After a two-year battle with cancer, artist and author George Rodrigue passed away on December 14 at the age of 69. The author of more than 12 books, Rodrigue documented life in Louisiana through his paintings of the Cajun people, and was perhaps best known for his signature "Blue Dog" image.

"George Rodrigue was…a gifted artist who set out to paint Louisiana as he knew it by visually interpreting the landscape and the rich history of the Cajun people," said the family in a statement. "Later in his career his Blue Dog paintings captured hearts and minds around the world."

"He was not only a painter, but also a true community leader in his native Louisiana and second home of Carmel, California," the statement continued. "George remained an advocate of the arts and arts- education throughout his life and dedicated himself to inspiring the next generation of artists and educators through his foundation, the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts."

This fall, Rodrigue's foundation partnered with the Louisiana Restaurant Association to publish a cookbook featuring Louisiana recipes and student artwork.