BAP LIZ RANNEY FIN with color correction
[00:00:00] Marijanel: Hey, and welcome to this week's podcast. I am here with my friend and fellow Bold School instructor, Liz Ranney. And we are going to be reviewing the movie, Maudie. If you haven't watched Maudie, we really hope that you do. And here on the show we're gonna share with you some of our insights, some of how this movie impacted us as artists.
This is the Bold Artist Podcast.
[00:00:26] Charla: You have answers, and you're expressing them in your art. Your art is important, and it needs to be seen.
[00:00:34] Marijanel: Welcome, and let's get started with today's episode. If you don't know about Maudie, it's the story of a Canadian folk artist named Maud Lewis, who is a live in housekeeper for a fish monger. And over on the east.
It's filmed on the east coast of Canada and it is so beautiful, dramatic, little bit slow, but worth the watch. Liz, thanks for joining me today. How did you like the movie Maudie?
[00:01:03] Liz: I, I loved it. I think she just had such a tremendous life, like, you know, yes. A little bit, like, slow and, and, you know, paced a little bit differently than today, but just so incredible what she overcame.
[00:01:20] Marijanel: Yeah. And you and I had kind of pre-show talked about some of the insights that that impacted us about Maud Lewis's life and the, so she, it is a true story, and she lived this life. I do think the movie probably embellished and brought forward some different parts of the story that that might have been a little fiction added in there.
But I think overall it is true to what you read online about the biography of Maud Lewis and her development in the, as an artist, and her life was difficult. Yet so simple, and Maud herself just kept to the bare essentials in not only life, but in art, and it's so inspirational.
[00:02:07] Liz: Yeah, she really did kind of just use whatever she had around her, like whatever what's available to her, she kind of just turned it into something more beautiful.
[00:02:14] Marijanel: I know.
[00:02:15] Liz: And I just think that that is so cool to be able to do that. We have so much just stuff available to us today and, you know, choosing between, you know, this fancy brand or this other fancy brand, she didn't have fancy brands of anything. She just kind of, yeah, she had what she had and she made the best of it, and I just, yeah. So cool.
[00:02:35] Marijanel: Yeah, she, she definitely made it work. Now, one interesting aspect of her life is that she dealt with arthritis, uh, severely to where she was crippled and very, um, like her hands were, were really, um, just, I mean, I don't even know how she held the paintbrush in the end. So, she, she had physical disabilities that would keep her from, I guess, expressing herself as freely as we would like hope for as artists.
And yet she didn't let that stop her. And she, at least as how they portrayed in the movie, she didn't complain. She was not a complainer. She just woke up every day as herself and put herself into her life.
[00:03:20] Liz: Yeah, she really did choose to see, like, the best parts of her day and really kind of just, just hold onto those moments.
And even when she talked about, you know, like painting from her memories, I just think it's so cool to see that show up in her work as you know, bright and happy, and like where her art could have been so moody and depressing and you know, it could have been such a different art story. But her art is just so happy.
It's so vibrant, and she really just like captures the essence of the joys of life, which I, this is amazing.
[00:03:58] Marijanel: Yeah. And. Cheerful, like cheerful colors and cheerful, childlike quality.
[00:04:04] Liz: Yes.
[00:04:04] Marijanel: And that comes back to the simplicity. Uh, we were mentioning how there's one scene in the movie where she's sitting by a window and I think someone had asked her like what she loves about life, and she said, I.
Or what she wants in life. And she said, I don't, I don't long for much, uh, window, a bird whizzing by a bumblebee. And it struck me of how just the simplest things were her world, were her life. And then later in the movie, someone, you might actually be able to, to sort of say what we saw in this better, in better words.
But someone had asked her for to paint how she sees the world.
[00:04:42] Liz: Yeah.
[00:04:42] Marijanel: And she had answered. Well, they, at first they had offered her a, a sum of $5 for painting that wasn't done. And then they said, well, how about you paint me one, how you see the world? And she said, for $5. And what struck me about that is how she valued so highly how she saw the world.
[00:05:02] Liz: Yeah.
[00:05:03] Marijanel: Tell me more about that, Liz, because you and I, we chatted and you had some, some really interesting insights into that.
