Laura Wiens, The Triplicate

Whether it's gazing into the beady eyes of a fierce grizzly bear or admiring a yellow-eyed green frog against a backdrop of delicate pink water lilies, local wildlife photographer Gale Steelman will bring her audience up close and personal through her work during an artists reception Friday at Evermore Jewelry and Art Gallery.

Steelman's journey in art began when she was about 5 through training by her mother, who was an oil painter. Later she worked in animated cel paint on clay-coated paper.

With the growing popularity of personal computers came a new direction for her artistic expression.

"As convenient as it is with a computer, I started getting more and more into that," she said. She had been doing a lot of collage work with digital images using other people's photos, then she decided to start using her own.

She started taking photography classes in college while living in Modesto. Being a self-described "animal person" wildlife was the natural choice for her subject matter.

"I love to capture the behaviors, as well as intelligence and beauty in their faces," she said.

Steelman photographs many local animal species, but also travels to reserves such as in Yellowstone National Park to gain easier access to the more elusive creatures, such as grizzlies and wolves.

"I'm too old to put on a backpack and traipse around the wilderness," she said.

About 18 framed photographs are hanging at thegallery. The reception will be from 4 to 7 p.m. at 330 H St. Matted prints will also be available.

Reach Laura Wiens at