James C Varnum

James C. Varnum is an experimental abstract painter working in watercolor, alcohol inks and liquid graphite. He studied art in both Boston and San Francisco, and holds a B.F.A. from the San Francisco Art Institute. James’ professional life was in special education and upon retiring he picked up the palette again. James is a member in multiple art associations and actively exhibits in the greater Boston area. He is represented by 13Forest Gallery in Arlington and is a member of Galatea Fine Art in SoWa.

In his artist statement, James explains his process. “My paintings are combinations of layered colors, movements and various textures on traditional watercolor papers and on substrates such as Yupo and Terra-Skin. I use a variety of materials to create texture plastic wrap, waxed paper, masking fluid, salt, and spray bottles with water or alcohol. I move the pigments with various tools including brushes, combs, squeegees, and palette knives. Finally, I add lines and marks with ink or graphite. Occasionally I cut up my work and weave two paintings together to produce a new creation. By adding wax paper or plastic wrap to the pigments as they dry, various textures evolve. When I start my drawings, I follow these contours to produce interesting lines, shapes and maps upon the dried image.”

You can view more of James C. Varnum’s work by visiting his website at www.jcvarnumart.com.

Selected Works