One thing becomes clear when talking with 85-year-old painter Marie-Louise Rouff about art and the world: she takes everything in. And what she sees will often find its way onto her canvas.

“I’ve traveled a lot but I’ve always had to really focus in train stations, airports,” she said. “I was always looking. Looking at the green sign, at that blue whatever. Fortunately I’ve traveled with my husband who is a scientist and a rational person. One gets so pulled into the visual that sometimes we don’t get the crucial information.”

Tools of the trade. — Alison L. Mead

Ms. Rouff recently opened up a new gallery located in her studio at 150 Field View Lane in West Tisbury, across from Ghost Island Farm.

Formerly a landscape painter, Ms. Rouff embraced abstracts in 1995, a few years after moving to California with her husband, Paul Levine.

“Two things happened. Hitting a wall and moving to California. I painted the landscapes and then I thought, this landscape is perfect in itself. There’s nothing to process in there. Nothing, I’m useless. So I thought, will I stop painting or what?”

So she enrolled in a monotype course and while the process was frustrating at first, something unexpected happened.

“When the pressure hit the paper and the plate would squeeze them together, the paint would get mixed and what came out was something that I didn’t put in,” she said. “At first I thought, this is horrible, but then I got better at it. And I realized the benefit was that if I don’t know ahead of time what’s going to happen that makes it really exciting. And then you can begin and not to know exactly, but have a way of predicting. And that part is sort of jumping off the cliff a little bit. That was fun.”

Ms. Rouff recently opened a gallery at her studio in West Tisbury. — Alison L. Mead

And from there Ms. Rouff began painting abstracts. It was a liberating experience.

“I was like a kid in the sandpile,” she said.

It is a different process than representational painting, one that she says comes more from the soul than anything else. And from memories and observations and ideas.

“The curiosity has to be alive to see what’s going on all the time, that has to be there, you have to be present, but you also react more instinctively not with technique,” she said.

Ms. Rouff and Mr. Levine moved to the Island after he retired in 2009. Mr. Levine had spent time vacationing here with family when he was younger, and later, while he was doing summer research in Woods Hole in the early ‘90s, Ms. Rouff joined him.

“I was by myself all day with a car and I painted up a storm,” she remembered. “It was wonderful. So of course for me the memory of the Vineyard couldn’t be better, so I said sure let’s go.”

Ms. Rouff lived in Luxembourg until 1959. She said there is much about the Island that reminds her of home.

“It was the landscape itself, it’s very agricultural. Today it’s losing that character, the farms are disappearing so fast which is a shame. But the landscape was so similar here. Similar climate, similar fields, like the way it was when I was a child. The paths I’d walk, there are these lovely paths on the Island. I thought, this is perfect.”

And with the opening of her new gallery, she is joyfully embracing yet another adventure.

“There’s no such thing as an easy smooth path, you just live your life,” she said. “Basically we as artists are incredibly lucky. To see the world the way we do, can you imagine if you didn’t have that?”

Marie-Louise Rouff Studio and Gallery is open Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4 p.m. through Oct. 12, 2015. More information can be found at