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Life and Work with Andrea Merican

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrea Merican.

Andrea, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I didn’t choose art – it chose me. I began drawing at the age of 3. Throughout grade school and high school, I knew I wanted to be an artist. I’ve been an entrepreneur since age 18, so, what I do for money has not always been art. I have learned over the years that being an artist is not necessarily a career choice – it is who I am.

My journey with watercolor began seven years ago. I had painted with watercolor on and off for years but really preferred oils. In 2011, I took a watercolor class at the Scottsdale Artists School. When my instructor did her first demo and taught us to allow watercolor to take on a life of its own, I exclaimed, “I didn’t know you could do THAT with watercolor!” I was instantly hooked.

I decided to dedicate a full year to only painting with watercolor and really try to master the medium. Seven years later, I’m still totally in love with it and can’t wait to create more.

Has it been a smooth road?
For me, the biggest challenge in pursuing art has been the need to work full time at a non-artistic profession for most of my life. I used to struggle so much with coming home exhausted from work and not having the energy or a creative mindset to draw or paint. It took me many years to discipline myself into creating a balance between daily life, work and studio time. I feel like I’ve finally created a nice balance between business and art and I’m satisfied with where I am at. Of course, I’m always working on growing my skill as an artist and achieving new levels which are the exciting part of this journey. My advice to anyone starting out on their art career is to carve out time for your artwork. Even if it is only 15 minutes a day. Make time to create.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with your business – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I enjoy pushing the “rules” of watercolor. I didn’t use to admire the medium of watercolor because I thought it had to be pale, pastel and washed out looking. When you eliminate the stereotyped ideas of watercolor and actual play with the medium, you can push it in ways that are quite surprising. I like to have a continual play of transparent and opaque, bold strokes and soft delicate areas, geometric spaces and curving flowing lines. This push-pull of techniques and design elements keep the viewer engaged and excited as they explore the painting.

My approach is not traditional and that is what I love about it. I want to capture the essence of a person or special moment and I do that with color and emotion and design.

I am so unbelievably grateful for this gift. I feel so blessed every time I pick up a brush to paint. I sincerely hope that I have the opportunity to create art for the rest of my life. I have been very fortunate to meet some amazing mentors and artists along the way. Their help, advice, training, and support have been invaluable. I’d like to be able to pass that on to a younger artist someday, too.

Are there any apps, books, podcasts or other resources that you’ve benefited from using?
I have a large collection of art books that I’ll look through regularly to gain inspiration. I follow several art business teachers that all help me grow in different ways:

Barney Davey | Art Marketing | Art Career Advice

TAA Courses

I also meet regularly with a group of artists to exchange ideas, share our work and help each other grow.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Andrea Merican
Photo taken at Bill Tonnesens’s studio

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  1. Zhanna Lamanna

    May 8, 2018 at 6:25 pm


    Your watercolors are so vivid and inspiring. I love the top image with a woman in the pool. You created such unusual patterns of reflections and refractions. My imagination suggested resemblance to peacock feathers and even a sideways face of a Chinese dragon by the swimmer’s feet. You have so skillfully moved away from the obvious reproduction of a photograph toward unique patterns that give your watercolors a unique style, and let the viewers feel the coolness of the water and the brightness of the reflected sunshine.

  2. Leslie Austin

    May 10, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I am always amazed at how you are growing in your artist skills. You use a variety of colors to convey mood and personality in your paintings. I appreciate the difficulty juggling your work and your passion, but you are making it happen. Thank you for creating such beautiful artwork that we can all enjoy.

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