Ed Mell

Pa­per trea­sures

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - ED MELL

Ed Mell’s Phoenix stu­dio, like many artists’ stu­dios, holds a wealth of his­tory. Paint­ings on the walls, stacks of sketches and ref­er­ence ma­te­rial tucked away on shelves and bits of ephemera that re­veal the artist’s in­ter­ests.

Trea­sures from Mell’s stu­dio, all of them on pa­per, will be the stars of a new show open­ing Oc­to­ber 6 at the Ed Mell Gallery in Phoenix. Works in­clude graphite sketches, pas­tels and sev­eral mono­types. “I still do draw­ings on pa­per, in­clud­ing some of these fairly re­cent pieces like Gath­er­ing Crops. Most of them are smaller stud­ies and don’t al­ways lead to larger works,” he says. “Most of the pieces are fairly old, though, es­pe­cially the pas­tel works, which is how I would of­ten do stud­ies be­fore switch­ing to oils.” Works in­clude the mono­types Shaded Horses and Saguaro Skyscraper, and an un­ti­tled pas­tel from 1980 that is likely one of Mell’s first de­pic­tions of his iconic buck­ing bronco images.

Texas art en­thu­si­ast By­ron Lewis, a long­time fan and col­lec­tor of Mell’s works, is ex­cited for the show and hopes to add to his own col­lec­tion. “His work is so mes­mer­iz­ing be­cause he doesn’t dwell on the com­plex de­tail. He just very care­fully takes the sub­ject and sim­pli­fies it. Some would say it’s mod­ern or even an­gu­lar, but it al­ways has this color glow­ing out of the sun­set.”

Lewis, who says even his chil­dren grew up call­ing beau­ti­ful land­scapes “Ed Mell sun­sets,” con­tin­ues, “Ed’s work is just so unique that there is no one out there like him. I love what goes on in his mind, his cre­ative process. He has his own voice. Even be­fore I per­son­ally knew Ed, the best de­scrip­tion I had for him was that he’s au­then­tic. His work is un­mis­tak­able. You can truly get lost in it.”

Also in the show are a num­ber of works that would even­tu­ally be­come mag­a­zine cov­ers: Bryce Canyon, from 1983, was fea­tured on

the front of Ari­zona Arts & Travel, and Sun­set Storm, from 1985, would go on to be a cover for Ari­zona High­ways, a mag­a­zine that fea­tured Mell’s work fre­quently.

“I al­ways en­joyed work­ing on pa­per be­cause it was a great way to learn about color. I would blend dif­fer­ent pas­tels to­gether and it re­ally taught me how to han­dle paints,” Mell says. “One of the draw­backs, of course, was the flat­ter color. It was never quite as in­tense as oils. But pa­per of­fered a unique art ed­u­ca­tion.”

Saguaro Skyscraper, 1999, mono­type (oil on pa­per), 15½ x 135/8”

Gath­er­ing Crops, 2015, graphite on pa­per, 4¼ x 35/8"

Shaded Horses, 1999, mono­type (oil on pa­per), 10¾ x 135/8”

Graz­ing Cow, 1985, pas­tel on pa­per, 6¾ x 9¼”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.