Tags: Arts & Culture

TFA Local Artist Highlight: Andrea Merican

Posted 03.28.16 by Aminda

Here we are with our third TFA Local Artist Highlight! This week, we spent some time getting to know Andrea Merican.

Andrea paints (and makes all of her prints!) out of her studio space; a beautiful, peaceful room inside of her Scottsdale home! I was lucky enough to pop in to photograph her, and pick her brain a bit!

Downtown Tempe Authority: Hey Andrea, tell us – what do you create?

Andrea Merican: I create colorful, vibrant watercolor paintings. I enjoy painting people as well as botanicals and lately, vintage cars.


DTA: How did you get into painting, and what inspired you to choose people and nature as your main subjects?

Andrea: I have been drawing and painting ever since I was very young. My Mom has a picture of me at age 3 creating one of my first drawings. I got into watercolor about 4 years ago and it is my new favorite medium. I paint what inspires me or captures my eye. People are challenging to paint, but I really love capturing a moment or personality. Nature has always inspired me, so that was a natural progression as well.

DTA: Give us the low down on the process you take to create each painting. How do they start out, what do you draw from, how long does it take you to complete one?

Andrea: I start by taking a photograph of what I’d like to paint. I then sketch out the drawing onto watercolor paper. The drawing is my road map for how the painting will unfold. Then I start with my initial wash of watercolor paint. These first washes are very light and I build from there, allowing each layer of paint to dry before starting the next. A painting can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on the size and complexity.



DTA: What is your favorite part of the creation process?

Andrea: I’d have to say the bold punches of color that I put into every painting. I honestly love the entire process from start to finish, but laying in bold, bright watercolor paint is a real joy!

DTA: Do you have a favorite painting of yours? If so, why is it your favorite?

Andrea: Yes, my painting titled, Just Breathe, is my favorite. I was selected to be the Featured Artist with that piece for the 2015 Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts. This painting was created with a lot of emotion and passion and I think that shines through. The original sold right away and I have fine art giclee prints available for sale.



DTA: What can we purchase from you at the Tempe Festival of the Arts?

Andrea: I will have framed original watercolor paintings for sale as well as 3 sizes of fine art prints. I also do custom commissions so you are welcome to bring me your ideas and photos to discuss.

DTA: Have you participated in the Tempe Festival of the Arts before?

Andrea: Yes, twice. It is always a really fun time, usually great weather! I love meeting new people and answering questions about my artwork.



DTA: What do you like to do when you’re not painting or participating in festivals?

Andrea: I enjoy riding bikes, hiking, enjoying the AZ weather and traveling to other places in the U.S. and abroad.

DTA: What can we expect to see from you in the future/what are your future goals with your art?

Andrea: I am continuing to grow my art business every year. I am enjoying refining my skills and expanding into other markets. I’ll be doing my first show in San Diego at the end of April.



DTA: What is the best advice you could give to an aspiring artist of any medium?

Andrea: Paint what you love. Don’t worry about “will it sell”. Your passion and personality will shine through if you paint from your heart and soul.

DTA: When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Andrea: When I was a little girl, I always knew I wanted to be an artist!



DTA: Do you ever explore/visit/hangout in Downtown Tempe? If so, what’s your favorite spot?

Andrea: Yes. My husband and I love riding bikes to Mill Ave. We hangout at The Handlebar, Pedal House, La Bocca and wherever there is a great patio!

Andrea will be at booth 1116 April 8th - 10th at the Spring Tempe Festival of the Arts. Be sure to stop in to say hello and see her beautiful paintings!