Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A Great Man Passes: Dan Varner

"Varner, Daniel Wade. Born April 19, 1949, died January 1, 2012 in his home in Plainsboro, New Jersey. Survived by wife Marcia Bell; mother, June Varner; sisters Betsy (Ray) Troyer; Holly Varner Moe; Bonnie (Michael) Zirbes; many beloved nieces and nephews, cousins, and dear friends from the Minneapolis MN area; and friends and colleagues from all over. Dan was a very gifted painter of landscapes and wildlife, but his passion was paleontology and his paintings of prehistoric life hang in museums throughout the country and are published in books and journals on the subject. He was a kind and gentle man with a wonderful wit and will be remembered and missed by all. Donations to the American Cancer Society. Memorial service at a later date." I am still in a bit of a state of shock and totally bummed that my great pal, Dan Varner, is no longer available to chat with and laugh with and share info and pictures and camaraderie. I talked with him at least once a week by phone and exchanged emails for more than ten years. He was a wonderful man and an incredible artist, which you can plainly see. He wrote of the photo of himself: "Thought you might like this to remember me by... It's sometime in the mid-1990's. That's our truck, Daisy, in the backround and we are surrounded by miles of mosasaurs. That's about as happy as this dude ever got! Pass the plaster, please." For Dan was a guy who actually spent time in the field digging up fossils, no armchair paleontologist, who painted in oils with a classic flair. I will miss him so much. Hope his work will be more widely seen and appreciated. He has a lot of paintings at the Oceans of Kansas website and his work adorns the book of that title by Mike Everhart. Go to http://www.oceansofkansas.com/varner.html
More about this great man anon...


Anonymous said...

A great man passes indeed.

Part paleoartist, part French Impressionist. His mosasaurs looked like they had been painted by Monet. His work was a rare mixture of fine art and dinosaur science.

Wish I could have met him.

He will be missed.

-Tom de Rosier

pete said...

Amen, Tom.

Alessio said...

He'll be forever remembered... I discovered his art thanks to Mike Everhart's "Oceans of Kansas" book and i instantly LOVED his paintings of Mosasaurs and other sea denizens.

May he rest in peace.

Mark Hallett said...

Hi Pete,

I feel shocked, and sad. Dan's passing was everyone's loss, but I know how special he was to you and this makes it all the more painful. When someone is so close, so important and for so many years it's both weird and sad to accept that they're gone, like a bad dream you expect to wake from but then when you do it's still real. I hope it's of some comfort to know he's started a new life, and that he's already started truckin'. I'm sorry, Bro. Your Friend, Mark