Carl Ramsey

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Carl Ramsey (1946-) was an illustrator for many years.  He has always considered himself fortunate to have spent his youth in the still semi-rural environs of southern San Diego County.  At nearby Southwestern College (1964-66) he came under the guidance of an excellent art department faculty, including the conceptual artist John Baldessari, who suggested late nights at Barney's Beanery and classes at Chouinard Art Institute at developmental next steps.

Four years later Ramsey began a career in illustration.  Advertising agencies, Motor Trend Magazine, album cover designers, and eventually motion picture studios supplied the assignments and tight deadlines for the next two and a half decades.  Baseball and fly fishing supplied the sanity.

One-sheet illustrations, including the final art for Quest for Fire, One Crazy Summer, Risky Business, Police Academy 4, Return of the Living Dead and Beetlejuice, along with innumerable drawings, sketches and other paintings were produced for film releases during the 1980s and early 1990s.

Landscape painting and figurative work now provide the painter's daily activity.  A move to a loft studio in the Historic Core District of downtown Los Angeles has allowed him immediate access to some very interesting and visually stimulating subject matter.

In addition, a series of paintings commissioned by the US Nave for the Hospital Ship USNS Mercy, depicting the ship's exterior and activity aboard was completed and installed in early 2002.

Carl Ramsey sees each of his painting as a series of interlocking puzzles, and doesn't have a standard approach to, or formula for, the process of painting.  He explains, "Ideally, the subject suggests the style and method of execution.  His keeps the door open for exploration.  Personal satisfaction is derived from the balance between dedication to a solution proposed by the subject itself and the imposition of one's own bias."

Technique (not to be confused with style) is avoided.  On the rare occasion Carl sees it creeping into his work he will obliterate it.  He feels he is most successful when he has created a painting that is both interesting and non-derivative.

Carl admires certain representational and abstract painters for their individual aesthetics.  A few of his favorites are Monet, Whistler, Degas, Kline, Pollock and Diebenkorn.  He, at this point in his career and in a contradictory fashion, limits his contact with the work of others, preferring the clarity of at least a partial vacuum.

Carl Ramsey is a member of Oil Painters of America and an Artist Member of the California Art Club.


Surreal Landscape Day

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