'Artists can, do anything, be anyone, go anywhere, all while standing at their easel.'
Christina Ramos is a figurative realist painter based in Los Angeles. Her work is held in collections nationally and internationally. In Christina’s art, the models may appear quirky and expressive, there may be a playful twist, or a social comment within the colourful composition. Overwhelmingly, it is apparent Christina loves to share the stories of our human existence.
Where is your current studio? What would be your dream studio?
Currently at the island in between my kitchen, den, and dining room. Ideally, I would love a large room with high ceilings, north light, cement floors and tons of wall space. One day.....sigh Do you prefer to work in silence or does certain music inspire you?
I usually listen to music. Sometimes I forget and work in silence, but when I am playing music it anything from Chopin, to Led Zeppelin, Country, Rap, R&B, Old School, you name it, I'll listen to it. All depends on my mood. Studio life can lead to isolation, how do you address this/ keep a balance?
Up until the last year, at least one of my four kids always seemed to be here. Now that most of them have moved out I am starting to feel a bit more isolated. Covid-19 has definitely had an impact on the little socializing I used to do. Now during the day I usually try to go hiking for a couple hours and get some fresh air and change of scenery. What is your favourite/ least favourite part of the creative process?
Painting a portrait is easy, making that portrait interesting and unique is hard. I think trying to think outside the box and find new directions can be really challenging. My models usually play a big role in creating my vision. Once again, Covid-19 has impacted that. I haven't been able to work with a live model now for almost a year and that has produced a lot of "painters block' for me.
Do you have a personal mantra or quote which serves to motivate you?
"Behold the turtle, he only makes progress when he sticks his neck out" Don't know where I heard that, but I keep it taped to my easel :)
How has your style evolved and what contributed to the changes?
I think 2020 had an impact on my style for sure. I started painting a series called "Black Lives Inspire" which was me trying to honor the African American artists and musicians who had impacted my life in one way or another. I began working in a more monochromatic, loose and less developed style for this series. I really had fun doing it, and now flip back and forth between that and my more tight, highly rendered work. Nature versus nurture- do you believe you have inherited abilities from creative parents, do you have creative siblings? Can you identify environmental factors or influences which led to your choices or directions?
Although my father was a painter, and I did have some natural ability, it has never been easy for me. I tell my student now, that my favorite "art book" is Malcolm Gladwell's "The Outliers". The book has nothing to do with art, it is however, a book on different paths to success. There's a chapter in there called 10,000 hours. It boils down to anything you put 10,000 hours into, you will be good at. I think art is 10% talent, and 90% work ethic. My love for the process of creating, and my continual dissatisfaction with everything I paint, keeps me at it. I keep telling myself, the next one will be better. Very rarely do I stand back and think "oh I nailed that" lol.
If you could time travel, what advice would you give the younger you, regarding pursuing your artmaking?
Start painting now, instead of waiting until you're 30. What do you hope to convey through your work?
I've always been in the mindset that I want people to create their own story, make their own assumptions, find something beautiful, or ugly, or funny, or thought provoking. One reason I've never been a fan or "Artists Statements" is, that if we could compare it to music, you shouldn't have to explain the music for the listener to appreciate it. It should speak for itself, saying one thing to one person, and something completely different to another.