[00:05:09] Liz: Well, I just think that like the, the value that you put on your own artistic vision is just so important, and I think a lot of that gets lost today in, you know, social media.
You see everyone's doing all of it all the time, and the output is just like, it's just so much. But do people really value what they are making and how they are seeing things and how they are, um, like transmuting that into a work of art. You know? Like, she, she painted from her memories, but, but she really did take the time to look and to sit and observe.
And I think that, like, when you actually take that time to do it, you really distill the image into its best aspects. Like, I think, I think when you, you look at a field and you really take the time to notice all the different colors that are coming out of it. And for her, that was, that was about reducing it to its simplicity.
And just take, just taking the best of it to create a feeling. And I just think that that value that you put on the, the subject and the value that you have on your own art voice is just, it's just so important. And she does that so well.
[00:06:22] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:06:23] Liz: Yeah.
[00:06:23] Marijanel: The value that you have on your art voice, and I think what it did, it challenged me when, when Maudie said that, um, you know, for $5, you want me to show you how I see the world.
What it challenged me is I asked myself, Do I value how I see the world? And am I cultivating a way to see the world that I could put value on?
[00:06:45] Liz: Right.
[00:06:45] Marijanel: You know, am I actually looking around and, and, and cultivating that kind of worth in how I see things.
[00:06:54] Liz: Yeah.
[00:06:54] Marijanel: And so it, it was, it was a really good challenge.
There's all kinds of like little, very little subtle nuances to the layers of Maudie's life and Maudie as an artist that I think that an artist just slowing down and watching and soaking it in can get great value and encouragement from Maud Lewis' life.
[00:07:18] Liz: Yeah, that's pretty remarkable.
[00:07:19] Marijanel: And there was something kind of funny, too, in the sense that, um, you and I were both art instructors with Bold School.
Can you take a quick second to just tell our audience if they don't already know you, if they haven't already taken your class. What are your classes all about, Liz?
[00:07:35] Liz: Um, so I do one class about Composing Bold Portraits, and so we kind of do really bold color in within a portrait. Um, and, but I have another class called Flow and Composition, where we really dive into composing an image and the composition within a painting. So, Yeah.
[00:07:51] Marijanel: Yeah, yeah. Liz is an amazing instructor. So if anybody is not inside Bold School already taking her classes, definitely check it out. You can find, uh, more information on boldschool.com and, and down in the show notes below are all of our links. But both of us are instructors and what we found funny was that in the movie, someone asked Maudie, could you teach me how to paint?
[00:08:13] Liz: Yeah.
[00:08:13] Marijanel: And her reply to them was, no one can teach that.
[00:08:16] Liz: No one.
[00:08:16] Marijanel: And if you wanna paint, you paint, I suppose. That's a quote.
[00:08:20] Liz: Yeah.
[00:08:20] Marijanel: She said, if you wanna paint, you paint, I suppose.
[00:08:22] Liz: Yeah.
[00:08:23] Marijanel: And we, you know, we found it funny because we're art instructors. We're like, well, I guess that puts us out of a job.
[00:08:29] Liz: Yeah.
[00:08:29] Marijanel: But you know, there you can teach skills and you can, you can pass on what you know as an artist and how you do things in an artist, and you can share your process. But tell me here again, Liz, what it was that you said, we can't, we can't teach what it is. What is it that Maudie really meant?
[00:08:50] Liz: Yeah, like you can, you can teach the materials, and you can teach how they work, and you can teach the layering and stuff, but you, there's just that little piece that we can't teach other artists, and that is, that's the passion that you bring to, to your work and you, you have to have that in you. Have to have that little spark that says, yeah, I wanna do this, and I'm going to do this, and yeah, ain't nothing gonna stop me. You know?
[00:09:12] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:09:13] Liz: And she does that. Like I, in the face of everyone telling her that she's not able and that she can't do things, she can't look after herself.
What does she do? She goes and does it and she makes a living at it. And you know, it's just so encouraging to see that.
[00:09:28] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:09:28] Liz: You know, she just, she just does it. And she makes it so look so effortless, you know, and she really just kind of, she goes for it. She doesn't second guess herself.
[00:09:37] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:09:38] Liz: And I think so many people do that and stop themselves and, you know, they're told at one point in their life, like, oh, you're not very good. And so they say, oh, well then I must not be an artist. I, I can't do it. You know, I'm gonna stop. But she doesn't, she just keeps going.
