I’m Dan Short.

An artist and postman living and working in Leyburn North Yorkshire, just one of the gateways to the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

I have also lived in Keswick in the English Lakes, Crested Butte and Vale in Colorado USA, Kathmandu in Nepal and Brussels in Belgium.

I studied Spatial Design in college in Newcastle which is a kind of hybrid subject between interior design and architecture. Indeed many of my classmates went on to study architecture, but I fell in to the world of the outdoors in my year out and never really looked back.

I do though still have a love for architecture and every so often return to that subject matter in my painting and when I lived in Brussels almost exclusively painted the architectural world. My other, and arguably stronger influence, is the world of the wild outdoors environment, the mountains and seas of the planet.

In my 20’s and 30’s I was so very very lucky to trek across much of the Himalaya, from Pakistan to Myanmar, a good chunk of the African continent, North America, Middle East, Central Asia and of course, home, the UK. So in many ways working as a postie in the Yorkshire Dales is a natural fit. Art however, is where it’s really at for me.

It is my education in design and an urban upbringing, initially in Leeds and Newcastle that developed in me a love of Graffiti. So much so that I took a solo pilgrimage to the city of São Paulo in Brasil, a kind of world heritage site of Graffiti excellence. I bring this up to explain where AmbitiousMelon comes in, as it was my kind of tag, and it stuck. I sign my paintings AM as a nod to everything that has influenced, and always will.

These days I am an artist primarily of mountain and sea landscapes in oils and of flora and fauna, which I tend to lean toward watercolour for as a medium. For me, oils are more adept at describing the earthiness, solidity and drama that geography throws at us, where watercolour is better suited in portraying the delicacy, detail and ephemeral aspects of life. I also love working in pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, biro, digital (iPad) and pretty much any implement that can make a mark.

Last but certainly not least, I am a dad of two marvellous urchins, and they remind me on a daily basis of the fun and bonkers nature of creating art and that has helped me develop my illustrative practice. They really have shown me the path back to basics and I currently have at least 2 children’s books projects on the go, but hopefully this will grow as we do.

So, please enjoy my portfolio, and hopefully the above explains some of what I am about and why the portfolio is divided up in the way that it is.

Do get in touch with any queries and I appreciate the visit.