Merrill’s great grandmother taught art in Maine and her parents met in Grand Central Art School and Art Students’ League studying under Arshele Gorky in New York City. Merrill learned brush stroke from a Chinese nurse as a child and she was married to the fine artist, the late John L. Gonzales.

Merrill has worked in oil, watercolor, pen and ink, sumi-e and has contributed drawings and cover designs for poetry magazines for years. She has published poetry, haiku, tanka and various forms of haiga.

One groundhog day in the snowy winter of 2005 she created snowbird press to honor haiku and tanka in haiga form that resonates in an insight. Coming from an artistic point of view Merrill relies heavily upon images, the changing of seasons, light and line, and the influence they have on her awareness.