Merle Foshag Woodring, 78, an artist known for her watercolors, died Sept. 17 at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda.

Mrs. Woodring, who used the professional name of Merle Foshag, painted landscapes, rural structures, skyscapes and still-lifes.

Many of her works have been shown throughout this country and in Paris and Mexico. Some are in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution and Dumbarton Oaks; others are in private collections.

Mrs. Woodring came here from Spokane, Wash., shortly after World War I. She met and married William F. Foshag, curator of mineralogy at the Smithsonian.

She had studied art at the Los Angeles Institute, and then at the Corcoran School of Art here.

She accompanied her husband on extended field trips to Mexico, and spent much of her time painting outdoors there. In the 1950s, she began to teach art here.

Dr. Foshag died about 1956. She later married Dr. Wendell P. Woodring, also of the Smithsonian.

Mrs. Woodring was a member of the Arts Club of Washington, the Washington Water Color Association and the Miniature Painter, Sculptors and Grauers Society of Washington.

In addition to her husband, of the home in Westmoreland Hills, she is survived by a son, William F. Foshag, of Carlisle, Pa., and a sister, Irma Crisler, of Laguna Beach, Calif.