There’s a world of playful pastels and a wise old soul in love with travel and nature living inside the imaginative mind of 18-year-old Emma Steuer.
From Pawleys Island, S.C., Emma is a Class of 2017 graduate of the Academy of Arts, Science and Technology High School in Myrtle Beach. She is currently carrying a full load of freshman classes at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, with plans for a fall transfer to the College of Charleston to pursue marine biology.
Emma painted this month’s artwork “Sherbet” at age 17, which was exhibited as part of a high school art show in Myrtle Beach at the Franklin G. Burroughs-Chapin Art Museum. “Sherbet” was also part of the high school exhibit at Artfields, the premier art festival held in Lake City, S.C. every April. Artfields was created to honor artists of the Southeast with a week’s worth of celebration and competition in the heart of a traditional Southern small town. That’s where Pink and Paisley Magazine’s owner, Elizabeth Millen, happened to drop in…and here we are today.
Emma relates to Sherbet in a special way. “She and I both ponder about traveling the world and the enjoyment of getting away.” Sherbet is playful – her glasses reflecting mountains, a wrist heart tattoo, colorful lip gloss and strategically manicured brows. “I always use those brows in my paintings, I like that look. I like mixing pastel and brighter colors together to create enjoyable art—not to paint anything too harsh—there’s already a lot of harsh things in the world.”
Emma feels fortunate to have had a childhood full of global summer travel. “My grandparents, Peggy and Allen Ryals, took me to exciting different countries, so this artwork is part of it all.” The last four summers they’ve traveled to China, Greece, California and England. She considers her grandparents her mentors. “They’ve done many interesting things, have had cool jobs and done things in service to others. They have been a big part of my life and could win any grandparents award.”
Emma usually paints late at night. “I have lots of college work to do during the day!” Her works are digital art, a form she mastered in high school under the guidance of Mr. Spivey and Ms. Franklin. “They were influential in helping me to get to where I want to be. Also, my 16-year-old sister is my muse for a lot of my art and one of my best friends.
I have a Wacom tablet with a specialized stylus brush and use Corel Painter for painting and editing my artwork.” The program acts like paint; you select and mix colors. “Each artwork takes different amounts of time to create, as I want each one to turn out as I imagine them in my head. “Sherbet” took about 15 hours.”
“I can’t sit still; I’m always traveling, never staying weekends on campus.” Museums, botanical gardens and the beach are favorites, along with an appreciation of coastal South Carolina. “South Carolinians do a great job at taking care of our marine animals, and I care how we live our lives in a helpful, southern way.”
The wanderlust instinct in Emma is strong. “Travel is a big part of who I am and has opened my eyes to the possibility you can live a good life many different ways; there’s no one way to do everything.” Next, she is bound for Italy! She’ll take her drawing pad and be on the ready to sketch. Her favorite words are: Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today. “I want to be worrying about now and then go out and do the next great and best thing.” We certainly think she will.
Contact Emma — Website: www.emmasteuer1.wixsite.com/artblog | Facebook: @Emma Steueral