[00:09:54] Marijanel: Well, and that determination is something that we can't teach, and it's something that can only come from within you.
So no matter, you know, what kind of art instructor that you have or, you know, our school is, we're, we're passing on this amazing talent of bold color and teaching art process, but it does have to come from within the person of making that decision to push through all the barriers and really dedicate themselves and also the whole aspect we were talking about how you see the world. No one can really teach you that. We can teach you about opening your eyes and observation and noticing the little things. We can even inspire that. But it takes you to do it.
[00:10:36] Liz: Yeah.
[00:10:36] Marijanel: So that's something I think I really found in the movie, Maudie, is just stopping, pausing, remembering the simple things, remembering the power of observation, and, um, choosing to see the positive even in your relationships because she had some really tough relationships in, in her life, and she saw the positive in all of it.
[00:11:02] Liz: Yeah. Yeah. Very remarkable woman. She, yeah.
[00:11:05] Marijanel: I also loved the, the aspect of Maudie's art and, and her mindset as an artist where she didn't really follow the rules or she didn't follow what she, the world would expect of her. There was this one kind of quote or scene where, um, someone was looking at her art and trying to evaluate what season the tree was in.
You know, they were saying, This tree has red leaves, but this one has green, and what season is it? And, and. Maudie replied, something along the lines of is everything that's pretty all about the seasons?
[00:11:40] Liz: Yes.
[00:11:40] Marijanel: You know, like, like are you, are you giving me a rule here that if it's autumn, it has to be orange, and if it's spring it has to be green?
[00:11:47] Liz: Yeah.
[00:11:47] Marijanel: And she's just like, it's pretty.
[00:11:49] Liz: Yeah.
[00:11:50] Marijanel: And so I loved it that she also determined what was great.
Thank you for joining us on The Bold Artist Podcast. You can find all of our links in the description box and show notes. Make sure that you're on our newsletter list. You can get on that list at boldschool.com to find out all of our current news happenings what's going on in the Bold School community and in our online classes.
We'd love to see you in the community. We have a vibrant online space where there is mentorship, challenges, critiques, growth as an artist together. We work together at Bold School to get better at both skill and being a whole hearted artist.
[00:12:30] Liz: Oh, there's another part too, when there, I think it's after she had like painted the walls or something in the, in the place. She first starts out and then, and she's painting the walls and he says, who said you could paint ferries on the wall? And she said, they're not ferries, they're birds.
And, and he says, well, who said you could do that? She said, well, you did. You said to make the place look all right. And I think it looks all right. And it's just like, yes.
[00:12:53] Marijanel: Love her. Yeah.
[00:12:55] Liz: You rock. It does look good. Yeah.
[00:12:58] Marijanel: Yeah. Have you ever, you know, heard about someone or seen someone's life where you feel like you just wanna sit down and visit with them and just like know and understand their life more?
[00:13:08] Liz: Oh yeah.
[00:13:08] Marijanel: Well, I feel that way as an interviewer. This is one of the reasons I love being a podcaster, is I do love finding out more about people's stories and what makes us who we are. And I would have felt that way about Maud Lewis. And I feel that the movie gave me that chance to sit down and have a really long coffee with Maud.
You know, just that sit down and really know who you are kind of moment and you know what made your life, um, Be what it is. And also, one interesting thing if, if anyone's tuning into this and you haven't watched the movie, and this is kind of your, you know, your first introduction to it and you're thinking, okay, I'm gonna watch the movie Maudie tonight, um, one thing that's interesting to note is that she was indeed very successful. So, the president bought her artwork. You know?
[00:13:59] Liz: Can you imagine getting that, like, I don't even know, letter or phone call at that point, and being like, the president wants your work. I'd be like, no. This is a scam.
[00:14:08] Marijanel: Yeah. We'd be going out for dinner that night. Be like, the president has my artwork.
[00:14:12] Liz: Right?
[00:14:12] Marijanel: You know, and you know, she just woke up and painted another painting. And so it, it really is a, a beautiful, well done, well composed story. And not only that, um, not only is it cinema, you know, the cinematography is beautiful. The, the setting location is beautiful. It has so much beauty to it. But, as artists being able to tune in and learn from those small, small lessons of Maudie's life and how she saw the world, the value of how she saw the world, I think is a really precious gift.
