As the son of an artist, Mercier said he always knew he could paint but did not pursue art because of his perception of the lifestyle led by some artists.
Inspired by the works of American Impressionist Edward Henry Potthast, Mercier enjoys success with paintings of beach scenes.
He said, “I put people in all my paintings.” Mercier’s medium is acrylics.
Mercier, now retired, worked in golf and snow ski sales. He started painting after his wife, Ruby, enrolled him in an art class with 10 other students. “I was probably the oldest one in the class,” he said.
During an initial class, the instructor critiqued students’ works in progress. The instructor asked to speak to Mercier in the hall.
“(The instructor) kicked me out his class. He said, ‘I can’t help you, and don’t ever expect to get into a gallery,” Mercier said, chuckling.
Mercier was not discouraged. He spoke to Debbie Charter, director of Knoke Fine Arts at 25 Alexander St. in Marietta. After looking at an example of Mercier’s paintings, Dave Knoke, owner, contacted him and told him to get 10 or 12 paintings together for an exhibit.
“The owner told me that it was highly unusual to sell the paintings of a first-ime artist and not to be discouraged if nothing sold,” Mercier said. “He sold five of my paintings that night.”
Knoke Fine Arts continues to be the exclusive seller of Mercier’s paintings. “Knoke sells only dead people. I’m the only living artist in there,” he said.
Knoke Fine Arts has sold more than 200 of Mercier’s works including ones to museums in Philadelphia, New York and Montgomery.
“It’s really good to sell a painting to a museum,” Mercier said. “I just started doing it. I really enjoy it.”
Visit www.knokefinearts.com for more information or call (770) 514-1766 for an appointment.