Dorian Melton is an artist currently residing in the Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island.
I was born in Vancouver on the West Coast of Canada in 1954, and have been a visually creative person from a very early age. When I went to elementary school in the Dollarton area of North Vancouver in the early 1960’s; the Lord’s Prayer was read to classes every morning. On hearing “Our Father, who art in Heaven…”; I visualized a man with a long white beard sitting at an artist’s easel painting scenes of the Earth below through breaks in the clouds.
As for art education; I graduated with honours from a two year Communication and Design course at North Vancouver’s Capilano College (now a University) in 1979-81, with a special interest in the area of Illustration. My next advanced art education was a year spent in Toronto’s Ontario College of Art and Design (also now a University) in 1986-87, with a focus on Illustration and studio drawing and painting courses. I had planned to spend another year at OCA, as I had my eye on the possibility of spending a year of advanced art study after graduation in either Berlin, Germany or Florence, Italy with OCA’s extended program, but became committed to seeing the firing of the president of the college, as well as his family members and friends who were also employed there, after it became all too obvious that any interest they may have had in art took a back seat to their love of money. The final straw for me was witnessing the power group gang up on a favorite teacher to force her out. My last few weeks were spent finishing final course projects and picketing the school wearing a sign and carrying a large broom.
Since then; my career has been mainly in the area of Illustration for various companies, both full time and freelance including a 10 year stint in the graphics department of CBC Television News Vancouver.
For the past few decades; my personal work has focused on the subject of wooden boats, including drawings on paper in india ink and conte chalks as well as a small number of oil paintings.
Recently; after experiencing a years-long gap in my personal artistic production, my inner creative Magnetic North demonstrated that it had shifted significantly. Since moving to Vancouver Island from Toronto in 2017; my attention has been drawn to the expressive potential of natural textures found in my local environment. Rocks, scrap building materials, rust and even stains seem to compel me to capture an image even though the end result of the process could not be imagined. The textures in the reference photos that I take only begin to reveal their secrets after spending time experimenting with the tools available in my digital studio.