Maud Lewis images adorn Canada Post's 2020 holiday collection
Whimsical winter scenes available at post offices and outlets across Canada
Nova Scotia's most celebrated folk artist, Maud Lewis, never strayed far during her life from her home in the community of Marshalltown, near Digby.
But some of the work she created in her tiny house will travel the world, thanks to a holiday collection of stamps unveiled Monday by Canada Post.
Three iconic winter scenes, painted by Lewis in the 1960s, have been recreated in the Crown corporation's 2020 collection.
Canada Post president and CEO Doug Ettinger, who spent his early childhood in Smiths Cove, near Digby, said he was doubly proud of being able to showcase Lewis's work, given his mother had a personal connection to the artist.
"My mom would occasionally stop by to talk with Maud on our way home from work in Digby," Ettinger said during the virtual launch of the three stamps. "She actually felt sorry for her, and she enjoyed her conversations, their conversations, very, very much.
"But surprisingly, [she] never bought one of the paintings, which is still something we talk about to this day."
The stamps feature images Lewis hand-painted and sold as greeting cards, which are now part of the collection of her work housed at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
Winter Sleigh Ride, which features a sleigh about to enter a bright red covered bridge, is on a stamp for Canadian deliveries.
Team of Oxen in Winter, an iconic scene of a pair of oxen harnessed together and surrounded by fir trees, is available on a stamp for mail destined for the United States.
Family and Sled, which shows four people on a sleigh led by a team of horses, is on the stamp used for international mail.
All told, Canada Post has printed a million booklets of 12 stamps for domestic mail, and 330,000 booklets of six stamps for U.S. and international mail.
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, which owns the original paintings, has been in talks with Canada Post for three years about the possibility of using the images, according to Colin Stinson, the gallery's director of marketing.
During the online event, the gallery's curator of collections, Shannon Parker, offered a brief tour of the Maud Lewis Gallery, including a close up look at the original works of art whose images are now on the stamps.
"Maud's paintings are beautiful and charming and very rich, and I hope they bring a really beautiful smile to you and yours this holiday season," Parker said at the end of her brief presentation.