Maud Lewis

Maud Lewis was a Canadian artist who created beautiful folk art despite suffering terribly from rheumatism. The film “Maudie” detailed her life. I think it’s still on Netflix.

She was a talented folk art painter even going to the extent of painting every surface of her tiny one room home. Her entire house is preserved inside the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. There’s even a virtual tour which is worth looking through.

On WetCanvas, which is still alive despite the owners, we have a monthly challenge in the acrylics forum. The theme for May’s challenge (I know I know I’m late posting but I don’t think anyone is reading this, blogs seem to be passe but I’m good with talking to myself!) was to either do a study of one of her paintings or do your own inspired by one of her paintings.

Folk Art seems easy but funnily enough more people had a hard time with this than with other genres or subjects in past challenges.

These are mine. The first one is based on her “Snow dog” but instead of her white dog I used my Tallie. This is 2.5 x 3.5 inches.

A happy folk art painting of a yellow labrador retriever, dog, in a garden of tulips with plum blossoms overhead
Tallie in the Tulips

The second is a copy of “Eddie Barnes and Ed Murphy Going Fishing” 13.7 x 12.5 inches. I used some crackle on it as I had a tonne left from another project.

Folk art painting of a ship going out to fish. A landmass with a lighhouse and several other buildings can be seen in the background.
Study of Maud Lewis’s “Eddie Barnes and Ed Murphy Going Fishing”

The big one is 20 x 16 inches and is the top half of the inside of her storm door as seen in the museum. I had fun painting the canvas to look like wood!

Folk art painting of a door with a painting of a blue bird and flowers in a red vase.
Maud’s Door.

I enjoyed this challenge so much. Folk art is a genre I rarely do but appreciate more than any other.

I hope you enjoyed looking. As always, if you have a question, please ask in the comments below.

©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2022

Wandering

Recently I was at Fort Erie, across from Buffalo,  New York. It sits on the shores of Lake Erie, near the mouth of the Niagara River.

From it you can see the gorgeous Art Deco building that is Buffalo City Hall. The City Hall was designed by architect John Wade and finished in 1932. There are triumphant arches and columns and reliefs and sculptures and mosaics and a bat signal on the roof.

Buffalo City Hall Gotham.

Buffalo City Hall blog.

Fort Erie was originally built in 1764 during Pontiac’s Rebellion. Pontiac of course had been overtaking the cart market which the British did not appreciate. Soon after, the Brits sold Jaguar to Ford who sold it to the Tatas, a group of entrepreneurial strippers and a couple hundred years after the Fort was built, Pontiac ceased productions.

Old Fort Erie Gate war 1812.

Okay, that may not be quite what happened.

However at one point during the War of 1812, the Fort did blow up..

What happened was that the British were led by a general so inept, his subordinate officers including his own nephew settled their affairs and gave away valued property before following his battle plans. They knew they were doomed.

They were right. It turned out that firing a cannon over top of a large powder magazine was not a great idea. The explosion threw the two tonne cannon over one hundred  yards. Hundreds died or were wounded and more than 500 soldiers simply disappeared in the initial blast and the ensuing fires.

Brutal stuff.

General Drummond, the man responsible for the whole mess had a road named after him in Niagara Falls.

It’s still there if you’d like to go stomp on it.

Old Fort Erie Pink Floyd.

The tour was quite interesting.

We found out that some people during the 1800’s used old suits of armor as a sort of tactical vest. Pretty clever, not comfortable but clever.

Fort Erie armor war 1812.

They shot off some muskets which was fun to watch.

Old Fort Erie Tour.

They did not however let me use the cannon.

*Sigh*

cannon Fort Erie war 1812.

This is an acrylic of the monument marking the grave site of 153 soldiers. 150  British and 3 Americans. 8×10 inches.

fort erie acrylic monument

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©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2015

Please click here for available prints.

Thank you!