Merena McMurry grew up in California and fell in love with nature in the High Sierras. She first started painting at Langdon Studios in Fresno, California, where she began to learn oil painting techniques. Much of her early inspiration came from Sherry Nelson, who has written many books about how to paint birds, butterflies, and flowers. Wildlife artists such as Robert Bateman, John Banovich, and John Seerey-Lester later inspired McMurry and she strives to achieve the same degree of realism and capture the essence of animals as these artists do. Most recently, McMurry had the privilege to learn from Grace Knox, a western artist whose input and encouragement helped her to continue growing as an artist.