Shirley Mercer

On Painting –What is Art to You?
Do I paint simply because I can, like the mountaineers who bag the next peak just because it’s there? Or are my paintings an expression of my inner psyche? If so, what does it say about me…that I woke up one day and simply had to paint a train? I’ve never been interested in trains in any way. And I’ve spent years developing techniques to paint soft, peaceful landscapes because that’s what I needed in my life…peace. So, what motivated me to paint these trains and bridges and buildings? Could it be the same thing that causes you to approach and appreciate art? Maybe it’s the harnessed power of a steam locomotive or the moody atmosphere of a 1940’s grain elevator. For me, I know it’s partly capturing those qualities and then portraying them on paper in a way that evokes memories and emotions. And I suspect—for me—its’ a bit of nostalgia–the era of the steam engine that is slowly fading into history.

On Teaching – My favorite quote in reference to attending a class.
“We are here to question what is known…not worship it.” – Plato

My teaching style.
– My only rule is to NEVER MAKE RULES
– I don’t really teach “How to Paint a Flower…or a lighthouse or a mountain.” I prefer to teach techniques and then help each student to use the techniques successfully within whatever project we are working on.

Philosophies – 1 – Work with the Left Brain…create with the right
At Half Past Dark
When the rain drip-drip-drips through the clogged gutters of your life
And sleep skulks away like a rejected lover,
The Right Brain listens…ever dancing, ever waiting for the left brain to quiet, yawn and drift off. – by Shirley Mercer
2 – Don’t Procrastinate!!!
I’ve fought the same fights and shared sleepless nights and felt my dreams start to end.
The right brain denied, creativity died and procrastination became my best friend. – by Shirley Mercer