view-of-studio-one1We moved from southern California to southern Louisiana in 1972 because my husband got a job as a deep sea diver in LA. What a different life it was living in the swamps, and the bayou country. He bought me a nice easel for my birthday and said to get whatever else I needed for supplies because he knew I wanted to be an artist. So, I searched for a year looking for a good teacher; there were 4 that I tried out. One of them would have me copy calendar pictures, which really wasn’t good for serious learning, one didn’t have anything for me to do the first time I went so I never went back, then another one finished your painting for you which a lot of people in that small town had paintings in the art shows that looked just like his work! Then, I found Dottie Billiu who came to judge one of the art shows in our town. She was so generous with her knowledge when she critiqued the show that I just knew this was someone who could really teach me a lot. I was with her for 5 years before I moved back to CA.  She taught me 20 different techniques in oil painting. To get to her class I had a long drive from Morgan City to Gray, LA, one lane down thru the swamps for about 45 minutes to get to her studio.  In the back of the property along the highway was a bayou. She had over 100 students and none of them painted like her.  How privileged I was to find a teacher who had lessons that brought about the individuality of a person’s art talent. You can find out more about her on and also dorothy billiu-hensche.