Sunday, July 23, 2017

When Life Gives You Lemons, Paint Kitties


I saw one of those "he must have too much time on his hands" comments on Facebook the other day.

There are few things that make less sense than that sentence. I wrote a post about this three years ago, which you can read here. And it still floors me that people can't hear what it sounds like when they say that.

My brother-in-law stumbled across the sweetest story on Pinterest and shared it with me today, and I was just amazed. It's the story of Maud Lewis, a painter in Nova Scotia, who painted the entire interior and exterior of her teeny, one room ( 9' x 10') home during her very difficult, and literally painful life. Her paintings were just the opposite of her situation - bright, whimsical, sweet and cheerful. Her subject matter, like her home and life, were small and local.

I'm sure if there had been social media in her lifetime, some ding dong would have commented on one of her Instagram posts: "you must have too much time on your hands" after seeing the flowers she painted on her stove, on her walls, and on the outside of her house. Or her little childlike kitties she liked to paint. The kitties are my favorites.

Having just seen her work for the first time today, I can say she most definitely did not have enough time. Not nearly enough. She passed away in her sixties. There's a sweet little video about her here, and as a bonus there are some very fuzzy cows in it.

The human spirit is an amazing thing. I can't imagine living in a house the same size as my teeny studio, or painting and doing all the things she did while barely able to hold a paintbrush. I've always thought that whole tiny house thing was a recipe for a multiple homicide. But she made sweet kitties out of it.

If you want to read more about her, here are all the books about her, and here's the article he sent me.

She's my inspiration today, with a little help from Dare to Get Dirty and World Watercolor Month. She most definitely got some lemons, but still managed to live her life with zest.

Still Life with Stampin' Up! Lemon Zest and Schmincke Watercolor by Understand Blue



This is the second citrus I've painted for World Watercolor month, but this is the first time I've stamped for the prompts this month. I decided to turn the lemon image from Lemon Zest into a still life, because it's a nice, big image perfect for watercolor. I feel like making a ton of these - it was so fun and relaxing. I used a very limited palette, which is listed above, and the whole process took 19 minutes. I sped that up for you for a quick video. I edited out the 3,000 times I reached across my palette to rinse my brushes because it was annoying :) But other than that it's as it was. Someday I'll figure out where to put everything so that I'm not always reaching across the frame and I'll save a ton of editing time. But in the meantime, here it is.



I used Schmincke watercolor for this. It's been fun to see the difference between the Schmincke and the Daniel Smith paint. All watercolor lines are surprisingly different. I could have 40,000 Prussian Blues and it would still not be enough, I can tell you that.

The daily painting challenge from World Watercolor Month has not only given me a lot more working knowledge of the paint, but I've learned a ton of other skills as well. Amazing how much you can learn if you dedicate yourself to something daily for a month. I'm sure all our teachers told us that at some point and we ignored it until it became practical in our own lives.

Now I have some VERY exciting news for you guys. From now until the end of the year - I'll be giving away a HUGE prize from my friends at Arkon.

As you know, I LOVE my phone stand that I use to film my videos. There's a 20% off code in the footer of every blog post that you can use on their site any time. This thing is sturdy, takes up a small amount of space and is the only reason I can produce videos regularly. The before and after effect on my YouTube channel is remarkable. I'm a HUGE fan.

So every month from now until December, I'll be giving away a monthly prize package which includes my stand, plus the AWESOME ring light for the perfect selfie, perfect lighting for Facebook lives or desktop live video. These guys know what they're doing, and they're very generous - so you are the beneficiaries!

So starting today, and in the last week of every month for the rest of the year, you will have a chance to win this amazing giveaway. First - every one of my online customers will be automatically entered to win with a $25 or higher order in my store - you do not have to do anything at all extra to be entered! That begins today as a thank you to every one of my Stampin' Up! customers - I appreciate you! Orders between the 23rd of the month and the 22nd of the next month will count for that month.

For everyone else, simply leave me a comment here with the words "I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand" somewhere in your comment. Be sure your Google Profile has an ability to contact you in it. I don't recommend leaving your email in the comments - spammers can grab that. Just fill out your profile and be sure it includes a link to your email.

I'd also love to hear what you think of sweet Maud Lewis and her ability to make lemonade.

