- Associated Press - Sunday, January 15, 2017

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - It’s been 28 years since Thibodaux native Susan Talbot Hoffmann had brain surgery to remove a tumor that almost took her life.

She was diagnosed with a large acoustic neuroma in 1989, and following 14 hours of surgery and a coma she was unable to walk, talk or eat.

The next three years of her life were filled with speech and physical therapy, which she said was really hard.

But art therapy was her release.

“The art therapy was the only thing I was really successful at. Physical therapy and everything else was a real downer, hard work. You didn’t feel very good about yourself, but I felt good about myself after going through some sort of art activity,” Talbot said.

And for the last two decades, the Thibodaux artist has dedicated her life to creating art, particularly watercolor paintings and etchings.

Behind her Thibodaux home, she has an art studio that houses some of her works, clippings of newspaper stories written about her artistry and an etching press.

Some of her most popular works include etchings of houses along Magazine Street in New Orleans’ Garden District and watercolor paintings of flowers.

Her work hangs in art galleries across Louisiana and in east coast cities such as New York and Philadelphia.

Most recently, her work was featured in an exhibition at the New York City-based Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, a national organization that shows and promotes works by professional women artists.

To be granted membership into the organization, artists’ works must be accepted three times. In 2012, following her third acceptance into the club, Talbot’s embossed etching of a villa in the Garden District earned her a membership spot.

Every year in December, her work will be featured in the club’s exhibition.

Before she became known for her art, Talbot did research at Tulane Medical Center and taught in the university’s Department of Medicine.

The only time she used art during that time was to draw comical figures to illustrate ideas discussed at classes and seminars she attended.

Still, art proved to be a lasting force in her life both before her brain surgery and after.

“I like that it takes a certain amount of technical skill to do the work I do,” she said. “Most people can draw, but this is actually transferring and thinking about the colors.”

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Information from: The Courier, https://www.houmatoday.com

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