[00:14:51] Liz: Yeah. And like, even as like it's, it is an artistic interpretation of her life, but even like the, I found that when, you know Sally Hawkins, she's, she's sitting and looking out the window and just like in those quiet moments, she's not saying anything, but you can kind of, like, just see on her face what she's thinking and what she's kind of going through.
And I think that observation of her observing is just like, is so, I don't know, precious, you know? Like, it's just kind of like, watching someone else do their thing, and it's like, I don't know, there's something special about that.
[00:15:26] Marijanel: Yes, absolutely. Very, very good acting and, um.
[00:15:30] Liz: Yeah.
[00:15:31] Marijanel: Yeah. So, uh, I would say I would definitely give it probably four stars. What would you rate it?
[00:15:38] Liz: I was gonna say four, as well. Yeah.
[00:15:40] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:15:40] Liz: I think four. It's, uh, it's really well made. I think it is a tad bit slow, but I think that's what makes it good. You know?
[00:15:52] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:15:52] Liz: Like it takes, it makes you slow down, too. It makes you kind of, um, go at the same pace as maybe her life was.
And I think that's important for us, especially with all the, the, the crazy busy schedules and the, you know, inundation, social media and all the things that we're living in now. It kind of makes you kind of remember to kind of slow down.
[00:16:14] Marijanel: Absolutely. And, and she reminded me to stop complaining because, you know, there's even a long sort of beautiful scenic moments where she's walking, but Maudie always walks in pain due to the arthritis. And so she does a, a lot of walking in pain. And I think, you know, I wake up a little achy, and I kind of like, oh, I don't feel like going to the gym today. I'm a little bit too achy. And I'm like, What? If, if Maude can do that, I can get to the gym. So she just has, it's just a, this really good reminder, you know, stop complaining. Embrace the little things, see the, see the good in it, and just live your life to the fullest with what you've been given.
[00:16:55] Liz: Yeah.
[00:16:56] Marijanel: And I just, I came away, I, I think a lot richer from the story of Maud Lewis for sure.
[00:17:05] Liz: Yeah.
[00:17:06] Marijanel: Yeah, so Liz and I give it four stars. We encourage all of you artists out there to take the time, take the breather, um, make a bowl popcorn. Sit down, watch Maudie, and think right in. Um, you know, for I'm somebody who likes action packed shows, I love action. And so for someone like me to really enjoy and watch from beginning to end with no breaks means it did capture my attention. So flow it is beautiful. It is worth the watch.
[00:17:35] Liz: And inspiring, I think too, like if you're kind of stuck in that moment where you're like, ah, I don't know, it is art for me. I think just give it a watch and just kind of be re-inspired.
[00:17:46] Marijanel: Absolutely.
[00:17:47] Liz: Yeah.
[00:17:48] Marijanel: And on another note in closing, well first I wanna thank you, Liz, for being here and having this conversation with me. But those of you who have been watching the show for quite a long time, you might remember Liz was on la was it last year we had you on the podcast? It was even before you became a old school instructor. And Liz has gotten known in our community as Magenta Liz, due to the beautiful magenta tone of her webcam that we're not going to have her fix because now she's known as Magenta Liz.
[00:18:18] Liz: Yeah. I don't even know how to fix this point.
[00:18:20] Marijanel: Yeah.
[00:18:21] Liz: But this is, magenta.
[00:18:22] Marijanel: So, as I send this podcast off to the editors today, it will, the, the editing notes will sound like, please don't alter Liz's magenta tone. This is what she's known for.
[00:18:33] Liz: This is me forever now. Yeah.
[00:18:35] Marijanel: So anyway, Magenta liz, thank you for being here on the podcast with me again, and for all of you who've tuned in today's show, thank you for being here.
And definitely go watch Maudie, and we'd love to hear in the comments what you found or find about the movie and how Maud Lewis's life and Art inspire you, and while you are watching the movie and just soaking it all in, definitely check out what's happening in Bold School. You can find us on boldschool.com, get on our newsletter list so you don't miss a beat of what's happening coming down the pipe as far as classes and community news.
And you can find us on Instagram @boldschoolinc. Until next time. Keep creating.