Even if Armand did shun commercial interests, by 1968 doctors and private collectors were beginning to take interest in his art. Betty had just graduated from Aquinas College with a teaching degree, and with the help of a loan from Dr. Hal Bowman the family was able to afford a move from their urban neighborhood to a hill top farm
on Kalamazoo Avenue near 92 nd Street in Caledonia. As they settled in, Armand converted a run-down chicken coop into a sky lit studio. In the country now with the sights and sounds of nature all around, he was content. Betty could provide a steady income from her teaching salary and Armand could, for the first time in his life, feel free to paint what he wanted without being concerned about a potential sale.
Kim Smith commented: "It’s very easy to be an artist. An artist can wear a beret and sit at a coffee shop and talk about art. It’s more difficult to be a painter. That means you’re in your studio. That means you’re doing work. And there’s not doubt that Merizon is a true painter.”
In 1969 Armand received his first international recognition when Frost-Reed Ltd. of Bristol, England, printed 750 limited edition reproductions of his 1968 “Spring-Saturday.” According to a letter dated May 28, 1968, Armand received one dollar per copy along with ten free proofs.