Image: sketchbook drawing: 9″ x 12″. pen and ink with watercolour. drawn on site, Pallazzo Veccio, Florence, Italy. click to see the full image

I love art galleries (and museums)!

My all-time favourite trips have been primarily for the purpose of seeing art. The cities in Europe that I travelled to all had major art galleries and museums that, as an artist; I felt compelled to spend time in.

My last trip to Europe was like an abbreviated a tour of the History of Western Art: beginning in Athens, Greece; I visited the Parthenon and spent many hours sketching the ancient art pieces in the Acropolis Museum (now known as the “Old Acropolis Museum”, as a new one has been added to the site since my visit in 1987) see sketchbook image.

Following my time in Greece; the next leg of my journey took me to Italy where I spent time drawing in Pompeii see sketchbook image, Rome see sketchbook image and Florence see sketchbook image.

Later came the many Art Galleries and museums of Paris see sketchbook image and London, where I recall drawing furiously in the National Gallery while being shooed from the building by the guards at closing time see sketchbook image.

By the time I arrived home from that Art-History filled journey; it felt as though my place as an artist in the grand scheme of things finally made sense, and it was a very satisfying feeling.

Having moved to the Cowichan Valley a little more than one year ago; I feel a great desire to be able to see the art of the world closer to home. To that end; I have become involved with the Cowichan Valley Public Art Gallery Society and hope to see their vision of an exciting new major public Art Gallery come to life.

This beautiful place we live in is absolutely brimming with people whose creative paths could be positively impacted by having intimate and personal access to the high-level art exhibitions that a proper public Art Gallery could attract.

There is no question that to establish, build and fund such a top level Public Art Gallery is a very ambitious project; one which which would have no hope of success whatsoever without the combined efforts and energy of many dedicated individuals and groups.

I invite and encourage you to add your voice to our cause, and play a part in making the dream of a Public Art Gallery in the Cowichan Valley become a reality.

– Dorian Melton (editor, CVPAG newsletter editor)
see more from Dorian’s travel sketchbooks