top of page
Picture of louie rochon, rochon fine arts.

Before Louie Rochon could find his way home, it took 20 years exploring numerous artistic paths - from watercolor and sculpture to fine art macro photography - before he discovered his true passion for abstract expressionist acrylic painting at age 62. For many years, Louie was well known for his sensual macro photography work ‘of all things floral.’ Louie describes Art, Emotions and Bipolar disorder:


"I've finally found a way to fully express myself, through a medium in which I am totally free to explore all aspects of my thoughts, feelings and emotions. Through acrylic abstract and expressionist painting, I'm able to express the world around me at a pace that can keep up with the depth and rapid cycling of my emotions and moods of Bipolar disorder, a challenge I’ve had for a lifetime.


I paint on the floor, on vast sheets of white canvas, music blaring, on my hands and knees, wet, fast and free, often for days at a time - and it ends as suddenly as it starts, always taking me by surprise. It's a deeply emotional 'trance-dance' of sorts, and when the music stops I'm utterly and completely spent. I ‘AM’ within my paintings."


Louie's work ranges from abstract to expressionist to impressionist, always encompassing his own unique style - bold vivid color and loose flowing line work that conveys a sense of joy, hope and deep appreciation for nature.

Louie Rochon (born 1 March 1953) is a French-Canadian / American painter born in Quebec, Canada



Louis Charles Rochon was born in Quebec, Canada on March 1, 1953.  At age four he migrated to the United States with his parents and two siblings.  They initially purchased a home in The Dalles, Oregon before moving to Southern California.  Rochon’s father was a PhD Chemist who worked on NASA’s Apollo Project and his mother was housewife, gourmet cook and painter.  Only their father could speak English, which proved difficult and isolating for the family until they were able to learn the language and assimilate into the culture.  Rochon describes the experience as having his young world completely turned upside down.  "I might as well have landed on Mars. This new world was terrifying for a little kid and it manifested in a number of not-so-healthy ways, which carried through my entire life."

louie rochon history as child

The Rochon’s threw lavish parties for their neighbors and friends.  Louie would sneak downstairs in the middle of the night after all the guests had left to eat his mother’s left-over delicacies, and every day he would come home from school after being bullied and sneak biscuits with butter and milk onto the back porch.  His first addiction blossomed: compulsive eating disorder.  Rochon’s mother did her best to protect her middle child and took him with her to the art market at the Hollywood Bowl in the early 1960’s where she would sell her paintings.  He didn’t realize it then, but these times with his mother would prove a catalyst for his own creative career decades later. 

louie rochon as rebelious teenager in California.

Rochon continued struggling to fit in until high school, when he discovered his “tribe” – and drugs.  Soon thereafter he dropped out of high school and recalls spending his days “as a long-haired hippie, driving a van and hanging out at the beach surfing most days.” His relationship with his father was rife with conflict, and his mother and older sister constantly broke up screaming matches and physical altercations.  Rochon moved into a trailer at the back of the property and left when he was 16 to live in a turret house on the Pacific Ocean.   



Rochon wanted to be a chef and started culinary school but didn’t have the patience for the book work and dropped out.  By this time his mother had divorced his father and remarried a man who owned several McDonald's restaurants. Rochon worked at one of the restaurants briefly before switching to another fast-food chain, Carl’s Junior, where he worked up from Manager to Management Training Instructor to Multi-Unit Supervisor, responsible

for eleven restaurants – ten which he opened in one year. By the  late 1970’s Rochon had exhausted this career with Carl’s and had become grossly disenchanted with the crowded, smog-choked rat-race of Southern California.  He and his first wife packed up everything and made the 2,500-mile trek north to Eagle River, Alaska, about as far away from Southern California as they could get. 

He worked at the Captain Cook Hotel in Anchorage while studying for his real estate license. The timing for a change of career was incredibly fortunate, as he entered the ground floor of the Great Alaska Real Estate Boom of the 1980's.  Working like a madman for five years, Rochon made a fortune in real estate, amassing numerous rental properties, luxury cars, sailboats, and other high-end toys. He and his wife divorced, and he slid into a single, high-roller lifestyle of alcoholism and cocaine addiction that spiraled him into free-fall depression. He met a woman with two children and felt settling down with a ready-made family may save his life. They had a son together.  In 1985 the real estate market died virtually overnight, and he lost the fortune he had built.

