‘Desert Hikes’ oil painting exhibit now open

The Maturango Museum is now exhibiting “Desert Hikes,” featuring the oil paintings of Warner Graves.

“With my oils I seek to bridge traditional desert landscape painting with explorations in contemporary art,” said Warner.

“As both an artist and an avid desert explorer, I often wonder how to create work that builds on the rich traditions of desert landscapes but bring in a personal aesthetic.

“My early attempts played with photo realism, but I have since enjoyed working in a looser, more gestural style. I am able to introduce elements of abstraction, not only depicting the landscape but also playing with the various forms of energy I find at specific locations — light, wind, sun, and the repetition in patterns.

“All my various backgrounds in the arts inform my work. A history in ceramic sculpture finds itself in the thick and heavy use of paint on the surface, creating multiple layers and textures. A career as an illustrator comes through in the attention to detail and an exactness of brush strokes. And I’ve spent most of my adult life working as a painter for designers creating custom interiors. From this career I’ve grown attuned to the role and dynamics of color in my oil paintings.

“With my current series of oils, I hope the viewer finds beauty in the depiction of the desert environment but is also challenged to view the natural world not as a static form but as a living entity, imbued with vitality and flux.”

His work will be on display through Sept. 4.

Story First Published: 2018-07-27