Stay tuned for more sneak peeks of my Dare to Get Dirty cards in the coming days!

Loveyameanitbye.

40 comments:

  1. Wow, what a generous giveaway, Lydia! I've been wanting one of the Arkon stands for a while. I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand!

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  2. So pretty!!! And, I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand

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  3. What an amazing little house! I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand. I hope to use it to ramp up my Stampin' Up! business after I retire from the Post Office in late October. What a fantastic opportunity from a generous company! Thanks Lydia!

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  4. Hey Lydia "I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand"!! Lol The story of Maud is humbling to me. You only come this way in life once. Turn your troubles into positives and live a life of abundance. Thanks for sharing her story. Now I shall paint due to your enabling. 😂 Awesome video sweetheart and I too shall paint like you one day. 😉

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  5. Love how you mix SU with other products! It shows versatility and that not all stamps look cookie cutter by each user! :)

    I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand

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  6. Oh!!!! I want to win an Arkon live streaming pro phone stand!!!! Also, loved the painting and the story about Maud.

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  7. "I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand" and I enjoyed the little video on Maud Lewis. Amazing, so much joy and in the paintings.

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  8. Very nice card!! Thank you for the chance to win this amazing deal!! "I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand" 😜

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  9. This is amazing and I would Love to win an amazing Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand! I love her little kitties. So adorable!

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  10. Thank you for the video, Lydia, and the link to the wonderful story about Maud & Evertt! I never heard of them. Their artwork reminds me a little of Grandma Moses, just the "folk art" style of it. I can tell you, from my own life, that art & cats have saved me. Cats give me a reason to live, & art (first painting, now card making & scrapbooking) has given me a way to express myself despite having major depression & schizophrenia. Please keep doing--and sharing--your artwork with the rest of us! Take care, and join me in not melting in this Texas heat! :) ~ Andrea

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  11. I love what you did with that lemon. An amazing and beautiful card!

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  12. "I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand" There, now that's out of the way. Thank you for sharing Maud's story. I read the article and watch the charming video. I am fascinated with her story. Thanks for sharing.

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  13. Thank you for sharing this inspiring story and video about Maude Lewis. I am enchanted by her painting - love those kitties, too!

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  14. Beautiful watercolor card. That lemon looks amazing! I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand

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  15. "I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro phone stand!" I'm a Canadian and I had heard about Maud Lewis and her art before. She originally came to work for her future husband as a domestic helper and he was initially suspicious that she wouldn't be able to complete the tasks due to her disability. She has such amazing whimsical folk images. Very inspiring to see how she painted every surface in her house.

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  16. Wow amazing post, thank you. I love your watercoloring of the lemon too, beautiful work.

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  17. Awesome post, thank you. I love your lemon watercolor video! Please do more watercolor videos, I learn so much from your videos Lydia & thank you so much for listing your supplies, it helps so much! I want to win a Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand. Thanks again for the awesome video!

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  18. Awesome post, thank you. I love your lemon watercolor video! Please do more watercolor videos, I learn so much from your videos Lydia & thank you so much for listing your supplies, it helps so much! I want to win a Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand. Thanks again for the awesome video!

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  19. My goodness, this is gorgeous!

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  20. I am familiar with Maud Lewis and her uplifting story. I used to show that documentary to my students in high school. Thanks for reminding me of her difficult life and how she refused to let it get her down, on this rainy day when I was starting to have gloomy thoughts because I wanted a sunny summer day!
    I enjoyed watching your no line watercolour painting of your 'zesty' lemon. Well done, Lydia.

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  21. What an incredible giveaway - and adorable kitties,too. I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand. Thanks.

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  22. Wanted to thank you for sharing Maud Lewis' glorious art with us. This is the first time I've seen it and knowing her back story makes her sweet paintings that much more inspiring. What a happy little soul she had. So touched when he husband said that after she was gone the seagulls didn't come to the hospital any more. That tells me al lot about her right there. Loved your painting today, especially because lemons are wonderful and yellow is my favorite color. Plus"I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand".

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  23. I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand and I wanted to sat thank you for this great chance!!! Love so much the fun sentiment and your beautiful card!!!

