Merlin Little Thunder has worked as an athlete, mUS1Clan, laborer, factory worker & an assistant museum director. Merlin studied art at Bacone College (Muskogee, OK), Eastern Oklahoma State College (Wilburton, OK) & Southwestern Oklahoma State University (Weatherford, OK). Merlin became a full~time painter in 1981. He works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, pencil, pastel & prints. Merlin has made his home in Tulsa, OK.
Merlin is known for his detailed miniatures. Merlin is a perfectionist, who constantly seeks to improve his technique. He spends hours researching his subjects. Merlin paints history with a sense of humor .. AS he paints, he creates a story about the painting. The completed painting represents the story's "punch line". Merlin is also known for his multi-matted framing featuring a distinctive bolt of lighting & thunderclouds cut into the surface of the mat.
Merlin has exhibited extensively & been featured in solo exhibitions at the Cherokee National Museum (Tahlequah, OK) & the Southern Plains Indian Museum & Craft Center (Anadarko, OK). Merlin has won numerous awards at the American Indian & Cowboy Artists National Western Art Exhibition (San Dimas, CA), the Colorado Indian Market (Denver, CO), the Trail of Tears Art show at the Cherokee National Museum (Tahlequah, OK), the Inter-Tribal Indian Ceremonials (Gallup, NM), the Oklahoma Center for Science & Art at the Kirkpatrick Center (Oklahoma city, OK), the Cheyenne-Arapaho Museum (Canton, OK) & the Great Southern Plains Indian & Western Art show. Merlin has also exhibited at the Prairie Fire Invitational Art show sponsored by Prairieland, Inc. (Wichita, KS) & the Talasi Winter Festival sponsored by the Indian Health Care Resource Center (Tulsa, OK). In 1989, Merlin participated in Oklahoma's Hidden Treasures (Washington, D.C.), an art exhibit sponsored by the Oklahoma Congressional Delegation & the Indian Territorial Gallery (Sapulpa, OK).In 1992, Merlin participated in the Franco-American Institute Exhibit in Rennes, France.
Merlin was awarded the commission for the 1991 poster for the American Heritage Center (Tulsa, OK) & for a Tipi painting for the 1995 Longhorn World Championship Rodeo (Murfreesboro, TN). Numerous private & public art collections feature artwork by Merlin Little Thunder, including the American Indian Heritage Center (Tulsa, OK) & the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.).