Mercer, Shirley

Studio: Shirley Mercer Art
Community: Sequim
Phone: 360-460-9874
Teacher/Instructor: Yes
Media: painting watercolor

Past exhibits and events with Northwind

2017 Art Port Townsend Expressions Northwest

Artist Statement

One of the questions I get asked most often is "What made you paint this?" One thing that really inspires me…Dichotomy! It’s those scenes that conjure a love / hate response within me. When I look at the steam locomotive, I see the beauty and the beast—the nostalgic beauty of a thing well-made…well-preserved and I see the grease-black engine belching along the track. And I see the Tall Ships’ old cannons, lovingly restored and still functional. As the smoke overwhelms my sense of smell and my eyes water, I almost lose sight of the ocean’s beauty. Almost.

Also, I love a challenge. The boats, barns, buildings, bridges, trains and such that I love to paint--represent quite a challenge in composition and execution.

So, in answer, painting is a part of me. And painting is forcing me to face who I am and what kind of person I am…and I'm so enjoying the journey. I hope you find as much enjoyment in viewing my work as I find in creating and sharing it with you.


Shirley Mercer—a self-taught watercolor painter—enjoys progressing as an artist. Every new subject composed and painted, every new technique mastered, every new bit of technology learned…all contribute to a successful marketing approach. Mercer says, “I love the studio and classroom time and I’m comfortable with technology, so combining those with the all-important marketing time is very do-able for me.”

Mercer enjoys bringing a soft-feel to subjects that are typically thought of in a harsh manner. She says of Port Townsend Boat Yard, “I struggled with this composition. The boat was surrounded by too many “modern” items—trucks, containers, blue tarps and more trucks. So I left those out and added the old building on the left and softened the background. Now the old fishing vessel in dry dock reacts nicely to the soft trees and buildings.”

Gallery Affiliations

Port Townsend Gallery

Art Instruction

Please phone or email to arrange. Listed in Northwind Arts Instructors web page...

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