Merriam Frank

Cut & Paste Artist


A designated “studio space” & a collage in progress…

I don’t have a finished piece to share today because I spent most of my spare time this past week working on a collage space rather than a collage itself! It felt a little bit like procrastination, circling around the new ideas & tools I needed to start on instead of actually – you know – starting on them – but at the same time it needed to be done! Although my sweet husband hadn’t complained one bit, I was starting to feel apologetic about the stacks of magazines & clippings on our dining room table, coffee table, bookshelf, and end tables downstairs…  Especially considering the fact that there was an entire spare bedroom upstairs with a spare dining room size table in it for my use if I would only sort through all of the junk that had accumulated on it and then move my stacks upstairs!

So I did, & I LOVE it. I now have my stacks of magazines and mat boards all in one place, my clippings somewhat organized, and a nice, roomy surface area to work on – with the best part being, I can leave it all spread out and just close the door to the room to keep it safe from my cats! (Paper scraps are some of their favorite things, too!)

my little "studio" corner...

my little “studio” corner by lamplight…

The framed photo you can see on the stack of mat boards if of me as a little girl wearing one of my grandpa's undershirts as a smock & painting outside on their patio. :)

The framed photo you can see on the stack of mat boards is of me as a little girl wearing one of my grandpa’s undershirts as a smock & painting outside on their patio. :)

It’s so “my happy place” I actually have a picture of it as my phone background right now.

So after all that sorting & shifting around, I didn’t manage to create a finished piece, but I thought I’d share my (in-progress!) (rough!) first attempt at working with 2 new approaches: leaving blank space, and using markers to interact with the clippings and between the clippings/blank spaces…


As you can see – rough! Not much of this is even glued down and I haven’t gone back over any of my marks for precision. (This is only a cell phone pic, too.) But I was excited to already begin seeing the possibilities! Though gosh, blank space opens up a whole new world of indecision for me. Typically for me a piece is finished when the entire surface is covered & I like the arrangement. Blank space means I have to decide when a piece is finished! SO much harder!

I’m curious, where do you do most of your art work? Do you have a designated area or do you shuffle supplies around from place to place like I was doing?




Ta-da! Here’s the whole collage from which the 2 corner sneak peeks in the post below were taken…



As you can see, I’m still really digging warm gold, brown, & red colors right now…  From my perspective, this piece turned out more architectural than instinctual in its overall design. It was a fun change for me to play with squares and circles and color blocks!



[Apologies to the lady with the teacup for putting her lips in the saucer… I’m sure it makes it hard to sip, but at least her lipstick will stay perfect, right?]

[Also: I love the tree growing out of the couple’s clasped hands. I imagine their relationship growing & blossoming out of maybe a first dance? Maybe a family tree? ]

Fall'13(2), framed

Fall’13(2), framed

This spot in my house where I take pictures is right by a window, which is great for the natural light, but sometimes is a challenge with the glare. I should have waited for a less-bright day, but instead I tried a few angles that didn’t reflect the blinds and ended up loving this one below!

Fall'13(2), framed

Fall’13(2), framed

I know I’ve been yammering on about fall for a couple of posts in a row, but I’m actually taking a break from it to start on a pop art series that’s been on my mind. I shared a glimpse of bright clippings on Instagram last night…



I’m almost finished with it & can’t wait to share! It’s quite a change from what I’ve been doing, but it definitely fits with its inspiration… [Hint: ROAR!]

[ ::edit:: It’s now Tuesday, which is rapidly becoming my favorite day of the blog-week, thanks to Artsyville’s Glue it Tuesday feature!!! I love having visitors & going to look at all of the other artsy-glue-blogs. ]


fall daydreams & sneak peeks…

Ok, I’m totally just daydreaming this fall thing now. True to form, Louisiana weather is being contrary… the so-called cold snap might have left us with mercifully lower-than-summer temperatures but with the humidity hanging out at 96% there is nothing “crisp” about the cool! I’m still trying hard, though. I have yummy fall scents in our scented-wax-warmer (“crackling fire” and “candy apple” make a magical combination), all the fall & Halloween decorations out, and all my favorite autumn music loaded in my stereo. Does anyone else do that? Have certain artists you listen to more at certain times of year? Christmas is an obvious season for music, but for me fall is just as strong an influence. The second that my soul gets an inkling of autumn (you know the one I mean? The tiny little throb of nostalgia, the tender pang of restored wonder at the world around you? Maybe it’s just me, but I find fall so much more rejuvenating than spring…) – I start listening to my boys, as I affectionately call them, pretty much exclusively. James Taylor, Paul Simon, and Rod Stewart. Maybe it’s their warm voices? I listen to them all year long, but during the autumn it’s A Thing. James, Paul, and Rod, with sides of The Shins, The Format, and Five for Fighting.

With their help, I’ve almost finished another fall collage despite the lack of ideal fall weather! It needs a top coat & framing, but here are 2 sneak peek corner shots from Instagram:

fall2preview1          fall2preview2

Favorite elements are the architectural squares & circles in the left picture and the sultry eye under the tree branch in the right one. Plus “Great Scott” just makes me giggle thanks to the Back to the Future movies.

Fun fact: I include an ‘S’ or a ‘W’ in every composition. Sometimes they’re obvious & sometimes they’re hidden. You can see the ‘S’ in these sneak peeks! Do you see it? It’s not the S of GREAT SCOTT, either.

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Merriam Frank is on Instagram!

Are you on Instagram? I just signed up, username “merriamfrank” (of course!)

My sister has been telling me for awhile that I needed to try Instagram & I have to say, I’m having fun already.

Collage process...

Here’s what a collage in progress looks like for me — hours at my coffee table!

And here’s who keeps me company while I work:

Mascot kitty enjoys: curling up on my magazines & scratches behind the ears.

Mascot kitty enjoys: curling up on my magazines & scratches behind the ears.