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  24. Thank you for the beautiful and inspiring story and video of Maud, and also for the reminder about thinking how a comment sounds before we say it. She did indeed accomplish so much in her short painful life, and she obviously never had too much time on her hands. Art spreads beauty and happiness. Kind of reminds me of the story and accomplishments of Laurel Burch (love the Laurel Burch stamps coming out now). And speaking of stamps, I love love your lemon card and it's message too!

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  25. That is one exciting prize package! "I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand" That would be crazy amazing!!! I have had the SU! catalog open to page 93 all weekend. I am REALLY wishing I had ordered the Beautiful Bouquet Bundle a few weeks ago because it would be perfect for a project I am working on. I have so many bookmarks in the catalog I don't know what to order! I confuse myself easily! :) ..... I love those sweet kitties by Maud Lewis!! Your card is absolutely stunning! I will be watching for it on SCS to favorite it. Now I am off to take my daughter to play rehearsal! She is performing later this week in Hairspray along with high school students from three local high schools. Very exciting stuff!

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  26. There is a movie of Maude, called Maudie! I haven't seen it yet, but it's been given 90% approval by Rotten Tomatoes! It looks like such an uplifting, heartwarming movie, it is on my list. We could all use more good stories like this in our lives. Thanks for sharing your beautiful lemon zest card; now if only I could watercolour like you, or paint kitties like Maud! Also "I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand" - then maybe I can 'fake it'??! ;)

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  27. "I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand"!!! Maud is a sweetheart. It shows in all her paintings and in her house. I liked seeing how you could take a stamp and add to it with watercolor to make it extra special. I enjoyed your video, too.

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  28. How inspirational Maude continues to be. I found the short documentary to be very moving... and it makes me grateful for my space and my talents. Thank you, Lydia, for sharing this. I love your still life, too! What a great giveaway... it's on my wishlist! "I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand"

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  29. Lydia, thank you for introducing me to Maud Lewis. I've added the video to my playlist to remind me of her work. I love her paintings and can't imagine how painful it was for to color in her images with one hand holding the other. Im so glad Nova Scotia has created a gallery for her remarkable work and her amazing home. Thanks so much for sharing.

    I'll share something on my own...I'm in Rochester, NY, which you lived in while at school, and though sometimes I want to protest when you talk about our rainy weather, this summer you have it right! The lake (our beautiful great lake) has flooded out many homes and businesses along it's shore. But, truthfully, living along one of the great lakes is an awesome privilege. I'll bet you knew that when you were here.

    By the way, I love the conversations you, Kristina and Jennifer have on the Online Card Class site. I hope you will do that again soon. Sandy Wingate

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  30. So there's a moving coming out entitled Maudie - just saw the trailer the other night. Love love love your card

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  31. I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand

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  32. Wonderful story about Maud Lewis. I had not heard of her before but will look up more. Your lemon still life is beautiful. I really must do more watercoloring. I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand. Thank you for the chance to win.

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  33. I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand
    I enjoyed your video and the link to Maud Lewis, I just love her kitties, both the black and white ones. What an incredible journey she had.

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  34. Jumping' JiminyCricket! Mega thanks for a chance to win the Arkon stand et al! OMG! Now talk about one fabby zesty lemon!!! Wow!

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  35. You no line water colour is AMAZING Lydia and I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand!
    As for dear Maud Lewis, I am a native Nova Scotian and I am thrilled that you have shared her wonderful story! I live less than 2 hours from Digby and want to learn more about her myself. Sadly the movie was here in late spring but only played a few nights. The week it was playing in our area, we had lost 2 Aunts and a cousin within those few days so going to the movies just wasn't do-able. I am hoping to see it in the near future. A word of warning from those who had seen it...take lots of tissues! Thanks Lydia for sharing her wonderful story!

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  36. What a smart idea to turn this stamp to a still life. I love your water coloring. You're giving me the courage to try more myself. And I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand!

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  37. I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand! Always love your posts!

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  38. I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand! I love your watercolouring Lydia, I want to be just like you!, Well maybe not, but I would like to do more watercolouring.

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  39. I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand! But of course I do!!!! I've been drooling for quite some time now...my chin's even chapped!

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  40. I just love to watch your creativity. You are very inspiring! I want to win an Arkon Live Streaming Pro Phone Stand!

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