As well as studying literature (her early intention had been to become a teacher), Elise Alois followed courses in the Ateliers des Beaux Arts de Paris from 1985 to 1990 and practised drawing with her Russian grandparents, both painters, who taught her the value of instantaneous sketches from life and pure line in the manner of Matisse.

Numerous journeys to Spain and Italy in the 1990’s aroused her enthusiasm for the bright southern light (appreciation of the light and shade of northern skies came later).Several years spent in the Louvre, both as a copyist and an attendant, deepened her knowledge of the great masters.

Combining theory and practice, in 1989 she composed a thesis (“maitrise”) on the subject of Painting In Ancient Art.