Merla Tootle | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Merla Tootle

Studio Number: 

Artist Statement

Color and design are essential elements of my art.   Painting either in oil or watercolors I hope to achieve the strong effect of light as it passes over a subject or landscape.   My watercolors combine a strong sense of color combined with delicate brush strokes to capture the essence of the flower.   The beauty of watercolor is not controlled, but the spontaneity and flow of water express my artistic experience.   It can be unpredictable, but my life experience has always been with the flow.


Merla Tootle is an impressionist oil painter who has rediscovered watercolor to express her artistic experience.  She delights in the spontaneity and unpredictability of watercolor to interpret nature’s beauty. Her art experience has taught her to:  go with the flow.

Originally from California, Merla developed a passion for nature and art.   She earned her BA in Fine Arts from San Diego State and began her career as a graphic artist for the US Navy.  …. Many moves and now back to the East Coast where life has somewhat settled, Merla has had the opportunity to concentrate on her love:  fine art.

At Maryland Hall she studied impressionist oil painting with John Ebersberger and later with Camille Przewodek.   Influenced by the Henry Hensche Cape Cod School of Art, Merla infuses her paintings with a strong sense of color and light.

Merla studied with Maryland Hall’s Erika Walsh, a German expressionistic watercolorist. Merla developed a sensitivity for line and a return to abstract expressionism in her art.  Her flower paintings are not exacting but combine delicate brush strokes and color to show the essence of the flower.

With Chinese artist Lian Quan Zhen, she adds a new dimension to her paintings by pouring water and paint and letting the colors flow.

Merla’s work can be seen locally at Main Street Gallery in Annapolis, Benfield Gallery in Severna Park, Artists at Work in Stevensville, and her own studio space at The Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis as an Artist in Residence.

Merla is a part of Art groups, friends and associations that develop and open new art skills and opportunities on her art journey.

If you cannot find Merla in her studio, she is part of a group The Escape Artists and takes every opportunity to escape to paint.  She has been fortunate to travel not just from here to California, but abroad to Canadian, European and Mexico destinations.

Click here to read the latest blog posts on Merla.

AIR Term ends May 2015