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Yarmouth County carver Bruce Jacquard inspired to create Maud Lewis work

Yarmouth-area carver Bruce Jacquard with a piece he did on Maud Lewis.
Yarmouth-area carver Bruce Jacquard with a piece he did on Maud Lewis.

YARMOUTH, N.S. - Yarmouth’s Bruce Jacquard has taken some inspiration from another artist — Maud Lewis — and the reaction has caught him a bit off guard.

He sold one carving, but he might hold on to a second piece he created. The carving shows Lewis holding a paintbrush in her arthritic hand, with a painting-in-progress in front of her. Behind the painter,  there’s a painting on a shelf, as well as a window showing flowers and blue sky. Jacquard didn't just do the wood carving, he painted the replica Maud Lewis paintings in his carving as well. In the movie Maudie he notes that Maud Lewis paints a shelf in Everett's home green (Everett Lewis would go to become her husband). So taking a page from the movie he painted a shelf in his carving green as well.

Jacquard, a longtime Yarmouth-area carver, said his first carving of Lewis was smaller than the second.  

“I finished it just before the movie came out,” he said, “and a guy bought it right away.”

Jacquard decided to do another.

Carving of Maud Lewis by Bruce Jacquard.

“I said ‘gee, I think I’d like to have one of my own,’” he said. “I plan to keep it ... but time will tell.”

Plenty of people have seen the new basswood piece – Facebook has helped spread the word – and the feedback has been great, Jacquard said.   

Jacquard said he loved Maudie, the film about Lewis that has been a huge hit in Atlantic Canada.

As a carver, Jacquard can look at Lewis from his own artistic perspective.

“I’m not a fan of folk art, but I really like folks,” he said. “I like doing people. Human likeness is what I prefer to do.”

He said he was fascinated by Lewis’s face and hands.

“Her hands were really a challenge,” he said.

Jacquard recalls being about 20 years old when he began carving. He’s now 76. He still loves it, but he isn’t keen on people visiting his workshop, he said with a laugh, “because it is a mess when I get involved in something.”

He has a big piece on the Acadian Expulsion that has been on hold for some time that he would like to finish, he said.

As for his carving of Maud Lewis and the reaction it has generated, he said, “It’s amazing. You do something and you never know how interested people are going to be. I know the movie inspired a lot of people.”

A closer look at part of Bruce Jacquard's Maud Lewis carving.


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New bench at Maud Lewis grave and a QR code to get you there

Look inside Maud’s house: A glimpse into Maud and Everett Lewis’ lives

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'Disability doesn't stop a child from learning' : Yarmouth County students connect with Maud Lewis

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