned, and the boys sometimes take on the roll of parents - encouraging, critiquing and advising how to market our work. 

Now, I’m fortunate to make art all day, nearly everyday. My boys are too far away, but the sharing continues.

 

SHOP EVAMARIE'S WORK


KRISTIN YEZZA, Ceramicist

Becoming a mother is what kickstarted my art practice! We moved into our home just before our son was born, so I was a new stay-at-home mom and also working on figuring out renovations and the decoration of our house. In the midst of this, I started feeling compelled to realize ideas that were swirling in my head. One night after my son was in bed I went up to our third floor to clear out space for a studio and I haven’t looked back!

I really consider myself a homemaker, as I literally make pieces and furniture for our home. Slowly but surely it is starting to feel like it has a distinct sense of place. I’m not sure what Theo will be into in terms of art, it’s too early to tell, but ultimately I just want him to feel inspired. To be surrounded by the idea of possibility, recognize that we’re all different (and that is what makes life so beautiful), and that a lot of life is trial and error and stick-to-it-ness. These are themes and values that run through my art practice and thus our home, and I hope they will kind of just seep into his soul as he grows up. Our home is and will likely always be a work in progress, just as I am, just as he will be, just as we all are.

SHOP KRISTIN'S WORK



 

DORIS JOSOVITZ of LOST QUARRY, Sculptor

When my children were very young I was working in fashion. They never saw what I created nor would it have been very exciting for them. Now that they are older - 10 and 12 years old - I have set up my practice to include them and be flexible to their needs and schedule. The intention has never been to create a ceramic factory; I am creating high quality, thoughtful pieces that people will have in their collections for many years to come. Part of this journey has been about teaching my children how important it is to bring passion to your work and to be proud of what you put out into the world.

Creativity and self expression have been two major pillars in our household since the kids were very young and some of our most enjoyable afternoons are spent sitting and drawing together at home. My son is such an avid sketcher that on most evenings I can find him asleep with a notebook and marker still in hand. With ceramics, we collaborate on new ideas and my kids are often the source of my inspiration.

I'm fortunate to have the studio based in the house so that my kids can watch and get involved. Our Happy mug collection was originally based on a sketch my son drew and has become a meaningful project that we collaborate on together, with all of the proceeds from the mug's sales donated to a charitable cause that we pick out together as well. Meanwhile my daughter, who will be my future assistant, likes to keep me company while I'm working and help create the ribs on the Lost Quarry plate collection.

I hope that these moments we share together creating shows them the value of hard work, dedication to craft, and the importance of giving back. Increasingly, it feels like the world we live in is all about plugging into computers, so I love giving them the opportunity to unplug and unleash their creativity in different ways. Last summer while living upstate, we found a natural clay deposit in the lake we were swimming in. My kids helped collect the clay for us to use and experiment with. By the end of the  afternoon we were covered in clay hand prints and smiles from this incredible natural discovery.

Nothing feels like more of an accomplishment when watching their faces light up and hearing one of my children say “This is my mom's ceramics, she made it" when showing others my work.

 

SHOP DORIS' WORK

 

ISABELLE VAN ZEIJL, Photographer

When my oldest son, River, was 6 years old I looked at him one day and I felt the urge to portray him. By photographing him, I felt complete creative freedom to make a portrait inspired by the child portraits of the Old Masters, such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and van Dijck.

My gallery at that time started to show these portraits of my sons on their art fairs, and that’s how I started doing commissions for portraits of the children of my collectors. So yes, both my sons affected my art practice very much. 

 

SHOP ISABELLE'S WORK

 

SHOP MOTHER'S DAY