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