RESIDENCE: Costa Mesa, CA
HOW SHE GOT STARTED CREATING ART: ?I used to really look forward to the paint by numbers set under the tree at Christmas. My mother encourage me to take oil paintings lessons from artists at an early age. It seems that I was always drawing or coloring something. My art education went as far as art classes in high school and I continued art classes through one short semester in college.
MEDIUM AND GENRE: I?ve been told by gallery owners and others that I need a genre. I don?t have one. To me, painting is a very personal challenge. I love to paint anything that sparks my interest, particularly if it appears interesting or unique. As for my medium, I?m limited to watercolor and acrylic due to tight deadlines and drying time.
Artists She Admires: I love the way Rembrandt catches light and Vermeer?s paintings are so beautifully executed. I also love Hopper?s people and places. The root for my inspiration and desire to paint can?t be pointed to a specific handful of painters?it?s more the way I feel when I see a really good painting, whether it?s by an Old Master or a contemporary artist. Good is good.
INSPIRATION FOR Just Getting Started: My profession (architectural illustration and exterior color design consultant) places me on a lot of job sites. Clients sometimes meet me onsite where I?m dodging bulldozers and earthmovers to review architectural color application. When I see the construction equipment, it means the beginning of being able to see my long awaited design work finally come to fruition. Design work is like painting: you never know what it?s really going to look like until it?s finished.
Ross Merrill is chief of conservation at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.