May 22, 2022

Charlie Doodle

Unique Art & Entertainment

In Bowdoinham, retired St. Paul’s rector pursues painting passion

4 min read

For Daniel Warren, the artist’s journey and spiritual paths increasingly have intertwined and deepened one another.

A former rector at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick said his art journey began in college, but he only started painting regularly only after retiring in 2011.

“I was always interested in painting since college,” said Warren. “I took significant art classes that were part of my life. It was a form of meditation for me, so I began painting 20-30 years ago, but now that I am retired from full-time work, I am painting regularly for 10 years.”

Warren said he gained interest in painting when he was tired of playing competitive sports and was looking for an alternative.

“I was looking for an alternative form of engagement with my body and mind,” said Warren. “I could have become a ballet dancer, but I started drawing, which I found to be an active form of engagement with my hand, eye, heart and mind.”

His teachers back then introduced him to the beauty of canvas and paint, and the act of appreciating paintings took him.

Daniel Warren, a retired rector at a church in Brunswick now practices painting. Daniel Warren

“I am glad that I took that time early on to appreciate paintings because it’s been a lifelong vocation not just to make them but to view them and appreciate them and see what other people are doing,” said Warren.

While he doesn’t have any formal training in painting, Warren said he learned the art form from individual teachers at the Art Students League in Manhattan in New York City.

“Most people don’t think they need a formal degree to learn painting. Frankly, I don’t think I needed one. I did not want to go back to school full-time. I could learn what I needed to learn from individual classes,” said Warren.

Warren (73) now does ‘still life and landscape painting. He works out of his studio in Brunswick and sometimes paints at his home.

He feels spirituality also plays an important role in helping him stay focused on his art form.

“I find painting a form of meditation,” said Warren. “Often during the day, I keep thinking about various things and get stuck on it, but when I draw and paint, I am corrected from getting stuck on one thing because I have to move from one to the other while drawing or painting.”

“As you keep moving, you see the lights and the darks, and that whole discipline is helpful for my thought process,” Warren added.

He considers himself an observational painter and therefore is attracted to still life and landscape painting.

“Still life and landscapes are always available. It allows tone composition and values the color and rhythm in a painting,” added Warren. “I do not make things up. I react and respond to what is outside me.”

While Warren does still life paintings in the winter, he does landscape paintings during the summer.

An exhibit of eight of his still life and landscape paintings is underway at the Cathance River Gallery in Bowdoinham.

One of the still life paintings that are on display at an art exhibition at the Cathance River Gallery in Bowdoinham. Michael Mahan

The landscape paintings depict marshes, and still life paintings are a composition of bowls and saucers on a table, inspired by 20th-century Italian painter Giorgio Morandi’s work.

While he has been to many exhibits before and held private exhibitions at his studio, this will be his first time putting up a show closest to Brunswick.

“I am drawn towards the Bowdoinham art gallery because it is located at the corner of the village. Some people that I know renovated the space put in lights and made a beautiful setting, and invited craftsmen and artists to share exhibitions there,” said Warren.

“It brings appreciation to the center of the community of Bowdoinham, and I like being part of that. The place is not set off by itself somewhere. It’s a part of the community, and it is appealing to me,” added Warren.

There will be Artists Talkland Conversation, ‘Prayer and Painting’ at 1 p.m. on Dec. 4 at Cathance River Gallery in Bowdoinham.


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