Christina Ramos: Contemporary Portraits

NOAPS Ramos Bruce the artist

“The Artist” 24×30, Golden Acrylic, Collection of the Artist.  This painting has been selected for the 2017 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit at the Castle Gallery in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Ever  since humans could hold a piece of charcoal we have been drawing each other.  What we have learned from the paintings of our predecessors are the customs, lifestyles, dress, and conditions of people of our past.  In the painting “The Artist” Christina Ramos has continued this tradition.  She has explained to us in one poignant painting the life of a young, contemporary artist living the urban lifestyle.  She has shown us the hope, the despair, the freedom and the limitations that might exist in the spirit of today’s young artist.  The story is complete but not finished, for we can tell by the expression on the young woman’s face she is thinking of her next painting…

NOAPS Ramos Going to California 300dpi ARC  “Going to California”, 24×36, Acrylic, available at http://www.christinaramosart.com

Christina Ramos takes the traditions of past artists such as Gerome, Bouguereau and Alla-Tadema and translates those techniques using modern materials.  Primarily an acrylic painter, she has taught herself how to paint in this medium with a result that resembles these Masters.  Acrylic seemed to be the best medium for her long-time love of drawing and painting, as it was easiest to manage while raising her family.  Based on her appreciation for the Old Masters, she developed a method of acrylic painting that she now teaches at the Los Angeles Academy of Figurative Art.

NOAPS Ramos_Christina_The Critic  “The Critic” 24×48, Acrylic, available at the Chim Maya Gallery, East Los Angeles.

Contemporary portraits garner most of Ramos’ painting time.  She often draws inspiration from books, museums and galleries, but often finds her models at home: her children.  She experiments with costumes, backgrounds and settings to find the right mix for the story she intends to tell.  For example, in “The Artist”, a painting of her daughter, Ramos states: “I wanted to do a painting of her that portrayed her as the amazing artist that she is.  I painted her in an urban street environment, and used a drawing that I found in her sketch book as the mural that is behind her.”

Ramos’ process begins with an idea, a clear vision.  Because she is working in acrylic, she finds that she can quickly alter her compositions, so does not feel the need to do preparatory drawings.  Using Golden acrylics, she does not have the luxury of long open time with the paint, and has used this to her advantage.  She uses a combination of opaque and transparent pigments to simulate the effect of blending with no extenders or mediums.  She occasionally will use the Golden OPEN line of paints if painting during hot dry weather.  Her palette consists of Carbon Black, Dioxozine Purple, Burnt Umber, Ultramarine Blue, Permanent Green, Burnt Sienna, Alizarin Crimson or Quinacradone Burnt Orange, Cadmium Red Light, Titanium Buff, and Titanium White.  She uses vibrant pure color, and then mixes shades and tints.   To see a comprehensive breakdown of her process, visit her website at http://www.christinaramosart.com and go to “Tutorial”.

NOAPS Ramos_Christina_The Lookout  “The Lookout” 24×36, Acrylic, available at http://www.christinaramosart.com

Working out of her home works well for Ramos; she finds that she is continually looking at her paintings throughout the day, searching for solutions until she is satisfied with the outcome.  She works on one painting at a time, taking each to completion before beginning another.

NOAPS Ramos The Blacksmith 24x30 Acrylic on Canvas  “The Blacksmith”, 24×30, Acrylic, Collection of the Artist

In 2015 Ramos was acknowledged as “An Artist to Watch” by Southwest Art Magazine.  She is also a Working Artist for the Golden Paints Company, and as such gives lectures at colleges, universities, art groups and retailers on paint related topics such as pigments, binders, color fastness, gels and pastes.  She enjoys the educational aspect of this work, as she “loves to motivate people, and get them as excited about painting as I am”.

Ramos feels she learns most from her failures, not successes.  The once discouraging rejection letter now has become a source of motivation; as she tells us, “Never quit painting!  If only for yourself, never stop creating and expressing yourself through your art.  In the big picture, my family, my friends and my faith are the things that I hold most dear.  The rest is just icing on the cake.”

Christina Ramos is represented by Chim Maya Gallery, East Los Angeles, and Arte De Americas, Fresno, California.  To see more of her work, visit her website at http://www.christinaramosart.com.

To see more selections of the 2017 NOAPS Best of America Exhibit, visit http://www.noaps.org/exhibitions.  The exhibit will be shown at the Castle Gallery Fine Art, Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Visit us on Facebook and Instagram (Natoilandacrylicsociety)

By Patricia Tribastone, NOAPS Blog Director

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