Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Spring is coming

It's that time of year..dirty.. melting.. snow.
You don't want to shovel anymore.
You just want ....Spring.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Heritage Day: Celebrating Maud Lewis

Today is your day Maud.
It has been a pleasure to obsess about you for the last 3 years.
Maud's View

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

A chat with Lance Woolaver.

Lance Woolaver has spent a great part of his life researching and writing about Maud Lewis. Steven Rhude and I have had the good fortune to visit with him and his lovely wife Martha on a few occasions.  He has been very generous with his time and was kind to answer some questions I had.

Laura: You have spent a life time researching and writing about Maud, what is it about Maud that has kept you interested all these years?

Lance: My perseverance was partly duty.  Martha and I were blessed with two great children.  It's been forty years of family and we have at times crossed oceans just to see each other.  My books and research and plays and films have been in part a way to look after my family.  Earlier generations of Woolavers experienced a lot of poverty and a lot of hard luck.  My grandfather Ed drowned and left a family unprovided.  My father was in the Kentville tuberculosis san when we lived down the road from Maud and Ev in Digby County in the 1950's.  The village was called Barton and Maud lived in Marshalltown on the same road.  Much of what kept me interested was the rural poverty of my earliest years.  This remains to this day. 

Laura:  Do you feel Maud is well-understood by the public?

Lance:  I think that Maud has become, in recent years, much better known and much better understood.  It was not so long ago that an arts official from Digby gave an interview to the Kentville Advertiser stating that Maud had never had a child.  What callous ignorance.  And my film The Illuminated Life of Maud Lewis had brought that tragedy forward nearly twenty years ago.
It was hard for many of Maud's fans to understand that Maud had had a child out of wedlock and that she would later deny that child.  These events did not fit the myth of a simple, happy little creature.  The idea that Maud was a human being and that Maud like all of us made mistakes was not welcome.  Those difficult years Maud lived through, to me, leave Maud's bright and happy works all the more wonderful, all the more human, that they came out of pain and worry and struggle.  Maud's Aunt Ida was a saint, a kindly person, a good person to Maud and all their family.  In the same way, Ida will, I hope, eventually be remembered and understood by us as the good person that she was.

Laura:  If you could ask Maud one question...what would it be?

Lance:  I had the chance to ask Maud Lewis a question in the 1950's and the 1960's.  I stayed silent.  I was a child in Digby in the 1950's and our family was visiting often at what became known later as the Maud Lewis House.  Our family took her tins of sardines and other good things to eat and we also took her the little radio that you can see in the Bob Brooks famous photos.  In return we got the great paintings which have graced my books for the past 40 years.  When I was a child,  I was quite intimidated by the strange little house and it smelled really bad from the woodsmoke and paints and turpentine.  I don't think I understood what was going on and I can't say I enjoyed my visits to the Maud Lewis House as a child.

  If I could ask Maud a question now, it would be to query how the idea to illustrate the house came about.  In The Heart on the Door there is a suggestion that it came from the Walt Disney film, Snow White, a work of art contemporary to the painting of Maud and Ev's house.  We know that this film was shown in Yarmouth, Maud's home town.  I have wondered for a long time whether Maud's paintings of butterflies and bluebirds on her windows and doors were inspired by Snow White's wish to have somebody love her.

Laura:  For Heritage Day, NS students  were asked to work together and come up with a remarkable person, place or event that have helped to make Nova Scotia what it is today. Previous honourees were Viola Desmond and Joseph Howe. How do you feel with Maud Lewis being chosen this year?

 Lance: Any opportunity to work in the schools is welcome.  Any opportunity to work with children is welcome.  I used to work with a wonderful Nova Scotia writer, Budge Wilson, and we would go into the schools, 5 out of 7 periods each, and read from our books and hold writing workshops.  I really enjoyed it.  My favourite classes were Grades 5 and 6.  I just got along better with those grades and they enjoyed the Maud Lewis books and the stories and the rhymes and Maud's pictures.  By the time kids got to high school, it seemed to me, they were less happy, the students, I mean, and it was more of a job to read and chat with them about the books.  I think that Budge did a better job than I did with the older students.  For one thing, she had been a highschool gym teacher and was trained as a teacher.  My understanding of Heritage Day is that a lot of Maud Lewis exploratory work will be done in our Nova Scotia schools and libraries.  I have always enjoyed this so I think that this is a good thing and it is a matter of pride to me that my books are in our school libraries.  I live next door to Sacred Heart on Spring Garden so I hope I'll get invited there!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Maud Talk


Rug Hooker Laura Kenney and painter Steven Rhude have been exploring the broader and more important social issues that pertain to the life of Maud and Everett Lewis. Their work has been met with both great public appreciation, and conversely, institutional dismay as they continue to probe issues through their work that are not concurrent with the standard image crafted to date by the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, the recent film “Maudie”, and standard media coverage.

Steven Rhude and I will be having a chat about Maud at the Annapolis Royal Library Library, Feb 20th...1pm...please come!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Earth is in the Hospital

It's like when you are sick in the hospital and some don't think you are sick and others disagree on how to make you better and meanwhile you are just getting sicker by the day.
and..you wonder what kinda pain killers they put you on as you are pretty sure you see a lighthouse in your room..and some crows.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Getting Earth to the Hospital to Cool Her Off SOLD

While some continue to debate about Climate Change..these gals are gonna get it done.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Merry Everything

I am signing off for the year.
I wanted to wish you all hope, peace, love and joy.
And a very lovely 2019.