Sherry Steele uses animals to portray the emotions that create the storm of the human condition. She brings a unique style to the field of wildlife artistry with her signature technique using permanent inks. Working from sketches and studies done in the field, she captures the essence of her subjects and presents them as if you were there beside her. Because the animals spontaneously reveal their emotions there is never a need to fabricate an expression. Using her skills of observation and perception, she delights in feeling their unguarded emotion and then sharing it with all who will look into their eyes with her.
The journey has been a long and circuitous one for someone whose lifetime passions have been for wildlife and art. Born in Tennessee at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains, she spent her childhood there hiking and camping. Then moving to Florida, the secluded coves of the West Coast became her playground and exploring their secrets began to fill the sketchbook in her mind. Following college and years of moving with her family across the United States, she finally settled in Washington, D.C. where a new career enveloped her. Working as a Professional Staff Member on the Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee for the House of Representatives continued to present opportunities to travel and observe the wildlife she loved.
But the dream of devoting her life to art never died, nor was it to be denied. Boldly forgoing her previous careers, in 1994 the insatiable desire to depict wildlife as she sees it became an uncompromising passion. Without formal art training she took the unforgiving medium of pen and ink and made it her own. Abstaining from the traditional approach of using watercolor washes over black ink outlines, she mixes her own shades of ink and builds layers of rich color. The result creates a texture and depth that becomes almost sculptural as she literally “paints with her pens”.
Now working from her studio in Austin, TX, she can finally let the passion for her animals consume her as she creates them one by one in her time-consuming process. Join her in the celebration of their beauty.