(http://americanlegacyfinearts NULL.jpg)Eric Merrell was born in Gilroy, California on April 24, 1978. He was raised in both Gilroy, California and Rochester, New York. Merrell’s early studies during high school included figure and portrait painting classes with Jim Smyth at the Pacific Art League of Palo Alto, California. Moving back to the east coast after high school, Merrell took classes with Al Gury at The University of the Arts and The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, both located in Philadelphia. After spending two years in the city, he moved back to California, transferring to the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. While he was at school Merrell worked at the Norton Simon Museum, where the long hours offered plenty of time to study and sketch from the collections. He also worked for the California Art Club, researching archival material and at one point interviewing Evelyn Payne Hatcher, the daughter of Edgar and Elsie Payne, early California Art Club members. Merrell continues to work part-time with the California Art Club where his current title is Club Historian.

After graduating from Art Center in 2001 and receiving a BFA with honors, Merrell pursued a career in fine art painting. Working extensively on location, Merrell has painted throughout the Sierra Nevada and the San Gabriel ranges, the Mojave and Colorado deserts, along the Pacific Coast, as well as many locations outside of California. In 2002 Merrell traveled to France and painted in the country sides and cities of Lyon, Chamonix and Dijon, among many others. In April 2004 Merrell was invited to stay at the Old Battersea House in London and paint along with ten other young artists; his paintings were featured in a subsequent exhibition held at The Forbes Gallery in New York City in January 2005. In 2009, Merrell was selected as one of six artists from around the world for the Joshua Tree Highlands Artist Residency in Joshua Tree, California. In July 2010 Merrell presented a solo exhibition at The Forbes Galleries in New York City.

(http://americanlegacyfinearts NULL.jpg)Merrell has appeared in publications such as American Art Collector, American Artist, the California Art Club Newsletter, and Southwest Art. His work has been exhibited at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Bennington, VT; the Bowers Museum of Cultural Art in Santa Ana, CA; California State University of Los Angeles, CA; the Cape Cod Museum of Art in Orleans, MA; the Long Beach Museum of Art in Long Beach, CA; the Mission San Juan Capistrano Museum in San Juan Capistrano, CA; the Pasadena Museum of California Art and the Pasadena Museum of History, both in Pasadena, CA; and the Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA.