by Ramsay Wise
These five Winter paintings come from a series originally comprised of forty-four works (#12 and #20 were painted over somewhere along the lines, but am uncertain where they ended up). Although in hindsight the series was a logical progression from previous series I did earlier last year (Flowers, Rain, Sunset), it really was motivated by how damn hot it was at the end of last summer. In that sense, I guess, they could be read as ironic: wishful, anticipatory, hopeful. I don’t have air conditioning in my studio.
I find landscapes compelling as subjects because they seem suited to straddling abstract and representational modes, the area between which I feel most comfortable working. They suit my application methods as well, which are often improvisational and decidedly industrial. I use things I either find in the garage or at hardware stores. Trowels, large masonry brushes, squeegees, spray paint applied directly from the commercial canister. I work quickly, canvas flat on a table, and the work is physical, standing always, rotating the canvas, scraping, pouring, spraying, and swiping.
I am most comfortable working at 60/40: 60 % preconception and practiced technique and 40% whatever happens. Sometimes the whatever happens gets folded later into practiced technique and sometimes preconception and practiced technique veers wildly into whatever happens. I work on five or six canvases at a time until, to paraphrase Gerhard Richter, they don’t disturb me anymore. And then I move them out to dry to make room on the tables for more blank canvas. The blank canvas is really the only motivation.
Ramsay Wise is and artist working primarily in spray paint and acrylic. His paintings work somewhere between abstraction and representation. He avoids proper paint brushes, paints only on canvases laid flat on a table, and mixes mediums. He is motivated by an empty canvas, broad archetypal subjects and unconventional application techniques. His paintings can be seen in recent issues of Mud Season Review, The Sonder Review, Prick of the Spindle, and Foliate Oak Literary Magazine. Wise teaches film studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia and English at Missouri University of Science and Technology.