A bit of background....

        My name is Otty Merrill and I am an encaustic artist who lives in Tenants Harbor Maine, a little fishing village in the mid-coast. During the winter months I take advantage of Portland, just two hours south,  where the many galleries, MECA (Maine College of Art) and the Portland Art Museum puts me in touch with a world of opportunity and stimulation.  The coast of Maine enjoys a brisk tourist business and from Kennebunkport to Stonington one can see art from every medium and vantage point.  I am currently exhibiting in the Rockland/Camden area and at The Portland Art Gallery on Middle Street in the Old Port. While in Portland I work and share studio space with professional artists at Running With Scissors Studio, a large cooperative.  In Tenants Harbor, I work from a quiet and pristine waterfront setting  in Turkey Cove.  Truly, the best of all worlds.  I feel blessed.  As a member of New England Wax, an organization of approximately 30 wax artists who excel in the medium of encaustic, our work is exhibited in group and juried shows throughout the six New England States and the Northeast.  Visit newenglandwax.org.  As you will see, I love color, texture and a bit of illusive storytelling.  My work may be called "semi-abstract impressionism"...I made that up!  Born in New Jersey, I attended  Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts and worked in an advertising agency in New York City out of college.  After raising a family and a career in residential real estate, including owning my own company, I went on to attend the DeCordova Museum School in Lincoln, Massachusetts, The School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and a host of schools and workshops in Santa Fe, Tuscon, Provincetown and Kingston, New York.  I feel I am perfecting my style by working for decades with the best encaustic artists in the country and staying in touch with good art everywhere.  I am happy to share my work and my experiences with you.  

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Gallery-by-the-Sea, Port Clyde,   Maine

In the heart of Port Clyde village, just steps from the ferry to Monhegan Island, the Gallery-by-the-Sea...a popular attraction for both tourists and summer residents. It featured art work in all mediums by local artists.  Otty's work was shown here for several summers along with the work of other local artists, shown above.

 My studio in Turkey Cove..solitude, beauty and inspiration!

 My studio in Turkey Cove..solitude, beauty and inspiration!

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At the Chandler Gallery, Brookline, Massachusetts  

Otty received Best In Show for her encaustic work,  "Port Clyde Sardine Factory".  Here she is (on right) with the jurist.  Otty's art has been most recently been  exhibited at the Atlantic Gallery in NYC, the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Mass., University of Maine campus in Augusta and  University of Maine, Belfast.  

Studio  space in Portland working among many other artists..

Studio  space in Portland working among many other artists..

An encaustic studio with lots of open space, inspiration and ventilation!

    Summer studio, Tenants Harbor, Maine

A summer exhibit at Otty's Barn Gallery in Tenants Harbor, during the "Artists of St. George" annual summer event which spotlights the many artists on the St.George Peninsula.

A summer exhibit at Otty's Barn Gallery in Tenants Harbor, during the "Artists of St. George" annual summer event which spotlights the many artists on the St.George Peninsula.

       FOLLY...FOLLY....FOLLY...FOLLY.....FOLLY

      Folly !         A series of wall art...  Created by Otty Merrill, these wall pieces are unique and fulfill the artist's desire to have fun and offer a high quality craft item for people who enjoy giving a special gift, or decorating their own spaces!     Measuring in overall size from 8"x 12"  to  10" x 15".  Ready to hang.  Sold in fine stores...contact Otty Merrill at ottymerrill@gmail.com for a list of the store nearest you.

 

  Here's how the FOLLYs are made.  An artistic  process that involves both encaustic painting and woodworking. 

  Here's how the FOLLYs are made.  An artistic  process that involves both encaustic painting and woodworking. 

      First..  fig 1... the artist creates multicolored and varied ENCAUSTIC MONOPRINTS from free hand designs that are drawn in wax on the hot surface of the encaustic palette.  Large sheets of patterned paper are pulled off the plate then cut to fit the wooden form.. then mounted with glue.   These fluid wax designs are one-of-a-kind  mono prints... fig 2 to be mounted on a solid wood backdrop. Legs are hand-cut on a skill saw  fig 3  out of birch plywood … which is sanded, painted, striped and affixed to the form.

     Each folly is created individually with encaustic wax (a blend of beeswax and damar resin) melted over the hot palette ..fig 4.. where the encaustic wax is fused with a torch or heat gun to the wood surface.  This involves many layers of clear and colored wax, sometimes as many as 20 layers. Oil pigment sticks are used to enhance the textural interest of the surface and suggest surfaces such as fabric or lace…Much hand etching and drawing, incising and layering with total individuality and personality is given to each piece.

    Treasures discovered from walks in the woods, trips to the recycling center and junk stores, become part of the assemblage.  These will be affixed with glue, wire or screws to the covered wooden form.  Embellishments take place ! The assortment of ephemera is varied and wonderful!  Items such as shards of pottery, pretty silver spoons, keys, wire … will make their way into the piece.

    Made to be enjoyed in your kitchen, den or wherever you want to make a unique decorative statement.  A bit of a  French Flair and some outfits suggest something “culinary”, chefs, both male and female .

    Encaustic wax is durable, stain and fade resistant and can be buffed to a high shine (if preferred) by gently rubbing the surface with a soft cloth on occasion, avoiding the added on pieces.

       Don’t be afraid to touch them!  Only caution:  Do Not Hang over a heat source or too near the stove. Temperatures are best kept in the 40-130 degree range.