Just two minutes off of 15/501 in Moncure is Emily Merletto Art Studio. Searching to reconnect to the earth and its natural rhythms, Emily Merletto and her husband Mike, made the deliberate choice to move from Raleigh to Chatham County. Yes – they “bought the farm“ and never looked back! Within the walls of their partially remolded 1938 farmhouse Emily paints watercolors and takes stand for Chatham County’s slower pace and uninhibited rural beauty.
Emily is a new Guild member and this will be her first year on the tour. She has, however, been painting and selling her artworks on First Sundays in Pittsboro for quite a while. For Emily, Realism takes a back seat to her sense of whimsy and imagination. She says her watercolor paintings are “unique because I don’t really follow the rules. I don’t use watercolors in the traditional way.” Yet all her works are emboldened with honesty about nature derived from living on the farm, caring for the animals, and beekeeping. And did I mention her new little girl, Maya, who is not yet two!
And it is no accident Emily’s color palette is so bold. Having lived abroad for several years in South America, working for the Peace Corps for part of that time, her work is subtly infused with the narrative and graphic quality of Latin American works. Emily says, “Creating art is a form of meditation that allows me to heal and reflect while exploring the vastness of the natural world. A process I learned in the Peace Corps.” This restorative aspect of creativity is apparent within the imagery of Emily’s artwork.
When you visit Emily Merletto Art Studio, you will find framed original works along with a variety of artist prints and greeting cards. Pricing is made with all budgets in mind – $5 for cards, $15-30 for prints, and original paintings ranging from $50- $500.
Lately Emily has been having a wonderful time exploring linocuts, this is carving a pattern or image into a square of gently heated linoleum and then using inks to make prints. No two are the same. They are joyful and colorful just like her watercolors!
Emily’s studio, located at 1385 Chatham Church Road, Moncure, NC 27559, will be open the first two weekends in December. Go ahead and drive just a little ways past the circle in downtown Pittsboro. Once there you will see some awesome art, breath in the peaceful beauty of the farm, and perhaps even meet Jose and Ernesto – two personable and majestic donkeys who are father and son and make their home in the front pasture. You will be so happy you did!