M. Etchegaray-Szalan is a sixth generation Californian and a resident of the Bay Area since 1957. Largely self -taught, she dabbled in oil painting for the first time in the late 1960's. Finding that painting and child rearing did mix well, she waited until her children were grown, before devoting her energy to it. After retirement, she took formal art classes, learning techniques in watercolor and acrylic painting as well as print making. She enjoys painting and working with gourds in her studio/retreat behind her home.