The following information was submitted by the artist:
Young Californian artist Eric Merrell travels around the United States and to Europe, hunting for places to paint on location directly from nature. As a youth, family camping vacations to the Sierras of California, the Badlands of South Dakota, and across the United States provided the background for his avid outdoorsmanship; hiking and backpacking trips still provide a strong focus for the artist to study nature and work on location.
Eric Merrell was born in Gilroy, California on April 24, 1978 and raised there and in Rochester, New York. Early studies during high school included classes in figure and portrait painting with Jim Smyth at the Pacific Art League of Palo Alto, California. Moving back to the east coast after high school, Eric took classes with Al Gury at The University of the Arts and The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, both in Philadelphia. After spending two years in the city, he moved back to California, transferring to Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. For a time during school Eric worked at the Norton Simon Museum, where the long hours on the job offered plenty of time to study and sketch from the collections. He also worked for the California Art Club, researching archival material and at one point interviewing Evelyn Payne Hatcher, the daughter of Edgar and Elsie Payne, founding CAC members. Graduating from Art Center in 2001 with a BFA with honors, Eric has pursued painting.
His adventures have included many trips around California, throughout the Sierras, along the Pacific Coast and a cross-country painting trip to Philadelphia and back. In late 2002 Eric traveled to France and painted in the countrysides and cities of Lyon, Chamonix and Dijon, among many others. In April of 2004 he was invited to stay at the Old Battersea House in London and paint in England along with ten other young artists; his paintings were featured in an subsequent group exhibition held at the Forbes Gallery in New York City in January 2005. Since finishing Art Center, Eric has also studied painting under the guidance of California Art Club Signature Members Peter Adams, Stephen Mirich and Daniel W. Pinkham. Also included in his oeuvre are etchings and woodblocks; to exhibit his works, he has also been designing and creating his own frames.
Eric is teaching Landscape Painting at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art in Van Nuys, California.
Presidential Scholarship, University of the Arts; Honorable Mention, 5th Annual Montrose-Verdugo City Chamber Juried Art Exhibit
Rising Young Star: Eric Merrell March 14 - May 7, 2006
Altadena Public Library; Altadena, CA January 1 - 31, 2002
On Location in Malibu: Paintings by the California Art Club, Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art; Pepperdine University, Malibu, California May 20 - July 16, 2006
The California Art Club's 95th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition, The Pasadena Museum of California Art; Pasadena, CA April 1 - 23, 2006
Exhibition at the Los Angeles Athletic Club March 24, 2006
Atelier California, Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art; Van Nuys, CA
June 25, 2005
The Next Generation of Realists, January 13 - March 12, 2005
The California Art Club's 94th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition, Pasadena Museum of California Art; Pasadena, CA October 16, 2004 - January 9, 2005
The Spiritual Spectrum: Paintings and Sculpture from the California Art Club, The Cathedral of Our Lady of Angels; Los Angeles, CA July 6 - August 27, 2004
Rising Young Stars June 8 - September 19, 2004
Expressions of Winter December 9, 2003 - March 7, 2003
The California Art Club's 93rd Annual Gold Medal Exhibition, Pasadena Museum of California Art; Pasadena, CA October 11 - November 2, 2003
7th Annual Sights of Southern California, Bowers Museum of Cultural Art; Santa Ana, CA, September 27 - 28, 2003
From Pasadena's Arroyo to the San Gabriel Mountains September 9 - December 7, 2003
9th Annual Plein Air Painting Competition, Mission San Juan Capistrano, CA August 11 - 17, 2003
Landscapes 2003, California State University of Los Angeles, CA January 11 - February 15, 2003
The California Art Club's 92nd Annual Gold Medal Exhibition, Pasadena Historical Museum; Pasadena, CA June 30 - August 25, 2002
5th Annual Sights and Sounds of Santa Ana, Bowers Museum of Cultural Art; Santa Ana, CA September 29 - 30, 20
Ten Young California Painters September 8 - October 13, 2001
The California Art Club's 91st Annual Gold Medal Exhibition, Pasadena Historical Museum; Pasadena, CA May 5 - July 29, 2001
Mentor Program Member of the California Art Club; Associate Member of the Oil Painters of America
Southwest Art Magazine, July 2007, "Artist to Watch" by Bonnie Ganglehoff (color)
Santa Ynez Valley News, May 2007, " Cabana Cellars Wine Bar Offers First Art Show" (staff writer) (b/w)
Arroyo Monthly magazine, April 2006, "The Artist's Way" by Brenda Rees (color)