Leota Loop was born October 26, 1893 in Fountain City, Indiana, the youngest of five children. She started painting at an early age using chicken feathers as brushes. She used ink for paint and grocery wrapping paper for canvas. Encouraged by her mother, she sold her first painting at the age of ten and during that same year, she studied with the painter Olive Rush at the Fairmont Academy in Fairmont, Indiana. Her sketches won first place in the Madison County Fair.
Although Leota claimed her artistic techniques were dug out from experience, she did receive guidance from T.C. Steele, founder of the Hoosier Group, William Forsyth, an instructor at the John Herron Art Institute, and Will Vawter. She also studied with Edward Stitzman in Morgan County and with Randolph LaSalle Coats. Up until around 1927, she painted mostly landscapes but she switched to flowers so she could be near her sick father. After his death, she resumed landscape painting again.
She organized many junior art clubs throughout Indiana and was a member of the Indiana Artists Club, the Artists League, the Brown County Art Gallery Association, Altrusa, and others. She exhibited in the Hoosier Salon from 1925 to 1958 and won several prizes there as well as in the Artists League of Northern Indiana.
Loop divided her time between a home in Kokomo and studios in Morgan and Brown County. She painted in southern Indiana from the time the dogwoods bloomed until the autumn colors faded. The Loop family permanently moved to Brown County around 1930. Here she opened her home to students where she offered room and board and personal instruction.
In the 1950s she suffered a stroke and became blind in one eye. Nevertheless, she continued to paint and in 1961 she presented the state an oil painting of peonies from her personal collection in recognition of the adoption of the peony for the state flower. She died September 9, 1961, in Indianapolis, Indiana.