Artist Portfolio

Emily Stedman

Artist Biography

Born in New York City, Emily Stedman’s family moved to France when she was in first grade. She has lived in a number of places since, including Swarthmore PA, Tenafly, NJ, and Hartford, Conn. Emily is represented at NOHO/M55 Gallery in New York City. Her oil and watercolor paintings, exploring imagined narrative memories, have been shown in group and solo shows including The Brooklyn Museum; The Rotunda Gallery, Brooklyn, New York; Historic Northampton Museum, Northampton, MA; and numerous other galleries, publications and collections. She was Painter-in-Residence at Bryant Park in the summer of 2016 and created a street art mural for the City of Yonkers.

Emily received a B.F.A from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington and an M.F.A. from Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY where her painting teacher was Jacob Lawrence.


Like rippling water in a shiny river, my watercolors spill from paintbrush to stories on paper. I paint quickly, directly, and with the spontaneity that watercolor embraces. Each painting grows from the giddy mix of fantasy, realism, and a conviction that here is a person or place that strikes a universal note. Here is a situation, a gesture, a flower, a mood that will resonate across all barriers.

​​​I have no particular mechanical process that underlies the finished image. What I have is constant curiosity and a lifelong need to filter the chaos and jumble of life through the lens of color, design and drawing. My sketchbooks are filled with sources for later exploration as I capture whatever floats past, snagging my imagination. Nothing is out of bounds. With my sketchbook and my eyes always open, scanning, seeking, weighing, and sifting, I travel wherever the work takes me. However, a wider story will always be the guide. That story might be in a momentary gesture of a nude, or in paths radiating out from an ancient village, or in the transient nature of an anticipating blossom. The story can also be about something never really experienced, only dreamed of.

Contact the Artist