I'm an oil painter who was first inspired to paint several years ago during an artist residency for photography on an island off the coast of Maine. I met several painters during my 5-week stay, and I was intrigued by their ability to see colors and tones that I didn't notice. I wanted to see the way they did. Shortly after my time on the island, I began painting. I still use my photography for images to paint from. I paint mostly in the studio, but I also enjoy getting outside and painting plein air. My experiences as a Maine Guide, traveling in wild, remote places, as well as my adventures both in and outside of the U.S., are all influences on my subject matter and how I choose to paint. I am inspired by memories, magical moments, joyful experiences, beautiful places, our connection to the natural world, and to each other. Colors also hold memories and feelings for me. I am interested in beauty, but also that hard to define quality that makes an image tell a story or convey a mood or feeling. For me, some of the most exciting parts of the creative process are the element of discovery, exploration and surprise. I begin with an idea I want to render, and then work intuitively. I love that I am always growing and learning, even with paintings that aren't successful. I enjoy the freedom and spontaneity I feel when painting on large canvases, and I am looking forward to painting even larger in the near future.

© Mercedes McDermott 2020

formerly doing art as Mercedes Gilbert