In searching for to make operate that is distinct and accurate to himself, Merrell has gravitated to the Mojave Desert as a motif that has engaged him for virtually two a long time. As a way of even further exploring and doing work in some of its a lot more remote sections, he used to and was offered a residency with the Mojave National Maintain Artist Basis in 2019.
By way of the residency he invested five weeks exploring and settling into the severe but lovely landscape. After the hold off introduced on by the pandemic, he opened “The Ranges Between” at the La Quinta Museum in La Quinta, CA in February of 2021, a solo show primarily based on his residency.
The residency took area in The Mojave National Maintain, positioned in some of the easternmost sections of the California desert, located among the 15 and 40 freeways – if you’ve at any time performed the drive to Vegas from Los Angeles, you know how remote this is. To give you context to the sizing and scale of this task, the Protect itself is 2 times the measurement of Rhode Island and has no providers, fuel, food items, or lodging inside it.
Merrell’s aim is constantly on planning with color and designs no matter if he’s outside or in his studio. These specific factors are some of the most visible that an artist can use to signal their individuality. Offered the time to discover the Mojave Desert in this a great deal depth permitted him to see issues outside of the lens of actuality and create a actually inspiring group of paintings for his most current exhibition.