Saturday, November 3, 2007

Maude Lewis Folk Art Painting Lesson

One of my favorite artist is Maude Lewis, an impoverished woman from The Anapolis Valley in Nova Scotia. She died in 1973 but left her mark on the world through vibrant, child-like paintings. They're the type of paintings that are perfect to teach to kids because they are non-threatening and often don't employ standard artists techniques. Kids love the simple lines, bold colors and whimsical scenes. For my students in California, the snow scenes and ones that include fishing boats and lighthouses are usually the most popular.

I use tempera paints for simplicity but acrylics would be great and would give the teacher an opportunity to teach acrylic techniques. The basic technique for creating a Maude Lewis style painting is "layering". I discussed the background and foreground with the kids and explained how Maude Lewis might have gone about painting these scenes. How the background shoyuld be painted before the small details like trees, flowers are done.

Kids at Mountain View School (5th) created these masterpieces.


Anonymous said...

fantastic site

Patty Palmer said...

Thank you for visiting!

Unknown said...

I spent my childhood years in a small town very close to where Maud Lewis lived. We thought she was just a crazy old lady and couldn't fathom why people would stop on the roadside to actually purchase her paintings, which were sometimes still wet.

Oh...the lack of foresight! I love here stuff now.

Patty Palmer said...

That's really amazing. I've often wondered if I'd ever meet someone who knew her. Do her paintings still pop up every now and again?

Unknown said...

Beautiful work from the 5th graders! What a great idea to use her work as a catalyst.

I first heard about Maud Lewis on a CBC program in about 1967. On a whim, I traveled from Detroit to Nova Scotia to meet her and purchase her work. (I wrote to the station and got directions to her house.) When I stopped there, she didn't have any paintings available, but said she would have one for me the following day, which she did. I think I paid $35 for it. (I'd have bought all that I could, paint wet or not, lol.)

I spent time talking to her husband, Everett, and he also gave me three of his paintings--two on scallop shells and one on cardboard.

Maud's painting, a winter scene with a man with a logging cart drawn by oxen, with water in the background, hangs in my dining room. She was very gracious, and I'm glad I had the chance to meet her.

On the same trip, incidentally, I bought property in Nova Scotia, where I now summer.

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