The Joyous World of Overlooked Canadian Folk Artist Maud Lewis
In this delightful painting, folk artist Maud Lewis depicts the coastal village of Sandy Cove on Digby Neck. Digby Neck is a peninsula extending into the Bay of Fundy off the north west coast of Nova Scotia. The town of Digby, where Lewis lived with her husband Everett, is the gateway to the rocky Neck and surrounding islands.
Yellow-green land and hills are dotted with yellow and white buildings, a brown dock and fall trees in this oil on panel. Light blue, calm water rises in the flattened picture plane to meet a strip of forest green landscape and a matching blue sky. White sea gulls above red, yellow and white boats made with a dash of the brush complete this charming landscape. The painting is signed, framed and in excellent condition. It was purchased directly from Lewis between 1965 and 1967 and has been held by the same family since that time.
Referred to as folk art, Maud Lewis’s paintings are irrepressibly joyful and depict her surroundings with humor and affection. Created in bright, solid colors with a limited use of perspective, Lewis's paintings charm viewers with such subjects as winter landscapes with sleighs, deer in forest, oxen and her cats both wide eyed and frowning. Towards the end of her life, Lewis gained celebrity thanks to a 1965 CBC documentary and a feature in the Toronto Star newspaper. Most recently, a feature film based on her life, "Maudie," was released in 2016. Starring Ethan Hawke and Sally Hawkins, the film captures the essence of Lewis's constrained life and the paintings that allowed her imagination to escape its confines.