Originally from Montana, Merrell is one of nine children. Growing up on a large farm, she roamed the fields, pastures and larges wooded areas populated by birds, squirrels, owls, deer, and the one resident badger. Different wildflowers marked the seasons.
A typical farm kid, she fed cattle and hogs, milked cows, shoveled a lot of manure, and drove a tractor. She had a horse and with friends spent long days riding trails in the nearby national forest of the Mission Range.
Merrell made art and drawings from an early age. Parents and teachers always encouraged her. After high school, she entered Seattle University and graduated with a BA in art. She and her family have lived in Washington and Alaska.
Continuing to paint, she also had an architectural drafting business for 25 years. She designed houses and drafted the working plans for contractors. When she closed the business, she painted full time. Living in Palm Springs for ten years, she showed and sold her art through several galleries.
Now in Los Angeles, Merrell writes and illustrates picture books for children. The seven Cecily and Berle books are her first series. As her preferred work method, she paints each illustration by hand. Each illustration is a small watercolor painting on paper. The images are scanned and text added. She also writes for early readers and middle grade readers. Her books are available on Amazon.