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COLLECTOR'S ITEM: "Three Black Cats" by Maud Lewis

Maud Lewis, Three Black Cats, 1960s, Oil on pulpboard, 30.0 x 30.8 cm.

Currently on display at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia is Maud Lewis' 1960's painting Three Black Cats.

Nova Scotian treasure Maud Lewis depicted her world through her paintings with a childlike wonder. She painted scenes familiar to her, such as a horse and carriage, a sea coast, and an oxen drinking from a river. Lewis was drawn again and again to the same subjects, perhaps because they were all she knew. Her works depicted an eternal spring, an optimism that was apparent even in her winter scenes. As cheerful and carefree these paintings appear, the life of the artist who created them was quite the opposite. "While her vibrant and quirky compositions may evoke feelings of joy, Lewis’s life was marred with poverty, health issues and poor treatment from her loved ones," states author Lance Woolaver. Maud's paintings can be perceived as necessary distraction from her unfortunate circumstances, each work acting as a small window into a better world. Even the house she lived in was brought to life by her paintbrush, transforming the tiny, humble dwelling with a façade of joviality.

Maud Lewis's work is currently on display and the fascinating life of this talented artist is worth honouring with a visit to the AGNS.

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