Ed Mell (1942 - )
Artist Biography - Southwest landscape painter Ed Mell makes his studio in a converted 1930s grocery store in the Coronado historic district of downtown Phoenix, just three blocks from the hospital where he was born in 1942. Hanging on the walls are works of by his favorite artists, including Maynard Dixon, whose cubic forms continue to be his main stylistic influence. Essentially an illustrator and commercial artist, Mell studied advertising and illustration at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. In 1967, Mell was employed as a junior art director at a major New York advertising firm. Leaving within a year, he and a friend opened their own illustration business in New York, with clients like Cheerios and RCA. Three years later, Mell taught art classes one summer on the Hopi Reservation in northern Arizona, awakening a desire to return to the state. He and his brother opened an illustration business in Phoenix, while he attempted to make fine art paintings in his spare time. While his paintings remain heavily planar, often employing theories of complimentary color, they were more minimal early on. He works from Maynard Dixon's Cubist stylistic concepts, sketches and photographs, often taking helicopter flights to photograph remote Arizona locations. Ed Mell comments, "I work from nature, and sometimes I push it a little further. 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." Source: Lynn Pyne Davis, "Southwest Art", October 2002

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Ed Mell