|European Village, by Armand Merizon, 1963|
|Farmland, by Armand Merizon. Year unknown.|
This is a favorite of mine, even though I have only known of it's existence for a short while. When I saw it, I immediately knew who it was. It is Mr. Carter, my dad's friend and barber when he was a young man, still living with his parents on Bates Street in Grand Rapids.
Mr. Carter had a small shop on Eastern Avenue near Wealthy, just a few short blocks from Bates. My dad respected Mr. Carter and learned a lot about the world from this quiet, wise, African American gentleman. Every time I drove my dad past that particular stretch of Eastern, he would launch into a story about Newton Carter.
I grew up with a totally different drawing my dad did of this man. It was a head on view and he was smiling with kind eyes. We all loved that drawing, which my dad rendered in his studio in his parents home. Mr. Carter agreed to come over. He was all dressed up, and my dad drew his portrait in heavy charcoal on brown paper. It hung in our living room for years.
In this drawing he is wearing his "hair cutting" jacket with his scissors and comb displayed, bottles of hair tonic and powder in the background. From the looks of the signature, this was done when my dad was about 16 years old. See how the M in Armand and the M in Merizon is the same. A young artist finding his way.
|Landscape in acrylic on fabric.|
|Experiment, by Armand Merizon. Year unknown.|
This one is unique in that he wrote on the back his technique and what he was searching for. My dad kept copious notes regarding his thoughts about his work and technical style. Usually these notes are found in his sketch pads, but sometimes he would scribble on the backs of panels or loose paper.
preliminary drawing for painting of Hank sitting on steps of abandoned house.
|Hank, by Armand Merizon circa 1965|
The Happy Hikers, by Armand Merizon, 2009