I’ve always found art and science to be compatible, as they’re both driven by imaginative thought and a passionate curiosity. I started drawing and painting at an early age, and never stopped, even though my formal education was in the sciences. In college I honed my drawing skills, not in art classes, but in biology and comparative anatomy, where I made detailed renderings from life. Science taught me to observe the world more closely, while art taught me new ways of perceiving what I see. It’s the interpretation of what we observe that makes all the difference.
I always walk in search of a subject, whether I’m in lower Manhattan, Stockholm or on the coast of Maine. It might be the facade of an old building, the rounded cylinder of a water tower, or the interplay of light and shadow that strikes me. At times it’s the mood or energy of a place that resonates, like golden light penetrating through fog, or the juxtaposition of a crowded street next to a quiet one shaded with trees. I’m fascinated with the geometry of architecture, the interaction of lines and forms shaped by perspective and the atmospheric effects created in all types of weather and light.
Every building, bridge and place has a character and history that I become familiar with over time, and that relationship deepens during long hours of painting with caring precision. It is my hope that each viewer experiences their own personal connection to these cityscapes and rural places suspended in time.
Merrill S. French, 2016