Steele has Cherokee Indian ancestry and is a self-taught artist who works not only in watercolor, but also with acrylic, pastel, pencil and pen and ink. He also has created clay and soapstone carvings. Most, but not all, of his watercolor paintings have an American Indian theme.
In the Marine Corps, Steele drew and painted as much as his free time allowed. While employed at Eastern Airlines for 23 years, Steele began his watercolor painting. What started as a hobby became a full-time profession when Eastern went out of business.
Steele attends American Indian pow wows and festivals to sell his artwork. Many of his watercolor paintings are inspired by photographs of native friends. He also has gone into schools all over the South, giving watercolor demonstrations to the students while telling the story of American Indians.
Steele's work is shown in the museum at the New Echota State Historic Site in Calhoun; the Ocmulgee Museum in Macon; the Music Hall of Fame, also in Macon; the Chieftains Museum in Rome; and the Trail of Tears Museum in Hopkinsville, Ky. His work also has been displayed at the Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville.
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