I was born in Ville Platt, Louisiana, a very small southern town. I didn't have any formal art training as a child, but my mother was a seamstress, and I was intrigued by the scraps of fabric and threads that she would discard and I would play with them. This was my first attempt at creativity. It wasn't until we moved to St. Martinville in high school that I started studying art independently on my own until I was thirty, when I began to paint in earnest. I married, had children and was very occupied with family life and an elementary school teaching career, but once my kids were grown I went to UL at age 54 and got my fine arts degree at 58. I have been making art ever since and now my paintings are accepted around the world. I am 86 years old, and painting keeps me young. I would like to die with my brush in my hand!
Artist + Louise Guidry
Describe your art in three words. Color, texture, spontaneity
Describe yourself in one word. 86-year old child!
What do you love the most about creating art in New Orleans? What particular part of your immediate environment, in your neighborhood specifically influences your work?
New Orleans inspires me because of its history, because of its colorful joyous people. I love the Bayou St. John area, the architecture of the shotgun houses for its line, color, and texture. When I am in St. Martinville I paint more impressionistic oaks in greens and blues. When I am in New Orleans, it's different. I use more oranges and yellows.
Describe your creative process. Are there any rituals or rites of passage you exercise before you begin a new piece? Sometimes I do ten-minute exercises in color and texture on small canvases that I use as models for larger canvases. Other times I intuitively choose a color, which then becomes responsive in my work. Sometimes a piece calls for collage and text, which is something I just feel.
Where do you draw inspiration? Visiting museums, poring through my art books. Once a month, I meet with a group of other artists that have known each other for almost 30 years. We meet to inspire each other and critique each other's work.
Who are your artistic influences or gurus? Paul Cezanne, who is known as one of the first post-impressionist painters, as well as Pierre Bonnard, known for his color, were both influential when I was beginning to paint when I was 30 and still are to this day.
In New Orleans, art and music go hand in hand. What type of music, band or song lyric best describes your work? Jazz- it can be very fast and lively and then it can be very calming, which I feel is how my work is.
Where can we find you when you are not creating art? At home in St. Martinville with my daughter, having nice meals out with family and friends in New Orleans.
What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year? Autumn for its color change and the textures of the falling leaves.
What is something people don’t know about you? A fun fact. That I like to sing!
All works listed online are available to be viewed at Where Y’Art Gallery by appointment.
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