Sculpture is a privileged opportunity to bring delight to a new friend by telling their story, expressing and elevating their values, and beautifying their surroundings. This is what drives my creative process. Wood is perfectly suited as a way to record and share these stories since it can be selected and worked in ways that add tone and texture to important themes. Wood is dimensional, just like a good story, and it can be colored and shaped to convey depth and nuance for maximum effect. As I sculpt the wood into a beautiful physical expression of story and values, I find further inspiration in what’s been created by the Master Artisan. Coastal themes and the sea in particular offer a delightful lexicon which speaks with a “wild divinity” that “stirs something very deep and ancient in the human heart. It satisfies us in a more intimate way than the other elements."1
Douglas W. Merkey was born in Maryland and grew up near Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania – the same beautiful landscape that inspired the great American painter Andrew Wyeth. As a boy, Doug loved the outdoors, especially his family’s annual vacations to the Delaware seashore. He also loved creating things and still counts being voted “Most Artistic” in fifth grade among his highest honors. His love for the sea and for creativity has endured and can be easily enjoyed in his sculpture.
Doug is a self-taught artist whose ability to see the world and interpret it through art has grown through gracious natural gifting, endless hours of practice, occasional informal mentorships, an undergraduate marketing degree from Penn State University, a master of divinity degree from Covenant Theological Seminary, and countless life experiences. His dominant influence – for art and life – is the beauty of God reflected in His character and in His works of creation and redemption. Doug counts it his supreme privilege to explore and express this beauty in his artwork and in his care for people.
Thus far in his artistic career, Doug has worked in bronze, clay, paper, glass, metal, and wood. He has been privileged to receive honors in local and regional shows for his work in many of these media, including Best of Show awards in Concordia’s Soli Deo Gloria in St Louis. His work has been collected by individuals and organizations in Japan, Hawaii, California, Arizona, Missouri, Virginia, and more. In recent years, he has focused on wood as a medium as it offers endless artistic possibilities and makes his work economically accessible to more people. He is always creating new works and particularly enjoys collaborating with clients to bring their stories and aesthetic desires to life in beautiful sculpture.
Doug lives and works in St. Louis among a thriving arts community and many cherished relationships. Though it is far from the sea, he has found it to be a wonderful launching point to a wide variety of beautiful and inspiring destinations like Hawaii, the Gulf Coast, Lake Michigan, and Colorado.
COPYRIGHT: All work on this site © Douglas W. Merkey. All rights reserved. No image, concept, design, sculpture, blog, or artist statement from this website may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means — electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other — except by prior written permission. Contact me with your request.
1 John O'Donohue, Beauty - The Invisible Embrace, Harper-Perennial, 2003, page 115.