This painting titled "Oil on Canvas" was painted shortly after the deepwater horizon oil spill in 2010. It is the first piece in my series of Oil platforms which I am still working on. My oil platform paintings are viewed by some as a testament to awe inspiring feats of engineering by mankind. Others view them as a representation of all that is ugly in man's creations and our never ending hunger for oil which is surely harming the environment in which we live. To me they stand as icons. These oil platforms are highly recognizable, monumental structures, which represent the things we value most as a society. I try to represent them as they are; huge and powerful machines within a beautiful environment.
On my last fishing trip, we saw this dragger. These ships can be especially detrimental to the environment. They pull a dredge along the bottom of the ocean to collect shellfish and it can damage the seabed.
As with the oil rigs I've painted in the past, I see a certain beauty in the size and power of man-made structures juxtaposed with the serenity and peace of the natural world.
This painting is still in progress and there is still work to be done on the ship. I think i will make the windows in the front of the ship darker.
In this painting i tried some new techniques for making water. I apologize for the low picture quality, but when I'm done painting it I will take better pictures and post them on www.jayvarney.com
Here are three new paintings, I just finished. I'm working on a few others and will post pictures soon.
A friend has recently been asking a lot about the drips in my work.
I usually answer by saying "the drips allow me to have a more open mind. Working with turpentine washes allows me to view the image as imperminent and gives me the freedom to make changes. Also, puting a wash over the whole piece provides a consistancy and unity throughout the image."
I might also say, "What is the difference between a brush stroke and a drip? I'm simply letting the paint do what it does naturally." I see this as a very Bauhausian idea; exploring what the medium is capable of.
I am extremely aware of the fact that people will read into the drips and think they are representative of some bigger idea and I am very wary of this. But there is no denying that the drips provide a mood. This mood, I have realized, is one of Destructive Beauty. I am fascinated with factories, oil rigs, and cities. I see them as powerful destructive forces and I see their destructive power as sad yet beautiful.
The piece below, does a good job at expressing this feeling.
I'm just starting to finish up a group of paintings right now (I like to work on about 10 paintings simultaneously) and I will be posting them as they are finished.
Here are a few:
Vincent Van Gogh once said, "I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." I know what he meant when he said this and I agree 100%
A lot of my new paintings are night scenes, concentrating on the presence of light sources within the painting and the reflection of those lights on water. I'm sort of revisiting and refining some of the same themes I worked with in older pieces such as the two below.
I drew this yesterday after a dream I had the night before.
This giant cyclops woman pulled herself out of a hole in the ground and smiled at me. Her look was calming and I was drawn to her even though she was so big I could fit in the palm of her hand.
When I got closer though, a second eye appeared on her forehead and her head split open, exposing her brain. The split in her head grew teeth and she started to come after me; grabbing at me and trying to eat me with her brain. I think she wanted to steal my knowledge by absorbing my consciousness and trapping me inside her head.
I know it's really silly, but I was really terrified when I woke up and I couldn't get it out of my head until I made this drawing.