Otty Merrill



I create art that tells a story about something or someone, or some place that has made an impression on me. Several of my themes are recurring and I’m beginning to believe they will never be satisfied. Being genuine is important to me and I find it impossible to bring themes and subjects into my work that I haven’t experienced first-hand.

My paintings, assemblages and wall pieces often deal with childhood imagery, fantasy or a blend of emotions. In the process of creating a piece, I fall into the story, then step back and become the viewer, hoping to spark a shared feeling or impression.

I struggle to be free yet authentic in my technique. I love simplicity, particularly the kind that isn’t simple at all, but the result of removing what is unnecessary and then being brave enough to trust that the message will be felt and appreciated.


Otty Merrill is an artist from both Tenants Harbor and Portland, Maine, where she has lived for many years. Born in New Jersey she started her career in advertising and commercial art in New York City and has evolved into a fine artist over the past three decades.

She attended Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, had a pottery business, taught ceramics, and co-founded The Sherborn (Mass.) Arts Center. In addition to decades of taking workshops with the finest encaustic artists working today, she has taken graduate courses at:

The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Massachusetts
The DeCordova Museum School, Lincoln, Massachusetts
Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine
Haystack Mountain School, Deer Isle, Maine

In addition to membership in New England Wax, she is also an exhibiting member of International Encaustic Artists, NYC, and the Encaustic Art Institute in Santa Fe, NM. She has exhibited widely in the Portland and mid-coast Maine area, and more recently in NYC and California.