About the Artist

My career started when I was thirteen. My aunt gave me an oil painting set for my birthday. You could call it an epiphany because from the moment I touched those paints I knew I wanted to be an artist.


I was born in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, a small town about thirty-five miles south of Baton Rouge on the west bank of the Mississippi River, and grew up surrounded by sugarcane plantations, historic Bayou Lafourche and beautiful cypress swamps. These surroundings, coupled with my love of history, influenced the subject matter of my paintings.


Though essentially self-taught, I was fortunate enough to study oil painting with New Orleans artists Al Federico, Jim Kendrick and Connie Coogan for a couple of years.

I currently teach oil painting classes for adults in my home. My students range from beginners to highly skilled artists. The classes are not structured. Students work on their own compositions at their own rate of speed. I prefer to work with people individually, so I can pinpoint the areas they need help and not waste time repeating information they already know.


In 1996 I opened an art shop near my home in Denham Springs, Louisiana. As more and more local artists began coming to the shop, I saw the need for an organization that could pool those creative resources and potentially do some good for the community. With the help of my students and a few artistsí friends, I helped found the Denham Springs Fine Art Association, serving as President for the first three years. Under my leadership, the association started an annual art show competition, organized a scholarship program for parish high school art students and inspired the local newspaper to begin publishing an arts and entertainment column on a regular basis.


My paintings have won numerous awards over the years. Participating in various art competitions can be a welcome validation to aspiring artists, so I try to encourage new artists to enter them. Itís another means of exposing your work to the public and meeting fellow artists. These contacts can be invaluable.


Some of my plantation home paintings are currently on display at the Houmas House Plantation (open to the public) on the River Road near Gonzales, Louisiana.  My artwork can also be seen at the River Region Art Association Gallery in Gonzales.


PiecesofLouisiana.com       225-664-9900       225-235-5354       gayleart@bellsouth.net


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