Recently, I stumbled across a movie titled ‘Maudie’. Ethan Hawke stars in it, so of course I had to watch it! Am I glad I did. I don’t want to spoil it for those that haven’t seen the movie or heard of Maude Lewis, so I’ll try not to give too much away.
Maude or ‘Maudie’ was a Canadian folk artist that was afflicted with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. She had no formal training nor did she apparently ever see works of art, yet her paintings are incredible. She was a tiny, humble woman with a refreshingly positive outlook on life. And, a great sense of humour. Gotta love that combination! She’s not had an easy life, yet she went about her days with such gusto, in her own quiet, unique way.
It got me thinking. We live in a world where anything over-the-top is glorified and revered. Flashy, expensive things have become symbols of success. Yet, Maude lived with her husband Everett, in a teeny-tiny house that she covered with her paintings – on walls, window panes, front door, everywhere. And, it looked like the most charming, most welcoming home you’ve ever seen. A far more appealing home than the sprawling houses popping up everywhere these days. Don’t get me wrong, many of these houses are impressive, and yet, this tiny house that the Lewis’ lived in until their death, sustained them, enclosed them in their happiness. They didn’t need a mansion to be happy. Do we? Having said that, I’d like a larger laundry in my home!
As for her paintings, wow! I’d like to own one, if nothing else but to serve as a reminder that simplicity is beauty. She never did have formal lessons, yet her paintings are amazing. She just loved to paint. So, for those of us without formal training in cookery, we have hope!
I see lots of photos of food dressed up to the hilt. Some of those Insta pics do make your mouth water! So much so, I’ve been tempted to dress mine up, too. But, that’s not me. I like my food fresh and wholesome, without additional toppings and sauces that might look good on Insta but are unnecessary and just overkill. The food industry could learn a lot from Maude Lewis’ artistry and humanity – simple, wholesome, honest yet soul-satisfying and enduring.