JM Steele was born and raised in La Jolla, California. She paints in a style she refers to as Impressionistic Luminism. Some of her earliest and best memories are her drawings and paintings that she did at a young age. Her oldest sister is an oil painter, who often took her to an art class, where she saw different works. This got her hooked to oil painting. She achieves atmospheric effects by careful gradation of tone with no sign of brushwork. JM seeks to incorporate moody tones with the atmospheric effects along with the fluid and lively brushstrokes inspired by the Impressionists.
She focuses her work on the Western landscape because she has lived throughout the West. JM now resides in Gold Beach, Oregon, and continues to travel throughout the pacific coast, the mountain states, and the desert. She studied under renowned painters Wolf Kahn, Sebastian Capella, and Perrietta Hester. JM tries to incorporate a luminous inner glow in each of her paintings, moving from dark to light within the piece to create a field of mystery and depth. She wants her work to appeal to the viewer’s memories and emotions, leaving some of the paintings unexplained, just as life is. JM uses numerous layers of paint on wood panels and canvas enhanced by a high varnish finish, which brightens the oil’s surface. The style creates a quality that looks like a jewel, and she often enhances it with gold leaf, which she applies to the painting surface.