Daniel Merriam - About the Artist
Regarded as one of the world's foremost watercolorists, Daniel Merriam has captured the hearts and curiosities of many. His highly detailed dream-like images define landscapes of imagination that are uniquely his own, yet accessible enough to inspire us all to take a step beyond what we have known as our threshold of consciousness.
Born February 1, 1963, one of seven children, Daniel grew up in Central Maine where he balanced his schooling with work in the architectural design and construction business owned and operated by his family. Always encouraged creatively at home, Daniel taught himself to paint at an early age and, even then, began to explore the images of his dream life through his medium.
After utilizing his talents as a cartoonist for his high-school's paper, Daniel became a commercial artist and began to build a client base ranging from local businesses to multi-national corporations. Never losing sight of his personal goal to paint full-time, he continued to build his body of work until, in 1987, he was the featured artist of a one-man show at a gallery in Maine. Leaving the world of commercial art forever, he shifted his focus solely to his fine art.
Over the next four years Merriam's work was featured in numerous local galleries garnering interest from collectors and gallery owners abroad. In 1991 he began showing his work in galleries outside the state of Maine, and has since been the focus of more than thirty one-man shows nationwide.
Among many accomplishments Merriam was granted an honorary master's of humane letter from the University of New England in recognition of the potential social contribution of his art. His work has been featured in many publications including The World and I (a publication of the Washington Times), Art and Antiques, Art News, a feature article in Ego, and many other newspapers. He has also featured covers on Bantam Books for the titles The Grand Ellipse by Paula Volsky, The Treachery of Kings and The Prophecy Machine both by Neal Barrett Jr. Other covers by Merriam can be found on Boulevard Magazine and quarterly covers on Mid-American Review. He also participated in the VNA Hospice Mask Project in which celebrities were asked to design masks that were then sold at an auction to benefit this charitable organization.
In 1997 Merriam took up residence in San Francisco where he purchased and renovated a one-hundred-twenty-year-old three story Victorian house, the style of which has long been featured in his work. Incorporating trademark "Merriam" touches of magic and whimsy into the renovation, he created an environment not unlike those recorded on his canvases.
"It is a place in which my imagination feels at home," Merriam has said. "It is the world as I see it, one that is both creatively nurturing and full of vitality."
The Art of Daniel Merriam: The Impetus Of Dreams, a hardcover collection of his work, sold out of its first and second printing. HIs second hardcover book, The Art of Daniel Merriam: The Eye of a Dreamer, released in 2007, and is still available. Merriam recently published his third hardcover book, Daniel Merriam: Taking Reality by Surprise, which released in 2010.
With the advent of giclée, the art of fine art printing has become even more precise. Giclée is a French word meaning "spraying of ink." Because no plates are used, the prints have a higher resolution than lithographs. The dynamic color range is greater than in serigraphy. Giclée printing captures every nuance of an image and lends itself especially to watercolor.
A digital scan is first taken of the original artwork. In the giclée process, a fine stream of ink (more than 4 million droplets per second) is sprayed onto archival paper. The effect is similar to an airbrush technique, but much finer. Each piece of paper is directly hand-mounted onto a drum that rotates during printing. Exact calculations of hue, value, and density direct the ink from four nozzles. This produces a combination of five hundred and twelve chromatic changes (with over seven million colors possible) of highly saturated, non-toxic, water-based ink. The artist's approval and input are essential for creating custom settings for the edition.
Since the giclée medium is constantly evolving, Merriam makes sure his prints utilize the latest advances in UV-resistant inks and coatings. Because of his desire to maintain current industry standards, slight variations in color and paper specifications may occur during the entire run of an edition. Daniel Merriam is convinced that the giclée process is the only printing application currently available that accurately reproduces his artistic intent.