Born in Chicago, and educated up through junior college in
the South Suburban Chicagoland area, Merle finished college
at the University of Illinois and then went to Medical School at St.
Louis University. Internship and Residency was at Pontiac General
Hospital (Michigan) and University of Michigan. Following
residency he was in practice in Drayton Plains, MI and became board
certfied General Surgeon. Shortly after starting practice he was asked
to be Director of Surgical Education at Pontiac General Hospital. He
continued this for several years and then went into private practice in
Northern Michigan. Now he is retired from that busy practice.
His artistic life has been a late blooming affair and didn't really
start till after he was established in his surgical practice, where he
did both color and black and white photography in his own darkroom.
Shortly after retiring he went to a beginning watercolor class on a
challenge, and enjoyed it very much, and continued working on his
painting and further workshops. His art education since retiring has
been largely self taught, with strong relation to photography and
through workshops with Jack Proctor, Helga Flower, Cheng-Khee Chee, Rod
Lawrence and others. Over the past several years his style has drifted
to abstract paintings, produced with improvisation and experimentation,
using acrylic, watercolor and other paints and media. This
very process makes each painting unique and very interesting
Dr. Plagge is a signature member of the
International Society of
Experimental Artists. Now he is Director of Membership Services at
ISEA. He is also a member of the Southwest Michigan Watercolor Society,
and National Watercolor Society. He's also had juried show acceptances
in the Greater Michigan Art Exhibition and the Three Rivers Regional
Merle O. Plaggee, 2009-2015
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