Wednesday, January 4, 2012

R.I.P. Dan Varner (April 19, 1949 - January 1, 2012)

Mosasaurus by Dan Varner.

I did not have the privilege to know Dan Varner and did not know until very recently, shame on me, that he was the man behind the beautiful paintings illustrating the “Oceans of Kansas” website. I sadly learned that he passed away on January 1st, 2012 after a prolonged battle with illness;  a tremendous loss for the entire paleoart community…

From all the amazing Mesozoic marine life depictions he created during his too short a career, this one is a personal favorite. Mosasaurs were after all closely related to the modern monitor lizards, so it makes perfect sense to give them a similar tongue! The underwater light effect is eye-catching and the three transfixed ammonites watching the marine lizard swimming by gives to the entire scene a unique sense of cephalopodian apprehension... simply beautiful!

It’s hardly my place, I think, for me, an amateur nobody, to give a fitting eulogy to such a great artist so I am simply directing you to the ‘in memoriam’ sections I came across on the web, starting with the “Oceans of Kansas” website, followed by tributes from paleo-illustrators Jaime Headden (check his Globidens), Matt van Roojien, David Maas and from the Art Evolved Crew.

1 comment:

  1. Aw, this guy was one of my favorite contemporary artists.