Rochon moved his family to Washington state where he filed for bankruptcy and started over from scratch, again.  What he didn’t expect was the toll his alcohol abuse and depression would take on him and his family. The pressure of providing for of a family of five got the best of him and he sank deeper into his addiction.  His second wife left with the children.

Louie Rochon living in Eagle River Alaska
2 year Walk Across America for kids with aids by Louie Rochon.

In early 1996, Rochon read a book called ‘A Walk Across America’ by Peter Jenkins and decided to drop off the grid and walk across the country.  He had to do something drastic to try and save his life, and maybe even do some good in the process. Rochon recalls that “apart from the fact that I was a two-pack-a-day smoker, 30 lbs. overweight, again, and walking to the pantry for a bag of potato chips was a major challenge - why not? What did I have to lose? I had no life. I felt nothing inside. I was dead.”Over the summer Rochon sold everything he owned to raise money for travel expenses. “This was another one of those periods in my life - all or nothing – where I burned all my bridges behind me. There was no way out except to finish what I'd started. I had no career, no home, no relationship - just time and 5,000 miles of road ahead of me. The prospect of so much freedom was overwhelming, yet offered boundless exhilaration with anticipation of unknown adventures. I felt like I was 17 again, when I spent summers hitchhiking around the U.S. and Canada.”Rochon put the word out to friends for charity suggestions. Soon thereafter someone suggested he go to a luncheon to hear a man speak about kids with AIDS.  After the presentation he introduced himself to the speaker, Jim Jenkins of the Children with AIDS Project of America, a nonprofit in Phoenix, AZ. Rochon had found his cause. During his two-year, 5,200-mile trek, Rochon raised tens of thousands of dollars, and reached over 90 million people via television, radio, and news promotion.  He still considers it the most challenging and rewarding time of his life. 

louie rochon press conference for kids with AIDS in San Antonio.

In mid-December 1989, after six months of serious drinking, there came one especially dark night of such hopelessness and despair that Rochon consciously decided he would make a choice by morning:  admit himself to an alcohol treatment program or take his life. He admitted himself into a 30-day alcohol treatment program at Milam Lakeside Rehab Center in Kirkland, WA and found a brief reprieve from turmoil.

In 1995, after 15 years in real estate, Rochon decided to try something different by moving to Arizona and starting his own marketing company, Vision Resources Unlimited, Inc. This new company was very successful from the start. He consulted with real estate professionals and small business owners, teaching them how to market and promote themselves, develop marketing plans and create media formats. He developed a national seminar and wrote two books on marketing while traveling around the United States teaching 'Strategic Power Marketing.’  

The pressure of this success proved too great for Rochon, and he fell into alcohol addiction and severe depression once more. 



Seattle Times covering end of two year AIDS walk by Louie Rochon.

Rochon describes what it was like going back into “the real world” after the walk: “For a couple years while walking, I had a great deal of time to think, to imagine unlimited possibilities for my life - for my 'after-walk life.' What I hadn't foreseen was the excruciatingly torturous and incapacitating manic depressive episode that would consume me, mind, body, and soul. While walking, my life made perfect sense. I had a purpose. I was useful and productive. I knew who I was. I 'was' making a difference and my ego had identified who I was with what I had accomplished. When the walk ended, almost overnight I was lost, totally and utterly lost. I had no idea who I was. I was overwhelmed, feeling worthless, useless, and pathetic, once again. I thought that I’d walked away from a mid-life identity crisis. Family, career, aging; you know, the usual 'who-am-I-and-what's-it-all-about' stuff. That crisis was nothing compared to the confusion, anxiety, and desperation I felt after finishing the walk, with no new identity to attach to.” 

Kids with AIDS and Louie Rochon during 2 year walk across america.

