~Emmett Merrill~

Though my practice often explores other mediums, it is centered in the use of line drawings and woodcuts to tell stories. These are stories of disgruntled lovers in farm homes, restaurant dishwashers who’s hands are shaped by work but always clean, old men who revisit the concentration camps where their ancestors passed, suicidal young writers in the Louisiana Bayou, alcoholics who spend their days watching their reflection in barroom mirrors and so on. Hands often appear from the bottom corners of the imagery, as if they are the hands of the viewer interacting in the scene before them. The silhouettes of animals also show up in my work. They are cast as shadows across walls and act as a symbol of foreshadowing, perhaps something bad that is soon to come. I prefer working in woodcut because it is an inherently expressive medium. The way wood-grain in a print only accentuates the deep black of the ink, the embossment in the paper, the rough nature of the line quality, are all elements which expose the hand of the artist and breathe soul into the print. Max Beckmann, Kathe Kollwitz and the German Expressionist printmakers heavily influence my work. Being an artist who has an invested interest in narrative, I am also influenced by writers such as Tennessee Williams and Studs Terkel.


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