"Seeing the real thing has much more impact than a photographic representation of nature, so in order to duplicate nature, I like to push it a little further and bring back some of the impact that nature has in real life." - Ed Mell
Ed Mell was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1942. After graduating from Phoenix Junior College with an Associate of Arts degree, he enrolled in The Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles to pursue his interest in illustration.
In 1967, Mell took a job as junior art director for a prominent New York advertising firm. Soon after, he and his friend Skip Andrews established their own illustration firm, Sagebrush Studios, which became an immediate success, with major corporate clients such as Cheerios and RCA. However, when Mell was given an opportunity in 1970 to return to Arizona to teach summer classes in silk screening and drawing on a Hopi Reservation, he welcomed the chance to move back to his home state.
Upon returning to Arizona, he began sketching landscapes. Colored pencils slowly turned into paints and by 1978 he had made the transition from commercial artist to landscape painter.
Mell brings an architectural eye to the desert, emphasizing graphic elements and stripping away details that do not serve his vision. From landscapes to storms, longhorn cattle to desert flowers, he presents the American Southwest in bold colors and lines, energizing the vistas with his singular style.
Mell has won many awards for his work, and his art has been exhibited in numerous museum shows, including the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art, Scottsdale Center for the Arts, Mesa Southwest Museum, and the Rockwell-Corning Museum of Modern Art. Corporate and private collectors have acquired his paintings and sculptures, and his life as an artist has been chronicled in major art publications. His biography, Beyond the Visible Terrain: The Art of Ed Mell, was published in l996. In 2012, Mell was named artist of the year at the Arizona Governor's Arts Awards. He designed the Arizona Centennial Postage Stamp, depicting Sedona's Cathedral Rock.
Selected Museum Exhibitions
Booth Museum of Western Art
Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art
Long Beach Museum of Art
Mesa Southwest Museum
Northern Arizona University Museum
The Phippen Museum
Phoenix Art Museum
The Rockwell Museum of Western Art
Scottsdale Center for the Arts
Tucson Museum of Art
Cover, Arizona Highways Magazine Special 90 Year Anniversary Edition
Westert Art Collector feature article, February, 2015
Western Art Collector feature, March, 2014
Cover, Western Art Collector Magazine November 2014