Central to the upcoming “Abstractions in Oil” exhibit featuring the work of the Rev. Canon Warner Traynham is this canvas titled “Icarus,” recalling the main character in the classic Greek myth.

“Abstractions in Oil,” an exhibit of paintings by the Rev. Canon Warner Traynham, will be on view at St. Paul’s Commons Jan. 21 – March 31, with an Artist’s Preview Reception set for 3 – 6 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25. Bishop John Harvey Taylor will host an reception Feb. 13, 6 – 8 p.m., in honor of Traynham, who retired 18 years ago as rector of St. John’s, Los Angeles. All are welcome at both receptions.

“I tell people that painting is a kind of therapy for me,” Traynham notes in his artist’s statement for the exhibit. “In ministry, you are not always certain of your impact. With painting, when you put the pigment on canvas or board, the feedback is immediate. Either it looks the way you want or it does not. In which case you can continue, or wipe it out and begin again, until you get it to look the way you want, or accept the accident and incorporate it in your vision.

“I began doing representational paintings, like the ‘Icon of the Black Christ’ (included in the exhibit) and now I am mostly doing abstractions. My abstractions derive sometimes from the things I see, but mostly from my imagination. With abstractions, I call myself a colorist. I expect this exhibit will make it clear why.”

Born in Baltimore and educated at Dartmouth, Oxford and the Virginia Theological Seminary, Traynham describes himself as “a self-taught painter.”

Selected paintings are available for purchase from the artist. St. Paul’s Commons is located at 840 Echo Park Ave., Los Angeles 90026, with two levels of free secured parking. For further information, email media@ladiocese.org or call 213.482.2040, ext. 240.