(Note: The following is an excerpt from Canyon Magic.)
Ed Mell is one of the most highly acclaimed contemporary artists in the American Southwest. Although primarily known as a landscape painter, as a youth growing up in Phoenix, Arizona he found more inspiration in World War II combat aircraft and automobiles. Mell’s love of automobiles has never waned, but his body of work has grown to include a variety of regional subjects ranging from longhorn cattle to cactus flowers.
After graduating from The Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles in 1967, Mell accepted a position as a junior art director at Kenyon and Eckhardt, a major New York advertising firm. Shortly afterwards he started his own illustration firm, Sagebrush Studios. Although successful, Mell felt creatively stifled by commercial work. Seeking greater artistic freedom, in 1970 he jumped at the opportunity to teach summer classes in silk screening and drawing on the Hopi Reservation at Hotevilla.
Reconnecting with the land of his youth filled Mell with the inspiration that would in time become his artistic voice. Shortly afterwards he returned to Phoenix and in time gained significant commercial and critical success. His work has been featured in numerous museum exhibitions, including the Eiteljorg Museum of American Indian and Western Art and the Rockwell-Corning Museum of Modern Art.
Mell admits to being highly influenced by Maynard Dixon’s modernist works. In his own words: "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."
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6141 E. Cave Creek Rd. Cave Creek Arizona 85331