First Friend in Aix

March 10, 2020
Jill’s first friend in Aix – Summer of 1980

The first person Jill met when she set foot in Aix-en-Provence was Denise Lemoine. As administrative head of the Marchutz School of Painting and Drawing, Denise welcomed Jill into the summer program in the summer of 1980. She gave Jill the keys to her apartment, explained the lay of the land and was a friend from the start. Denise taught French to Jill and the other art students, and shared her cultural savoir-faire as she had been living in France for several years at the time. In those days, Jill and Denise were often mistaken as sisters, and it still happens to this day (evidence below!) Even if they are not biologically related, they certainly are âmes soeurs, or what you might call kindred spirits.

Today, Denise is heading up an ambitious initiative to create a catalogue raisonné referencing the work of German-French painter and lithographer Leo Marchutz (the founder of the Marchutz School of Fine Arts).

Support the project in it’s Photo Archive Campaign – each donation brings us one step closer to securing the legacy and preserving the artwork of Leo Marchutz for future generations.

Interested in learning more about Leo Marchutz and the Catologue Raisonné project?

Click here for more


Click here to read segment five of Jill’s “40 Years in France Series”.


Subscribe to Jill's Newsletter and info

Be notified when new posts are out on the blog. Receive invitations to exclusive events and exhibits.

You should receive about 1 or 2 newsletters per month. Your contact details are reserved for internal use and remain strictly confidential.

Related posts to read

Meeting Serge

In her book Art, Soul & Destiny, Jill writes about how fate brought her to meet her husband Serge in the streets of Aix on her second day in France.

Read the Post

“Painting the Invisible” Film Release

“Painting the Invisible” is a documentary film that follows Jill Steenhuis as she navigates the landscapes of Provence in search of inspiration for her creative practice. Shot by her son, James Ruffato, over the course of three years, the film gives intimate glimpses into the world of Jill’s prolific, creative, spiritual energy.

Read the Post
Subscribe to
Jill's Newsletter

Don’t miss out on receiving invitations to exclusive art events and news about paintings, workshops, art videos and other news from France.

We respect your privacy & promise not to clog your inbox or diffuse any personal information!

Jill will get back to you quickly.
Please make sure that you received a confirmation email from us (even your spam folder!)
If you did not receive an email, you may have entered an incorrect email address, in which case, please contact us at