On the winding pathway of her life, artist Stephanie Shroyer constantly seeks beauty that lasts.
As a child, she helped her dad make stunning jewelry from rocks they found on hikes. When Stephanie attended a Houston high school, her art teacher urged her to interpret different media in her own way. A retired oilman challenged Stephanie to turn her back on stereotypes and plot a personal, distinctive direction with her art.
For some years, Stephanie worked with mosaics, gluing small pieces of glass, china, tile or other materials to different surfaces. Her customers treasured these imaginative one-of-a-kind pieces.Then one of those quiet, life-changing realizations came along.
A few of the unfinished concrete bowls Stephanie had set out in her yard filled with rainwater. Leaves drifting down from the surrounding native pecans gradually stained the blank slate of man-made material in rich, organic shades of brown. As a student of nature, she admired how the bowls added character while blending quietly into their outdoor environment.
Those observations prompted Stephanie’s pursuit of concrete art ˗ a rigorous, self-taught process. It often begins in the garden where she picks leaves, the bigger, the better. Stephanie has developed a deft touch while handling the hefty sacks of concrete that she mixes meticulously. The greenery often winds up as ingenious concrete birdbaths, fountains, wall hangings, pots or yard art. These delight her customers.
As Stephanie’s concrete creations continue to evolve, some have taken the more enigmatic form of people, animals or whimsical creatures from her imagination.
Stephanie also enjoys teaching kids’ art classes. Sometimes as a session winds up, a young participant shyly confides, “When I grow up, I want to be an artist like you.”
“If you love art and love creating things, you’re already an artist,” Stephanie tells the child, recognizing that the young person is taking more than a craft home from the workshop.
Never stagnant or trite, Stephanie’s art reflects the caring, humble woman who pursues joy with her heart and her hands. What will capture her imagination next?