Monday, June 29, 2009

Merle's World

What every creative person needs is their own fan club. Having a young, hip, decidedly cutting-edge fan club is quite the best, dontcha think? It assures your longevity as an artist and just makes you feel warm all over :)

Meet my next fabulous friend, the Marvelous, Multi-talented Merle Pace, AKA Rowan DeVoe de Le Fresne Chateau. She actually calls it a "castle", but I like rhymes :) Merle has her own fan club. REALLY! I am now a card-holding member.

Okay, perhaps I am not that young, hip or cutting edge. But certainly in my own mind I am all the rage! Merle is a lovely gal, whom her fans love, and she's also quite beautiful (she will fiercely deny it), and nice, too. She's letting me join the club.

I know Merle because my friend Ivy introduced us. It turns out Merle and I have some things in common. We both make dolls, for one. We both love mermaids and fairies and believe in them, too. We both like bright colors and fancy shoes. She believes a fine lady should wear a crown, tiara or other mark of royalty. I believe each one should wear a hat.

Where Merle stands out, though, is in the amazing number of materials and processes she has mastered to evolve her impossible to imitate, singular style.

Merle is a self-portrait artist/photographer. She belongs to a group called The Female Self Portrait Artists Support Group. They put out books featuring self-portraits created by their members. Merle is included in their works: "She Took Her Own Picture" ( "In her Own Image." To be honest, before meeting Merle, I didn't even realize there was such a thing as a self-portrait artist. I had no idea there were so many talented people working in that genre. Apparently I don't get out much!

Merle also paints. In that arena, she is unbelievably prolific. Her paintings, which I ADORE, are a bit hard to describe. You really just have to see them.

Merle's paintings impart the imagery of folklore, fantasy and magic, of cats and ravens. She draws from the Gothic and Greek, Roman and Egyptian, Medieval and Pre-Raphaelite, and even Art Nouveau, mixing them together to create her own very unique style. Her colors are sometimes vivid, sometimes muted, sometimes blackened. She uses an array of materials to create her original paintings. The base is done primarily with watercolors. She may add gouache, metallic inks, pastels, and/or colored pencils to the mix. She tells me she has made paintings using even Crayola!

She also makes monotypes, creating rich, deep colored monotype prints with her own printing press. Apparently this is a very complicated "312-step" process, as she has explained it to me 3 times and I still haven't grasped it!

From either of these processes, she will also make smaller reproductions onto archival paper that she then decoupages onto plaques of found wood, adding bits of
this and that to fancy them up further. They nearly jump out at you, depicting kings and queens and saints and cats.

Merle also creates dolls.

They are art dolls for serious collectors. They are intended to hold their own space and not the type of doll to be placed on a shelf. In some ways they are more sculptures.
She has done a series of birdcage ladies that combine her ability to paint, sculpt, sew and many other things. They were shown last year at the Indianpolis Art Center at her show "Love, Loss, Resurrection." If you are lucky, you can catch her work there from time to time.

As usual I've rambled on for my bit. I really just want you to see Merle's incredible work. I hope it inspires you to do your own. So, I'm going to leave you with some more photos to tantalize and arouse your interest.

Please check out all of Merle's available work at her Etsy site,
her blog
and her website

She's put out an amazing amount of work, some of it for sale. She is also happy to do custom work for those of you who require something in particular.

Keep on cranking out the good stuff! Thanks, Merle, for making the world so much more interesting! You rock!


  1. Yay for Merle! A Renaissance soul, extremely talented, lovely, funny and a sweet person to boot! I am in love with those dolls--the ones with the birdcage skirts are just incredible!

    Great write up, Cindy--you're on a roll! I want to see some of your dollies on here too :)

    take care,

  2. Thanks, Ivy. Merle is fabulous, isn't she?! This is actually really fun to do. It takes a bit of time, since I am so troubled by all the HTML code and formatting (things look different on every single screen size and every single browser--it is quite maddening, actually. Up until 3:00 a.m. last night and still there are issues...But, having fun. My dolls, perhaps art some point. Right now everything in process...


  3. Cindy!
    Ah, thank you so much! You make me feel like some big fancy artist! You are too much! This post just makes me so happy. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I am now a big time member of your fan club as well! Your dolls are amazing as is your writing and work on your blog-this is another form of art as I see it. I too have trouble with all the codes and such, but we can figure it out! This has been fun-you are such a lovely and talented person and so funny as well. I am glad to have you as new friend! And, three cheers to Angel Ivy! Champagne Toasts all around! And, yes, we do need to see more of your dolls-I love everything about them-so creative, unique and fabulous-just like you!
    This is a great beginning-I am so thankful to have "met" Ivy and you!
    Wishing you all the best!

    p.s. up next-a post on my blog about you!

  4. What a fabulous post! I'm also one of Merle's fans who adores her artwork and considers herself very lucky to know this talented, gentle and beautiful soul.

  5. This is one Kick A** site !!! Overflowing talent~~~

  6. Why thank you, whoever you are :)