Area artist DP Warner has had a long and varied career in the visual and performing arts. Drummer passionate about “Little Feet”, he has played in several ensembles in recent years.
His early visual arts included large-scale social commentary pieces incorporating acrylic paints and building materials. Installations, found objects were often associated with more traditional painting and drawing.
His work had a quirk.
Often, he had ironic, intentional jokes that intertwined with genuine societal inquiries, climate change, and humanity’s connection to place.
In recent years, the retired professor of painting and design from the University of Edinboro has quietly explored the world of plein air landscape painting, a style of painting involving being outdoors in place and to paint by direct observation, usually in a single session.
He is also in a small studio where he elaborates on these observed scenes and other places to create slightly larger paintings based on places he has visited and photographed.
“I’m in a different mode these days,” Warner said. “I think my studio work is starting to evolve into a sort of spiritual quest.”
His work, now mostly done in oil paint, explores many scenes from his travels on local and regional back roads, as well as some overseas scenes. He works daily, when life does not intervene, developing new canvases. “Time will tell, but I’m more interested in the destination (of these recent studio paintings),” Warner said. “I’m not totally sure about everything, but the big chunks seem to be about presence. They are definitely different from my clean air stuff.
Although his work may look quite different from his earlier work, they still explore humanity’s connection to place.
Warner’s work over the past few years will be featured in an exhibition at the Meadville Council on the Arts on the second floor of the historic Market House in Meadville. A vernissage will kick off the month-long exhibition on November 4 from 6-8:30 p.m.
The show, titled “Here and There,” runs until December 3.
Editor’s note: Warner is a former professor of the author of this article. They have been friends for over 25 years and currently share a studio.