Merrimon-Kennedy

My love of art goes back to early childhood, and this passion has led to a lifetime involvement. I received a BFA in painting from Tulane University in the mid 70’s, took a few graduate courses and by the late 80’s was owner of an art and craft gallery on the coast of North Carolina. Soon afterwards I married and started a family, allowing my painting to take a backseat to the business while helping raise our daughter, Erin.

Fast forward almost thirty years, I retired from the gallery and my husband Tom and I moved to Santa Fe County, New Mexico in 2015. Focusing on painting full time, the Southwest landscape inspired and motivated me to attempt plein air painting (a French expression meaning “open air” that refers to creating a work of art outside). Despite battling the elements, insects and ever changing light, there was something gratifying about being in the moment that was immediately appealing. After a very short time I was hooked!

My style of work has been described as “abstract landscapes.” I am not striving for realism in these paintings, the objective is to develop an artistic shorthand that captures the spirit of each subject. It is exhilarating to push and pull the paint across a surface, or lay down a stroke with both defiance and resolution. Color expresses time, temperature and weather. Rather than using local color, or the hues found in nature, I choose optical color, or what the eye sees. Presently my plein air paintings are usually oil on panel, almost exclusively done using palette knives. Larger studio pieces on canvas may start with an acrylic underpainting and executed with a combination of knives, brushes, spatulas and even rags to wipe or manipulate the paint. Observation and interpretation are guiding forces that take me on a never-ending journey of intrigue and discovery.


Memberships

Exhibitions

  • 9th National PAPNM Juried Members Show, Sorrel Sky Gallery, Santa Fe, NM 2017
  • Pojoaque River Art Tour, Pojoaque, NM, 2017
  • Santa Fe Southside Public Library, Scenes from the Barrancas, Solo Exhibition, 2017
  • PAPNM Spring Paintout, Jemez Fine Art Gallery, Jemez Springs, NM 2017
  • Pojoaque River Art Tour, Pojoaque, NM 2016
  • Cameron Museum of Art, State of the Art/Art of the State, Wilmington, NC, 2014