Jack Merrill graduated from Antioch College in 1975, majoring in Marine Biology and English. College internships had him working in a marina in South Lake Tahoe, CA, instructing at Outward Bound School at Hurricane Island, ME, and lobsterfishing as a “sternman” on Little Cranberry Island. After graduating he returned to Little Cranberry and started lobstering out of his own 32’ wooden boat, “Kingpin”.
Married to Erica Thormann in 1982, they started a family in 1985. At the time, Jack was coaching high school and American Legion Baseball and began representing fishermen on the board of the Maine Lobstermen’s Association. Between baseball, basketball, and hockey he has coached over 60 youth sports teams since then. He still sits on the Maine Lobstermen’s Association Board, has been a long-time advisor to the Lobster Institute at the University of Maine and has been involved with the Cranberry Isles Fishermen’s Co-Op since its start. Jack ‘s lobster life has had him quoted and pictured in articles in the Boston Globe and The Wall Street Journal. He was featured in a CNN show on lobstering and also appeared in Trevor Corson’s book, “The Secret Life of Lobsters”.
Jack began drawing and painting when his two children were young, hoping to spark their interest. As they grew and began chasing other pursuits, he stopped painting, but continued fishing, coaching, and occasionally gave readings and published some of his poetry.
Many years passed, when the urge to start painting again returned. Three summers ago, Dan and Katy Fernald, who own the Islesford Artists Gallery, agreed to display and sell his watercolors.
“I wanted the challenge of a difficult medium, which I was told watercolor was, figuring I could branch out from there. But watercolor continues to capture my soul. I love both its depth and opaqueness. Painting, as conflicting as it sounds, is both intense and relaxing at the same time, taking me away from everyday stresses. I thoroughly enjoy it and hope you enjoy the results, too.”