Tuesday, August 2, 2011

SHUT UP and PAINT...

or sew or whatever.
That is what I am now telling myself. Something others have probably been thinking in regards to my previous ramblings.
So, what happened?
I stumbled across an artist that I'm sure many others already knew about.
I had seen this painting before:
and LOVED it! But never knew who MAUD LEWIS was!
I am constantly amazed at how I  much I DON'T KNOW. But after reading about this woman, I am humbled. She didn't worry about "where"
she was going to paint or "when" she was going to create, she just did it. And with crippling arthritis.
Here's a bit of info about her:
She was born in 1903 in Nova Scotia. Her schooling stopped at Grade 3. She made Christmas cards with her mother which they sold to help make ends meet. She was often alone as a child and young person. She was small and had almost no chin. When her parents died she moved to Marshalltown and answered a notice for "live-in" help that Everett Lewis had posted.

At the age of 35 she married Everett and moved into his tiny 12 by 16 foot cabin.
It had a sleeping loft but no indoor plumbing or electricity. Heat came from a wood-burning stove. Maud painted on any piece of wood, cookie sheet or scrap she could find. She used house, boat and craft paint.
Everett was a fish monger and would sell her work and his fish door to door as she sat in the car.
She rarely left her home and painted all day by the window.
She eventually became famous in her lifetime but not enough to afford a bigger home or lifestyle.
Late in life she suffered rheumatoid arthritis that severely restricted her movements.
She was in failing health and after falling and breaking her hip, she passed away in 1970 at the age of 67.
Her husband died in a fight with a burglar in 1979.
This little woman touches my heart. I wish that I could have known her. Visiting and bringing her canvases, paint and new brushes.
We could have sat and chatted over tea next to her window.
I sit and stare at her photo.
You can see her happy heart in her eyes.
I'm going to shut up now and paint.

7 comments:

Robin Kent said...

She's a great inspiration. Simple lives can be so pure. Thanks for sharing. er...going to work now...

yoborobo said...

Cindi - I didn't know about Maud Lewis either. Isn't it amazing how some people just live their lives - maybe that doesn't make sense, but what I mean is, she was given not very much, and yet she created beauty. I feel like I moan and whine WAY too much for all I have been given. I would be right there with you, dropping off art supplies and buying fish. Thank you for sharing this. I love that last picture of her. :) xox Pam

Georgina said...

Cindi, thanks for introducing this wonderfully talented lady. What an inspiration to all of us and so prolific!! She's one of those artists who doesn't really become well-known till after death....kinda sucks too. Remember Grandma Moses?? However, she did gain fame before her death, but she was a real latecomer.

Again, thanks for this post on Maude Lewis...good to learn something everyday.

xxoo,
Georgina

thecottagebythecranelakeolof1 said...

I like this little lady! It must have been hard for her to hold the brush but if there´s a will there´s a way.

I think I would like to live in a cottage of that size. Easy to clean and to keep warm during winter. Would have a problem to get room for my dogs and cats though :-)

Have a great day!
Christer.

Abi said...

I cried. How sweet :O)
Anything is achievable, I must remember that.
Thanks for sharing.

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

reading a back post and was so moved by this one. Wow.

Cynthia Myers said...

Thank you Sharon!
I needed to come back to this one.
Perfect timing.
Needed to remind myself of this!
XOXOXOXO