Merla Tootle Studio Tour

Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence Merla Tootle takes you on a tour of her studio in Studio 305.

Studio 305 divides into 3 studios. Enter the main door  and  come around to the 2nd entry  to the far left and you will be in my studio.  The wall holds a small gallery of my paintings.   Next you will see a still life set up and a tabouret with oil brushes and supplies. 

 

1) My art altar displays my plants and décor.  It is focus in my studio. I have a strong  Asian influence in my art. 2) The bookcase holds a variety of supplies;  brushes, different paints, oils to pastel.  Necessary items are mediums, cleaners, art books and periodicals.

 

 

On the wall next to shelves hangs a large oil painting from college, a study in color planes .  I have my carry-on suit case available ; always ready  to travel to paint to my next plein air destination. Adjacent is  hand painted watercolor chart.  Someday I will frame the chart as a work of art.  

 

My watercolor table set up, brushes and water... the dark handled  brush on the paper is irreplaceable.  It is a handmade squirrel brush from a craftsman, “The Brushman,” who is  no longer making brushes.

 

The last wall is all windows….I use part of the ledge to hold older oils that  I painted while studying with John Ebersberger.    I learned how to see color and the importance of light how it defines shape.   Light is the narrator of a painting.

 

1) A larger view looking out my window wall.   These windows are my source of wonderful  light and I have a view of MD Hall’s new refurbished windows. 2) My window sill serves as an extra shelf. Vincent Van Gogh is one my favorite painters and Picasso is always lurking in the background as my abstract influence. 3) “Namaste” My wooden manikin in the foreground of  my impressionist  landscape painting.  It will appear it various places as my “elf on the shelf”

 

Sitting at my work table for water colors, but I never paint sitting down.   You need to put your whole body into a painting.

 

Looking at my wall of unfinished paintings, statements of color, and calligraphy words to inspire.

 

1) Working on oil painting from still life using the brush for small detail. 2) At the easel with the palette knife.

 

Travel Sketch book with paints, brush  and carrier.   With these items  I have journaled my travels for  the last few years.  Up the coast of California, from San Diego to San Francisco. Also Yosemite,  further on to Canada and  Alaska. On the East coast, locally, and  north to Rhode Island, Cape Cod and Maine.

 

The method used is gesso and a pallete  knife on canvas. The winter scene totally painted with the knife.  The  other; flowers are partially  painted  with brush and knife. This can be  joy  for a watercolorist; the canvas can be mounted and sprayed and framed without a mat or  glass.  

 

 

For more information about Merla, visit her Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every Monday for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.