Rochon fell into an eight-year, nearly-fatal depression he never saw coming after a major back surgery the following year, when dozens of stainless-steel parts were fused into his spine to hold everything together.  Surgeons told him later that when the two disks in his lower back ruptured during the walk, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Ten million steps, day-in and day-out, and those last few months carrying a waterlogged behemoth pack up and down the Oregon coastal hills eventually blew out his back. The last few months of the walk he couldn’t remove his backpack at the end of the day, as it quite literally held his spine together. Within six months he could no longer walk and could only stand for a few minutes at a time.


After he recovered from surgery, it was time for Rochon to start his life over again, from scratch. He decided to become an 'Artiste,’ as he’d had a passion for creativity all his life – though he was plagued by the perception he lacked talent. He had tried many mediums in the past, including sculpture, oil and watercolor painting and collage. What he lacked in confidence he made up for with perseverance.  He could never sit still long enough to attend college, yet all the careers he undertook were successful by just jumping in headfirst. He was never afraid of hard work or trying new things. Rochon states, “I figured art isn’t rocket science - it's just expressing what's inside onto something on the outside. If it's the truth, it's good art. How it looks and whether it is 'good art,' well, that's just someone else's opinion.”

Papier Mache Sculpture (2000 – 2005)


Rochon went to the library to check out books on how to become an artist. He discovered a book entitled "The Simple Screamer," by papier mache artist Dan 'The Monster Man' Reeder. “As I sat there on the floor of the library reading, I couldn't stop laughing! It was a book showcasing and describing how to build papier mache monsters. Dan's creations struck a nerve with me. They were tongue-in-cheek, colorful and fun. This exciting new medium offered unlimited potential, allowing me to create, three-dimensionally, anything my mind could conceive.” Rochon had found his medium and immediately commenced work on his first 'creature-ation.' From this first effort came inspiration to create many more pieces, each one providing a means to express himself more fully. Art would become his new addiction.

Papier Mache Fine Art by Louie Rochon in Whidbey Island.

The Strangest Little Gallery in Washington (2004 – 2005)

In the Fall of 2004, Rochon and his son moved to Ocean Shores, a small beachfront community on the Washington coast, where he created a gallery and working studio. He hoped to sell enough assorted artwork from friends so he could focus his time and energy on creating larger works.  'Rochon Sculpture Gallery and Studio' was commonly referred to by locals and the media as 'The Strangest Little Art Gallery in Washington.'

Rochon didn’t sell enough of other people's art to pay the bills, so he created a line of more affordable papier mache art pieces called 'FisHeads’ which were very popular and sold well. The problem was that he had essentially created an art factory. He had to create and sell four FisHeads a month to pay the bills, and there was no time left to do any of the work he wanted to do. He was basically living to work and not very happy about it. After a year, Rochon closed the studio and moved to Whidbey Island. 


Rochon’s signature papier mache sculptures include The Screamer; BiPolar; Killer Chicken; Bull Market; Granny; Mirrored Figure; Earth Day; and Kodachrome.

Paper Mache Fine Art Studio and Gallery in Ocean Shores, WA., by Louie Rochon.

Fine Art Macro Floral Photography (2009 – 2014)

Rochon continued to do papier mache but soon became bored.  He immersed himself in the recovery community on Whidbey Island while looking for his next creative inspiration.  In 2009 he purchased a digital camera and began to shoot macro images.  He had worked with photography doing product marketing during his time at Carl’s Jr. and had enjoyed the craft.  Rochon rented an apartment in the forest and began to bring flowers into his home to experiment with, and soon found his niche shooting fine art florals, amassing a following and showing his work in the local art community.  After five years, he found his passion for photography waning and began to flounder both professionally and personally, as he felt he no longer had a purpose.    

Fine Art Photography 'Ovation' has won numerous international awards.


Rochon’s partner Sandy, whom he had met in 2005, recognized the funk descending upon Rochon as a slippery slope and encouraged him to work on a painting he created with oil pastels, inks and collage during a difficult time in Alaska. Rochon had always found the work offensive because it brought back memories of a time he would rather forget.  Sandy told him she was going to hang it in her home, but Rochon couldn’t bear to see it on the wall every day, so he decided to paint over it.  It was her hope that this would spark him to once again explore painting, which it did.  Rochon began painting prolifically in his apartment but soon outgrew the space and rented a studio in the seaside village of Langley, Washington in 2014 at the age of 62. 

bottom of page