Maud suffered from juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, a long-term autoimmune disorder that causes swollen and painful joints. This made painting extraordinarily difficult for her.
However, she didn’t let the pain from her disease keep her from doing what she loved. She continued to create her wonderfully distinctive paintings for years.
Maud was also able to experience a love that lasted a lifetime.
She met her husband Everett in 1938, at the age of 34. She showed up unannounced at his home after he posted an advertisement for a live-in housekeeper. Just a few weeks later, they were married.
Everett (who's portrayed in the film by actor Ethan Hawke) was a fish peddler. Maud would accompany him on his daily rounds.
Soon, she began bringing Christmas cards that she had drawn and selling them to his customers for 25 cents apiece. The people loved them, and it’s not hard to see why!
But Maud didn't just paint on canvases or cards.
Soon after her marriage to Everett, Maud began painting on nearly every surface of the one-room home the two of them shared. Her cheerful flowers and birds covered the walls, doors, wallpaper, and even the stove.
Starting around 1945, people began making trips to the Lewises' home to buy Maud's paintings.
For years, the paintings sold for just two or three dollars. Then, in the last few years before Maud’s death in 1970, her paintings started selling for between seven and 10 dollars.
But today, Maud’s paintings are worth far more…