It was a craft day invitation from Amanda MacKay, Linda Peterson-Blades’ daughter, that got her started on a stormy winter’s day.
“I really didn’t want to go but if it got me out of the house, I’d say yes,” said Peterson Blades, who was still mourning the loss of her husband David Blades.
The mother and daughter decided to paint flowers.
“I was struggling after losing my husband and really couldn’t see too much to be happy about,” said Peterson-Blades.
But she noticed as she painted and put them up on the wall that they made her happy. Then she posted some of her art on Facebook and people seemed “excited.”
“That brought me joy too. I kept going.”
She paints much more now, gradually developing a style similar to Maud Lewis’s work but much, much more detailed.
She’s now working on an I Love Nova Scotia series.
“I wanted to do something so that people could get lost in my art for a short time. To get a break from reality. That’s what art is,” she said.
Her first one took her six months. She added “bright and fun things. I figured if I was enjoying it, other people would too.”
There were swirly trees and a vividly-coloured village, curlicue waves and fishes of all colours and patterns.
Her second in the series was commissioned by the wife of a lobster fisherman and had lots of hidden lobsters, including four that represented his daughters.
Her third was on pirates and included the seven skull and cross bones to represent the Curse of Oak Island, the 90-foot stone from Oak Island and the Overton Stone from Yarmouth. She also hid seven Templar Crosses in the painting.
Dwight Parker from Pirates of Halifax received a print from his partner.
Peterson-Blades plans on eventually selling her prints on RedBubble so customers can purchase her prints on everyday items like mugs, t-shirts, even shower curtains.
She’s very happy with how her work is being received.
“I consider my art joyful and what they do is joyful. They just bring so much happiness wherever they go. Everybody loves them.”
To view prints and order, go to Facebook Page - Whimsical and Happy Paintings By Linda.
A 20” x 24” printed on archival paper sells for $50 + shipping.