My favorite artist is my mom:
When I was little she cleaned houses and worked as a maid at a B&B. She met a woman who was a painter, and cleaned her house for free for lessons. She's come a long way I'm really proud of her.
In keeping with the grander theme of the thread, I'm a huge fan of all things art nouveau. Its often hard to find out who did certain things, but the Musee D'orsay in particular has an amazing exhibit of the rooms and furniture of that time period. Alexandre Charpentier did some amazing room suites.
I tend to lean more towards objet's D'art myself.
*edited to fix the link
Wow. I love how you get the sense of a jungle just spilling over with plant-life. Her orchids are incredible. I wish I could get a closer look at the detail...
That is a wonderful story about her as well.
Thanks for sharing