Growing up in Nova Scotia, I was constantly aware of Maud Lewis and her incredible art. Even to this day, her art is displayed across the city and tourists flock to buy prints, tea towels and cards with bold colours and designs.
When I spotted A Tulip in Winter, I knew it was something I had to read. It’s a treat to find such a strong connection to a book through my home province.
Check out the link below for details on the Maud Lewis Exhibition at The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
The book itself is a celebration of differences and finding talents in new ways. Maud Lewis suffered from rheumatoid arthritis from a very young age and was unable to work or treated the same as others her age. When her mother handed her a paintbrush, her world changed and she could see colours, lines and shapes.
She painted until her death in 1970 and only now is her work truly valued across the world. In her lifetime, she made very little from the sale of her paintings. One of her most famous paintings has recently sold for a six figure sum.
The author and illustrator of A Tulip in Winter both have a connection to the province of Nova Scotia and I feel that adds a level of understanding about the world Maud lived in. Rural Nova Scotia in the time of Maud Lewis was very remote and communities pulled together to see each other through hard times and cold weather. I can imagine her colourful home bringing joy to her community.
This is a remarkable book about a woman who painted for joy and love despite the hardships of her debilitating arthritis.