21 Under 31 | Eric Merrell

THRESHOLD OF SUMMER, OIL, 18 x 20.
THRESHOLD OF SUMMER, OIL, 18 x 20.

By Bonnie Gangelhoff

BORN: Gilroy, CA.

ART EDUCATION: Bachelor of fine arts from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA.

STYLE: Impressionism.

FIRST ART SALE: “Two small watercolor still lifes. A family friend bought them when I was in junior high.”

SECOND-CHOICE CAREER: Botanist or something with language.

OTHER PASSIONS: “I like to camp and hike with my fiancée.”

MANTRA OR MOTTO: “What do I want to say? What is the light doing?”

QUIRKIEST TRAIT: “I’m forgetful when it comes to weather conditions. Like being stuck in the desert in extreme heat, over 100 degrees, and not being prepared for it.”

BIGGEST FEAR: Being physically unable to paint.

FAVORITE STUDIO MUSIC: Edith Piaf, Samuel Barber, Yann Tiersen, and Buckethead.

BEST ADVICE RECEIVED: “Be guided by your principles, and don’t work scared.”

PET PEEVE: “I can’t walk down a trail or through a park without picking up a bag’s worth of garbage that other people left behind.”

FAVORITE ARTWORK BY ANOTHER ARTIST: Monet’s Haystack series.

PRICE RANGE: $1,000 to $8,000.

NEXT BIG GOAL: “I’m working on two commissions and trying to bring to fruition a series on historic adobes. And I’m painting some of the last open spaces near my house in San Gabriel.”

CREATIVE SPARK: Reading, music, and being outdoors.

GALLERIES: Morris & Whiteside Galleries, Hilton Head, SC; www.ericmerrell.com.

Featured in our annual “21 Under 31″ article in September 2008