Nocturnes: The Paintings of Eric Merrell

Los Angeles artist Eric Merrell's "Nocturnes" is a series of abstract desert works painted solely by the light of the moon.

By Alec ErnestJanuary 13, 2016

    Nocturnes: The Paintings of Eric Merrell

    Rising Los Angeles artist Eric Merrell might be best known for his rigorous approach to landscape painting. For several years Merrell has been working on Nocturnes, a series of abstract desert works that he has painted all over Southern California, each solely by the light of the moon. In our latest documentary short from director Alec Ernest, we take an overnight trip with the artist to Joshua Tree National Park, where night falls and the desert takes on a surreal and mysterious beauty, where edges blur and shapes transform, and solitude takes on a whole new meaning.

    To capture what we felt was the closest thing to the sensory experience of a moonlit desert, we needed a good camera, and this video marks the first narrative application of the Sony A7S. Until recently, filming in complete darkness would have been impossible, but thanks to Sony’s new camera line we were really able to do something special.

    See more of Eric’s work at


    Produced and directed for the Los Angeles Review of Books by Alec Ernest.

    Executive Producers - Jerry Gorin, Tom Lutz, Jonathan Hahn

    Cinematographer - Ryan Carmody
    Editor - Jack Price
    Composer - Aaron Stein-Chester
    Location Sound and Titles - Jesse Merrell
    Colorist - Brandon Chavez
    Post Sound - Steve Bucino

    Cameras provided by Stray Angel Films

    See a behind-the-scenes video here.

    LARB Contributor

    Alec Ernest is a filmmaker based in Los Angeles. Find his work at


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