Born in Wichita, Kansas, Lou grew up in Oklahoma and California. Her ancestors were early pioneers in the Oklahoma Territory. She takes pride in her Native American ancestry, tracing part of her lineage to the Choctaw Tribe. 

Lou holds a MA and an MFA in Painting from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa. Since 1971, Lou has taught college level Drawing, Etching, Lithography, Watercolor, and Pastel. The majority of that time at the University of New Hampshire. 

She was drawn to the Southwest and the four corners area. In the mid 1980s, she visited Chaco Canyon and Canyon de Chelly, camping and painting with artist friends. 

The land called her back. In 1993 she moved to Taos. She lived in Taos for 17 years; returning to Maine in November, 2010. She plans to remain in Maine and pursue her artistic life.