Merilee’s Murals, etc.
Merilee Sawusch has been painting all her life, and stenciling for 30 years. She teaches stenciling classes and also creates custom murals and furniture pieces for clients. And despite failing Art in high school (because she wouldn’t paint to please the teacher), she has been selling her art, in one form or another, for 45 years.
Much of Merilee’s work comes through word of mouth. “One client (who became a friend) saw my work in a model home has passed on my name to all of her family and friends and I’ve had more work over the past 12 years from that one client than any other.” For the past 13 years, she’s also worked for a major builder painting murals and furniture for their model homes.
Merilee incorporates stencils into her work whenever possible, and especially when there is a precise repeated pattern involved. Her first painting job was to cut stencils to match a sofa pattern and do a living room. Merilee has also contributed to a number of stenciling books, including Stenciling Kids’ Rooms and Debbie Mumm’s Creative Stenciling
Merilee also believes in sharing her gifts by doing philanthropic projects, and does so by giving her time to painting in schools, libraries, churches, etc. She tries to work on 1-2 major charitable projects per year.
As Merilee’s experience with her high school art teacher suggests, you can’t please everyone, but her clients seemed pleased enough with her work. Merilee says “I’ve worked for over a year for a wonderful young man who bought a 3 million dollar house and redid it so it’s now worth well over 5 million. When his ex-wife saw a mural I did in the dining room, she said she didn’t like it.” His response? “Well, that’s why we’re divorced.”
And why does Merilee do what she does? “Because I love it, and I can set my own work hours so that I’m able to do the other things that I love.”