8.27.2013

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

immediately. 


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.

Mysterious.

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