Otty Merrill is from Tenants Harbor, Maine, where she has lived for many years. She has focused on art, her first love, after retiring from a career in real estate and raising two sons about 15 years ago. She maintains a studio in Tenants Harbor and Portland. Her training began in “commercial art” field where she received a degree in marketing from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts and worked in an advertising agency in New York City. She has taken numerous courses and workshops, listed below.
Her concentration over the past 8 years or so, has been in encaustic painting. Her work has been shown in midcoast and Portland, Maine galleries, including The Center For Maine Contemporary Art, Maine College of Art, Gallery-by-the-Sea and Mars Hall Gallery in Port Clyde. She is a member of the International Encaustic Artists, and MASS/WAX, its local affiliate. Otty has been a docent at the PORTLAND MUSEUM of ART and is currently a frequent special events volunteer at the Farnsworth Art Museum in Rockland. She gives encaustic workshops in her studio and at 26 Split Rock Arts Center in South Thomaston, Maine. Born in Mahwah, New Jersey, she has lived in New England since 1970.
Endicott College, Beverly, Massachusetts
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Massachusetts
Maine College of Art, Portland
The Haystack Mountain School, Deer Isle, Maine
The DeCordova Museum School, Lincoln, Massachusetts
Truro Center for the Arts, Truro Mass.
Originally a potter, she co-founded the Sherborn Arts Center in Sherborn Massachusetts in 1983 where she gave classes for adults and children and had a small pottery business.
“I create art that tells a story. In the process of creating a piece, usually in encaustic wax, I fall into the story and then try to step back and become the viewer rather than the maker. I’ve come to realize I love simplicity and often seem to be fighting against “adding too much”. I love the kind of simplicity that isn’t simple at all, but is the result of removing what is unnecessary and then being brave enough to believe and trust that the message will be felt and seen. This is exhilarating and in fact, what keeps me making art. My style could be defined as “contemporary abstract realism”.