I didn’t realize how many of you enjoyed my post about Canadian painters. So, in my promise to post about more of them here during the month, I will post two more.
As I learned more about her, I became more and more impressed about her strength. Since childhood, she suffered from Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She married Everett Lewis,, who was a fish peddler, at the age of 34 on January 16, 1938. She would hand draw Christmas cards, and while joining her husband on his daily runs, she would sell these cards for .25¢ each.
As her success grew, she began to paint on just about any surface she found. No blank spaces were safe from her. Her husband encouraged her by buying her her first set of oil paint. She would first draw out the outline, and then colour it. She never mixed her colours. Pretty soon, she was also painting shutters, beaverboards, cookie sheets, masonite — just about any blank surface she found.
She never asked a lot for her work. As such, she and her husband live pretty much in near poverty most of their lives in Marshallton, Nova Scotia. For instance, she only asked for .70¢ per shutter. At that time, she sold the majority of her work to Americans who lived on the South Shore of Nova Scotia.
By 1945, customers showed up at her home. She would sell her paintings for as little as 2 or 3 dollars.
Things changed in 1964. She was first featured in a Star Weekly article, and then on CBC’s Telescope. And so it was that she had acquired national attention.
Unfortunately, in the last years of her life, she suffered as her arthritis worsened. She would either keep to a corner of her very small house and paint, or travelled to the hospital.
You will find a lot of her work at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. As is the case with the majority of artists, her work sold for more than she ever asked for. Two of her paintings sold for more than $16,000; and her A Family Outing painting was sold for $22,200 at an auction.
As if this wasn’t bad enough, the death of her husband certainly deserves a “darn it”. He was murdered in 1979 when a burglar was robbing his house!
The second painter I am profiling is Ozias Leduc.
He was born on October 8, 1864, in Saint-Hilaire-de-Rouville, and passed away on June 16, 1955, at Saint-Hyacinthe. He is one of Quebec’s early painters. He painted many portraits, still lives and landscapes, as well as religious works.
Leduc lived was a solitary person, and his home town dubbed “the sage of St-Hilaire”
Leduc is best known for his work decorating the Notre-Dame-de-la-Présentation church in Shawinigan South. It was a project which took him thirteen years to complete. The church was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2004 .