Teresa Merriman, Mixed Media Artist
Teresa Merriman is a Mixed Media Artist working out of her Mind’s Eye Journals Studio in Westcliffe, Colorado. She creates functional journals and collectibles out of leather, handmade or watercolor paper and acid-etched metals. Traditional and inventive bookbinding techniques are used.
Teresa hand-selects the hides from a family-owned company Weaver Leather in Holmes County, Ohio. The hides are already tanned and are chosen for their color, character, natural edges, and any other “character marks” that fit into the rustic-contemporary genre envisioned for the journals.
These journals can be used as an artist’s portfolio, a photo album, a writing journal, a sketch book or anything else you can imagine.
During my upbringing, the idea of becoming a career artist was not even on the list. In fact, the notion seemed to have been ignored by my friends, my teachers, and even my self. No one ever told me that artists aren’t truly starving, but veritably, artists have adventurous, extraordinary, and fulfilling lifestyles.
Furthermore, during those formative years, I never really nurtured that whispering, artistic part of myself out of a kind of fear, or a devious ilk of resistance. Then, in my early twenties, I discovered the art-show world and the freedoms involved in it. That’s when my little whisper became an evident roar.
By my mid-twenties, I had experimented with a multitude of media, including photography, drawing, woodworking, metal-smithing, painting, and other affairs–all with the intent of becoming a professional artist. After these wondrous, short-lived art-flings faded wayward, I felt like a talentless failure adrift in a sea of exhausted efforts.
I wrote about my struggles in my journal, just as I have habitually done with any other matter in my life, since a very young age. My eyes widened with the irony when I realized the answer had been right in front of me all along!
I began following yet another passion, and I taught myself yet another skill: bookbinding. Since 2005, I have continued to advance my abilities in this craft and, to my utter delight, I have come to understand that all this time “failing” with other media has actually enriched my life both as an artist and as a human being. After all, what is it to live if one does not wonder? And, what is it to have wonders if one does not dare to live them?
Presently, I am fueled by the thought that fascination drives us all; that journals are our bona fide tag-alongs on this excursion of life. And, that my role as a bookbinder is relevant in the anthropology of our instinctual story-telling tendencies.