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Steve Emery

  • 38 San Francisco Blvd, San Anselmo, CA 94960, USA

About The Artist

Artist Statement


  Steve Emery is a Marin native who draws his inspiration from the natural world.  He runs the local trails, backpacks the Sierra, rafts the rivers of the southwest.

  As Steve moves through the landscape, infused with the smells, sounds, seasons, he returns to his studio to reinhabit this passage. His paintings begin without a destination, from a single calligraphic brush stroke. As more lines are added, spaces become inviting to inhabit. As elements of interest are born, self-conversations are held regarding their meaning. Often times a central, somewhat seductive, element which emerges, becoming something to rally around. Then, the rallying may take on an even more cryptic, intriguing meaning that renders the original meaningless. As he continues painting, (at times more drawing-with-paint), traces of past elements are left behind; a trail of history, not to retrace steps, but a reminder of the foundation each painting was built upon. He is not an abstract painter, nor a painterly painter. A structure, or language emerges to convey, sing, or dance a story, which is itself a myth of its’ own making. For these reasons, Steve refers to this work as lyrical, a reference to that which moves through time with musical accompaniment. He also works with more realistic, intimate portraits of landscape, both his local Marin, as well as the Sierra. Where the landscape work generally go from transparent beginnings to finished compositions, the lyric work is more experimental and searching. He also plays piano and accordion.

  Steve works primarily in acrylic on various forms of watercolor paper. Here is a description of technique. “Diluting the acrylic paint to a transparent color, I wipe my brush to get rid of excess moisture, then draw on the paper. The paper is never wet, and the colors become richer with each successive layer applied.  The lighter, more luminous colors use the white of the paper to illuminate from behind. I paint layers of color around those areas. The darker tones are more layers of different applied color, slightly less dilute paint, and are generally the last to be applied. When dark areas require a return to light, it takes many successive drawn layers, as acrylic paint is very transparent. IOnce dried it doesn’t dissolve with successive layers. In the initial transparent stages, the composition, details and future are still directionless, but as the painting evolves to become meaningful, I begin to use less transparent colors. I use Arches 300# Hot-pressed watercolor paper, as well as a multimedia board which has a little resin in the paper. Each has its’ own inherent texture and absorbancy characteristics, which becomes more apparent after many layers.”


Steve Emery- biography

1954 born a February pisces, raised in Fairfax, CA, graduating from Drake High School in 1972.
  (Archie Williams was one of my track coaches). Returned to coach x-country 2002-2012.
1972-77 attended UC Santa Cruz; graduated with Art Major
1976-78 founded 2 co-op art studio facilities;  Santa Cruz Art Center and S.C. Graphics Workshop
1979-99 Master Printmaker for Kathleen Lipinski; Serigraphy       1985 Married artist Kathleen Lipinski
2015 Acknowledged as a Marin County “Cultural Treasure”

Steve has:

Designed the 24 x 18” plaque dedicating the Open Space purchase of Bald Hill in 2023, installed @ Natalie Coffin Greene Park. Exhibited in Yosemite Renaissance several times, a juried art show; winning first prize in YR XXVIII. Exhibited at all 3 Falkirk Galleries, with wife Kathleen. Exhibited in, and co-produced MarinScapes, a 30 year Marin landscape exhibit tradition, to benefit Mental Health in Marin. Exhibited in several juried shows @ Gallery Route One; 1st prize in 2013, Best in Show in 2009. Shown in the Marin County Fair: including “Artist of the Year” & “Best in Class” Exhibited & juried @ Sausalito Art Festival, exhibited and served on the committee, as well as the poster artist for the Mill Valley Art Festival.

Art Medium(s)

Acrylic Paint

Studio Information

COVID Precautions

Contact Information

Artist Full Name
Contact Email Address


Artist Website



Phrasing: Six months of painting in 3 minutes

Time-lapse film of an acrylic painting in progress. Steve Emery artist & photographer. Produced by Adrian Emery.


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