Arriving Quietness by Eric Merrell
Eric Merrell. His paintings never cease to amaze me. They’re so different, so striking, both in color and subject matter. They aren’t just a replica of what is seen, his paintings include the feeling of where he’s at. I have to say there isn’t one of Eric’s paintings that I don’t absolutely love. Rare for me, I usually hone in on a painting or two that really stands out, but wow.
Eric has a fabulous palette… How does he do it? How does he make a painting evoke feeling and sense of wonder with not a lot of color (in these instances). In his paintings that have color, his color is different. It stands out to me, not in a way where the color is too bright, or exactly what the scene is that he’s painting, it’s so much more. Who knew color could show so much feeling and mood of the area?
Eric is a cool guy and a fabulous artist. Do not miss watching his video – it is FABULOUS. My favorite quote in the video: “When night falls in the desert, it almost becomes an entirely new world. A lot of the shapes lose their definition, the edges become blurred together, it becomes more abstract. And sound becomes much more prevalent, you can hear little things scurrying around through the sand. It’s hard to tell where the facts end and fiction begins”. This video is so well made – don’t miss it!
Journey to the Oasis by Eric Merrell
The light at night is spectacular. The shadows are so wonderful. It’s obvious that Eric loves the desert. I have never personally been to the desert, never walked around in it, so it amazes me. There is such beauty out there! In the video just released, Eric takes you into the desert, explains his process, it’s such a well-made video, you’ll want to watch it more than once, and then share it. His demeanor is so genuine, his paintings are beautiful, it’s no wonder he’s such a success!
Be sure to check out the newly released video (Joshua Tree State Park), it’s fabulous! :
(Produced and directed for The Los Angeles Review of Books by Alec Ernest)
Read a bit about Eric, from his website:
As a native Californian, Eric Merrell spent his formative years on both East and West Coasts. Early art classes in Northern California preceded art school, which he attended first in Philadelphia and later in Pasadena. Though he graduated with a BFA in Illustration from Art Center College of Design, his goal was always to paint outdoors.
Following that objective, Merrell began exhibiting with the California Art Club, one of the oldest art organizations on the West Coast devoted to outdoor painting. Exhibiting with the CAC caused Merrell to become aware of and recover much of the club’s history that had been lost; founded in 1909, its history is intimately tied to the history of Los Angeles. Through the CAC he met and sought out further study with artists Peter S. Adams and Daniel W. Pinkham.
Merrell was selected as one of six artists from around the world for a Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency in 2009. The following year he presented a solo exhibition at The Forbes Galleries in New York City, and in 2011, another solo exhibition at American Legacy Fine Arts in Pasadena. He has consistently exhibited for over a decade in the California Art Club’s Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition, currently held at The Autry National Center in Los Angeles.
After making a connection to California’s deserts over a decade ago, he has taken special pride in painting the color and light found in these stark and often overlooked arid lands. There is a mystery to these deserts during the day; even more so at night. Merrell has made a special focus of painting nocturnes on location – not only is it possible, but he feels that this is an area that is relatively unexplored, as technological advances now allow an artist to actually experience what moonlight looks and feels like, working from direct observation rather than from memory or other methods.
With a foot in both the ‘traditional’ and ‘modern’ camps, Eric strives to combine the methods of the former with examples of individuality from the latter, using his own sense of color and design to create work that is singular and timeless. His works have been noted for their distinctive aesthetics and brushwork, developed over years of pursuing his personal vision.
All images via EricMerrell.com, used with permission…
Images are not for reproduction, they are property of the artist.
I’m a little concerned about the “things scurrying around through the sand”! Ha ha…
Catch you back here tomorrow!