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Merrill was born in Utah and developed an interest in art at an early age. After high school, he went to BrighamYoungUniversity for two years as a Fine Art major with an emphasis in Ceramics. After moving to Virginia in 1985, he studied for a semester oil painting at MarylandSchool of Art and Design and Art History at NorthernVirginiaCommunity College. It was through art history that Merrill discovered different painting styles such as Impressionism and later Plein Aire.  Tonalism has now also become an interest as well with much of the focus on color and effects of chiaroscuro (‘light and dark’). Today, from these studies, he discovered current artists who posses these painting styles and studied under their direction in California, Idaho and Texas. He currently lives in Cumberland, MD and is a member of the Allegany Arts Council, BedfordCounty Arts Council and the Allegany Area Art Alliance.