Emily Brewer remembers painting in the kitchen with her grandmother at their family home in Ohio.
Both her grandparents are painters and owned a hobby store near where they lived.
Getting paid in quarters, as Brewer puts it, she worked in the family arts shop rearranging and dusting products.
It was there, spending time with her grandparents, that she discovered herself as a visual artist.
“It just really spoke to me,” Brewer said.
Today, the Fine Arts and Psychology double major finds herself enchanted by watercolor.
“Watercolor has a mind of its own,” she said.
Brewer is inspired by the free form the watered-down paint has on the page she is working on.
As the color takes to the veins of the paper, she said the paint style allows her to express herself more.
“My art tends to be very personal to my experience and my feelings,” she said.
Trained in acrylic paint by her grandparents, this is a new medium for Brewer.
She learned the technique during her watercolor course at Mercer, taught by professor Eric O’Dell.
Most recently, however, Brewer has taken up illustration in her senior independent study this semester.
“Until last year I would have told you I was a painter,” Brewer said. “I still am.”
However, the young artist found that in illustration, her personal style came through.
Her newest illustration works are being featured in her senior showcase at the 567 Center downtown in April.
Pen and ink drawings backed by watercolor is her signature.
These are the kind of pieces featured in her showcase.
Brewer said that Mercer has created the foundation for her as an artist. She had never taken a formal art class before attending college.
“Plans I thought I had have changed a lot,” said Brewer.
After college, the painter and illustrator would like to continue her education in psychology.
While pursuing her master’s degree, Brewer has plans to establish herself as an book illustrator doing freelance work.
She said having an artistic outlet is important.
“It is monumental in the development of yourself,” Brewer said.
Sticking close to her roots as an artist, she hangs her grandmother’s paintings in her studio back home.
Brewers said it is her grandmother’s paintings that give her inspiration to continue.