Ed Mell in his studio
Ed Mell was born in Phoenix in 1942 when Phoenix was still a small town in Arizona. Ed Mell’s family has had long ties to the Valley of the Sun which Ed has contributed to with numerous city projects, including a monumental bronze “Jack Knife” in the center of Scottsdale’s old town and a rising phoenix for Phoenix’s City Hall.
Ed Mell trained at the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles as an advertising major. Ed Mell had a fascination of automobiles which he studied in art school, Ed still has that same passion for automobiles today. Ed Mell provides a painting each year as a fund raising for the Copper State 100, which he also participates.
Ed Mell Saguaros
Not long after graduating from Art Center, Ed moved to the hub of the advertising world, New York City and worked for Kenyon and Echardt one of the finest advertising firms in the city. Ed Mell was hired to do numerous major accounts including Dockers and Air France. Ed Mell was using an airbrush style at this time one of the first artists to do so in the 1960’s.
Ed Mell also did covers for National Lampoon and Tang. The illustration training gave Ed Mell a life long work ethic that he retains today and is reflected in the quality of work he produces for his annual one-man show at Medicine Man Gallery.
On two summer breaks, Ed Mell traveled form New York City to Arizona to teach art classes at the Hopi Reservation. This experience reopened Ed’s eyes to his home state of Arizona and not long after moved back to Phoenix to try his hand at fine art.
Ed Mell “Procession” | Bronze Edition of 18
Ed’s paintings and sculpture continue to be influenced by these two summers at Hopi. “Procession” one of Ed’s most successful sculptures is of Long Hair Kachinas as well as numerous paintings of Kachinas; Northern Arizona’s Colorado plateau is a favorite subject for Ed Mell paintings.
Ed’s first attempt at fine art paintings were very minimal in nature, with straight lines and minimal angularity. His first painting #2 still resides in his own collection. Many collectors seek out these early pieces of Ed Mell’s work to complete their Ed Mell collection. One of his first shows was in 1980 in Amarillo Texas.
Ed Mell “Dusk Rose” (Left) | Ed Mell “Cactus Matrix” (Right)
Ed Mell’s artwork now covers a range of style including a realistic natural look to abstractions. He is known for his flower paintings which can be done in both realistic and abstract styles as well as his Steer paintings.
Not known as a figurative painter these pieces are always in demand and Ed Mell only paints these on occasion. Ed Mell for the last dozen years has done one lithograph per year which are produced in editions of 250 and often have up to 30 color pulls.
Ed Mell “Weather Patterns”
The last ten years Ed Mell’s paintings have been more on the contemporary look with strong lines of water, rain, and mesas all reflecting his love of the Southwest desert.
In 2016 Ed Mell was consulted to do the artwork for an opera “Riders of the Purple Sage” from the book by Zane Grey. The opera had it’s premier opening in Tucson Arizona and was sold out for its run in Tucson and Phoenix.
Courtesy Kristin Atwell & Ed Mell
In 1996 Northland Press published a book on Ed Mells work: “Beyond the Visible Terrain: The Art of Ed Mell.” By Don Hagerty, which is now out of print. Ed was also honored with the 90-anniversary cover of Arizona Highways in April 2015.
Ed Mell “Upward” | Bronze Edition of 30
Medicine Man Gallery is honored to have represented Ed Mell for over 20 years. Our gallery has an annual Ed Mell one man show in the winter spring in Tucson. EdMellpaintings.com is a tribute to Ed Mell’s great artistic and contribution to the artwork of the Southwest.
Ed Mell on the Cover of Arizona Highways | Courtesy Arizona Highways Magazine
Some of the select private and museum collections of Ed Mell artwork include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Diane Keaton, The Kip Forbes Collection, the Anschutz Museum, The Tucson Museum of Art, The Phoenix Art Museum, The Booth Museum, The Wickenburg Museum of Art and The Denver Art Museum and Karchner Caverns National Park.
Ed Mell | “Clouds”
|Ed Mell | “Downpour”
Ed Mell | “Lightning Strike”
Ed Mell | “Horses and Saguaros”
Ed Mell 1980
|Ed Mell | “Kachina Procession”
|Ed Mell | “Cloud Mesa”
Ed Mell | “Looming Storm”
|Ed Mell | “Modern Downpour”
|Ed Mell | “Brick Layer”
|Ed Mell Early Grand Canyon
|Ed Mell | “Bucking Bronco”
|Ed Mell | “Kachina Dancers”
Ed Mell | “Grazing Horses”
Ed Mell | “Rolling Shadows”