Modified NJ loves Colorado

Over the last year there have been a lot of changes with the women in my life, both losses and gains. I am originally from New Jersey, and my husband and I relocated to Colorado six years ago. 

It was hard to start over and has taken some time for me to truly call Colorado home. What makes a home to me is comfort, safety and a foundation which is what these women have given me. 

The hardest change was the passing of my MomMom. She was emblematic of unconditional love. The bond with my MomMom was the archetype for all subsequent relationships with strong women. 

These six paintings are to honor the most significant women in my life and relationships that have grown. Three paintings in particular are nearest to my heart and also a milestone in my life as an artist, Nurture, For Katherine and Tribe.

EC Plus CO

20X20 Oil Paint, Oil and Soft Pastels on Canvas

Before I relocated to Colorado I was worried about starting over. I had four women whom I considered “soul sisters”.

One of them, my friend Aimee, kept telling me “you only need one good girlfriend and you’ll be fine”. I was fortunate enough to have found THREE in Colorado from the beginning! Naturally, relationships change with time and then added distance. Our CO relationships along with the three on the EC “east coast” have become so much deeper with the distance. Their unconditional love, friendship, and support has helped me become grounded in Colorado.

The yellow background represents me. Flowers: Peony, Thistle, Pink Magnolia, Lilly, Rose, Lavender and violet.

EC Plus CO

For Katherine

Sold 20X20 Oil Paint, Oil and Soft Pastels on Canvas

After relocating to Colorado, I created my art brand Jenn Merz ColorQueen. When I came to first Friday on Santa Fe I was so inspired by the artists’ generosity and overall openness of the community. 

It was a slow start until I met Katherine Payge, who offered me a space to show at her gallery. In fact, she also hired my “hubs” to play guitar at openings and events. The women in this painting I met because of her. I am lucky enough to have them actively in my life now.  To me, they are like family. They are a huge part of why Colorado is now home to me.

Katherine passed away before this painting was completed. The original title was supposed to be “Firmly Planted,” which I still am, and I wanted to honor her. 

The yellow background represents me.

Flowers: Lotus, Japanese Iris, Yucca, and a Poppy

Center flow: Columbine for Katherine Payge.

For Katherine


36X36 Oil Paint, Oil and Soft Pastels on Canvas

This painting represents the mothers of my life both past and present as some have passed away. All these women combined including myself have helped me become who I am today.

When I was baby my mother got very ill and became paralyzed on the right side of her body. Due to her illness and disability both my grandmothers and my aunt helped raise me. As a child I had to learn to help take care of her, while learning how to take care of myself. I’ve included myself as a Dahlia flower in the center for inner strength. All these flowers or “Mothers” including the Dahlia represent who I am now.

Flowers: Orchid, White Zinnia, Peony, Violet, Rose, Rose and a hybrid Lilac/Hydrangea, and the Blue Rose is for My Mother.



18X24 Oil Paint, Oil and Soft Pastels on Canvas

I love being an aunt and take great pride in being one thanks to my upbringing. Between 2020-2021 I had three new nieces, two of which are named after my MomMom who passed away.

Each niece is represented by a crocuses in various sizes for their age difference. The three on the left are from my side of the family and the right are from my “hubs'' side.

The five Lilly of the Valley along the top represent me watching over each of them. I choose these two types of flowers for their meaning; Crocuses: youth, rebirth, and cheerfulness. Lily of the Valley: Happiness and purity.



18X24 Oil Paint, Oil and Soft Pastels on Canvas

“Sisters, some of them you are born with and some are your cousins.”

This painting is for my sisters.

I became a big sister when I was eight years old. I can still remember how elated I was the first time I held my sister, Helen. Being an older sister is a huge part of who I am. I’m also grateful for my older sisters (in-laws) who have made me an aunt. This painting is to honor my sisters, my life long friends.

I chose to be represented as a Chrysanthemum for loyalty, devotion, cheerfulness and longevity. 

Flowers: Violet, Pansies, Daisey, Orchid, Daffodil, Gerber Daisy, Spring Beauty and Peony.

Center Flower: Chrysanthemum



18X24 Oil Paint, Oil and Soft Pastels on Canvas

This painting of multicolored Sunflowers primarily represents Colorado women artists whose relationships have grown both professionally and personally.

The two sunflower buds represent newer relationships that are growing. The one bud represents a friend who has a deep love and appreciation for the arts. All of their support, encouragement, and knowledge base has helped me evolve as an artist. As our relationships grew over the last year I realized more and more that you are your best self when you have your tribe.

Colorado Women Artist: Annette Coleman, Jenn Merz CQ (Me), Jean B Smith, Sami Auster, Shara Oliman, Emily Oldak and Meldoy Epperson.

Sunflowers meaning: Friendship, Adoration and Loyalty.  

These are the left side rather than the right side 


Firmly Planted

36x36 Oil Paint, Oil and Soft Pastels on Canvas

This painting represents my personal growth and changes, within myself since relocating from New Jersey to Colorado. Flowers and Meanings: Astrantia for Courage, Marigold for Happiness, Freesia for Freedom, Rose for Love, Zinnia for Endurance, Echinacea for Strength, and Baptisa for Protection.

Another Tribe

24X24 Oil Paint, Cold Wax, Oil and Soft Pastels on canvas

This painting represents a very intimate group of special women in my life. To honor the bond we have from our tragic connection and celebrate the community we share. These six sunflower petals each represents these five women and myself. Sunflower meaning: Friendship, Adoration and Loyalty.