Tuesday, August 27th

I had a nice visit today, from a cousin of my dad, Dennis Merizon 

and his lovely wife, Kate, who live in Jenison. I could recognize 

the "Merizon" in Dennis's eyes. A certain twinkle. I liked them both


The visit came about thanks to Kate. She is one of my facebook 

friends and also "likes" my Merizon Studio page. She saw a floral

print that I posted, and noticed that it was one of which I have had

giclée's made. Kate got in touch with me, ordered a print, and

we set up an appointment out here at the studio to look at some 

framing options.

While discussing our meeting plans, Kate mentioned that she had an

older "Merizon" portrait of a woman, and that she and Dennis would

bring it along. I was delighted, as I always am at the prospect of 

seeing a painting of my dad's that I had not previously seen, or 

have not seen for quite some time. 

The painting was carefully wrapped in a cloth and then bagged in 

plastic when Dennis pulled it out of the trunk of the car. It 

weighed a ton! We got it into the studio and Dennis unwrapped it, 

revealing a most unique, life size portrait of a dark haired women 

dressed in black with a wrist watch on her crossed arm. She looked a

little nervous to me. I have noticed with my father's portraits, 

that the different expressions on the subject's faces, mirrored,

to a degree, the feelings they had for the painter. I am sure this 

must be true with all artist's and their models! I do not believe

this woman felt very comfortable having my dad study her as painted.

I was told that the Merizon's were given the painting by a relative 

or friend. It is crazy that I already can't remember that fact. 

There was a paper taped on the back saying that the painting was 

from 222 Houseman Building, downtown, Grand Rapids. That was one of 

my dad's old studios from the late 40's through the early 50's. The

painting was done in oil on sanded, 1" plywood, 24" x 30".

photo I took of portrait in the studio.

photo I took including the frame.

photo from my dad's slide archives taken in his back yard of the Merizon family home on Bates Street, Grand Rapids, late 1940's, I'm guessing.

The frame was the same one from the photo I had seen before from my

dad's slides. It is heavy and rustic, with a now, browned linen

liner. The shape is reverse, which is perfect for portraits. My dad 

must have just taken the photo after he had gotten it framed and 

while preparing to give it to its owner. 

Kate mentioned that there was another paper stating the woman's name

was "De Young" a receptionist, and that the portrait was done in

exchange for a debt owed. That info rang true as I know my dad often

did portraits in exchange for loans. Life and times were hard for 

him back in those days and that is how he got along.

I feel a little sad that there is no family member that has claimed 

this portrait. Where is this Miss De Young? That is a common Dutch 

name around here. In fact it is my fathers mothers maiden name.

It was great to see this painting up close. The line work alone of 

the back ground must have taken a very long time to execute. The 

watch is very detailed. Her face is beautiful but a little pensive.



Monday, art and cookies.

Today is Monday, August 26th. 

I finally pulled myself out of bed at 9:30 after having my phone 

whistle at me a couple of times, signaling texts from any number of 

persons needing to clue me in on something. New things are 

happening. Get up, get up. I have to tell you something....

I am on my second cup of coffee. I already ate three molasses 

cookies left over from Saturdays opening for Debra Sportel. If I eat

another one any time soon, I will be sick! I knew when I was making 

them, that I was going overboard by at least 1 extra recipe. I was 

still baking when Deb arrived at 3:15,45 minutes before the opening 

was to begin. She exclaimed how nice it smelled on her walk into the

house. I shot my sister a quick,"see?" look. 

Aimé had been there with me as I kept pulling the dough out of the 

fridge, rolling little balls, sugering, flicking with water, and 

popping in the oven. Then I would disappear for 8 minutes to do some

chore in rather late prep for the shindig. I would hear the timer go

off and head back to the kitchen to pull out fresh, spicy round

wafers of  pure goodness. 

At one point Aimé, in her no nonsense tone of voice, suggested that

maybe I should shower and get ready. She indicated that maybe I 

should be putting the dough away. I told her that Deb had read some 

place that the scent of cinnamon actually induced men to spend 

money, and strawberry for women. I wanted to see it this could be 

true. I think I heard some grumblings from my sister, but I kept 

quiet as I knew she had been under a lot of stress, same as myself.

I just kept baking, and running around.

I have made this particular cookie for most of my art shows. I just 

like to make them. They remind me of my mother. I make them in her 

kitchen. I think it calms me. Helps me focus. Although, maybe the 

next time, I won't wait until the last moment.

Anyway, the opening was nice. It was different than the others. 

There really are never any two the same. I was slightly concerned 

that since I hadn't had a show since last December, that the turnout

might be questionable. But no, the house was always full of people 

for over four hours. There was the constant sound of voices,

laughter, music all mixed up in one pleasant auditory stimuli.

Debra was radiantly beautiful! Her sense of style is perfectly

agreeable to me. You wouldn't have believed that she is actually a 

grandmother, 7 times over. Nope. She looked marvelous! 

Deb and I hung the show Friday afternoon. It took us a couple of

 hours, but it turned out really appealing. Her "palette" she uses 

in her art, earth tones, jewel colors, contrasted with the stark 

black and white of her photos, create a perfect effect. I will enjoy

having this show hang for a few weeks!