13.6.06

The Smallest Studio

A few weeks ago, I posted about my studio revamp. I got a lot of comments from people saying how much they loved the studio, and wish they had a dedicated craft room in their homes. I have to admit, after years of living in cramped apartments with no space for any artistic endeavors, I think it's pretty great too. But, every time that I wish that I had more room, more time, more materials, I think of Maud Lewis. Thats a picture of her above. She was a Nova Scotia folk artist, who died quite a few years back. She lived in this tiny little house, pictured below.
It was basically a one room house, with a tiny downstairs containing a small couch, woodstove and very small dining table. But, not having any space didn't stop Maud. She produced hundreds of paintings in her lifetime, using the cheapest materials - leftover housepaint, old brushes and bits of board. And, when she ran out of boards to paint, she painted her own house! Every surface in her house was covered in her beautiful, bright paintings. She had many hardships in her life - she and her husband were very poor, and she had a physical disability that caused deformities in her hands that made it difficult for her to paint - but despite all this, her paintings explode with colour and joy.

In 1984, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia moved Maud's house to a space in the gallery. They restored all of the paintings that she made on the walls and the door, and the house is on now permanent display. You can learn more about Maud and her house by clicking on this link. I would encourage you to take the virtual tour of her house, it's truly amazing that she was able to live and produce so much work in this tiny space. I guess what I'm trying to say is that I really admire people who, like Maud, despite lack of space and resources, can continue to pursue their art.

3 comments:

Marieke said...

That is amazing. You are right - I admire that too. And frankly, no one really needs a fancy studio. But it IS very nice to have one - like yours! I am jealous :-))

ellia said...

what an awesome post!!! i find it so interesting and well, i cant tell if i should cry or be happy for maud... wow, amazing how some people can go through the roughest time and NOT complain and some of us complain over not having bottled water to drink... wow, makes ya count your blessings...

Trudi said...

Yeah Ellia, I know what you mean. The first time I saw the little Maud Lewis house, it was really heartbreaking. But then, I thought it's really kind of a happy story, someone who found what she wanted to do with her life, and just did it, despite all the obstacles.