Dave Merrill started drawing at an early age. He remembers at church, sitting on the velvet fold-down chairs and on their backs drawing funny faces and playing tic-tac-toe. Then, one day his grandmother gave him a piece of paper with a logo of an elephant carrying a log. It was a logo for a paper company.
“I tried to copy that elephant and the log when something clicked in my mind. I realized how rewarding it felt to recreate something I saw. Then to increase that satisfaction, my grandma told me what a beautiful drawing it was… and how good I was that day in church.”
Whether it was an epiphany or just a great way to keep quiet, Dave kept drawing. He drew frogs he caught, dinosaurs he saw in science books, and caricatures of people he knew.
Eventually and art teacher told him he could make a living using his talent. She encouraged him to work even harder to bring more beauty into the world. He followed her counsel and decided to become a painter.
While studying at BYU, Dave took a trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico. After showing his work to different galleries, he met a gallery owner who wanted to hang his paintings. A few months later he had sold nearly everything he sent and his art career took off. Commission work began to pour in and collectors sought his work. Other galleries wanted his artwork, and started selling his paintings. He has always appreciated those who have believed in his vision.
Now he gets up earlier than ever (at 5:30 am) to start his day and find out what new art adventures await him. He works on several paintings at the same time to keep him fresh and entertained. He finds that rotating paintings keeps his mind retooling so he can notice things and make necessary adjustments to produce a better painting.
Dave recently moved to Georgia where he has found winged wonders waiting to be painted. “I just wish those beautiful birds would hold still”, Merrill quipped.
Dave’s work is found throughout the world.