I first discovered the paintings of John Ramos when I was a student in Long Beach. I went into a gallery in Seal Beach and was struck by this style of painting I’d never seen, calming colors and visions of a life I wanted to be pasted into.
Ramos, originally from Chihuahua, Mexico, paints the coastal towns of Baja California, where he traveled, surfed and found inspiration. But he also paints California’s Highway 101, particularly near San Luis Obispo. After spending a lot of my teenage years in the same area, I was excited to see a painter who could translate the freedom and beauty of that special part of California. (I also feel connected to him because he’s a Cal State Long Beach alum, too; though he was there four decades before me 🙂 ).
My favorites of his paintings are each of the ones that seem as though we’re viewing them from someone else’s eyes: The interior car shots, the bathtub scene and the sitting-in-a-hammock-with-a-cold-Corona scene. They all just make you want to be right there, on the beach doing nothing. Don’t you agree.
Next time I make a trip down Highway 101, I’m for sure going to visit his gallery in San Luis Obispo. I probably won’t be able to buy his art until I get out of the money-less profession known as journalism, but at least I can dream.
Let me know what you think of Ramos and his paintings. Who are your faves?