Paul Ramsay


Introduction to Painting Practice

Starting point

In another time, in another county, I began experimenting mixing paint with domestic materials such as washing up liquid, toothpaste, shampoo etc. as a provocative action, just to see what would happen. I then gravitated towards chemistry set chemicals before finally deciding on a mix of paint and sodium chloride - salt - as my chosen medium. Salt and paint for me are like the three colours of blue, rose and gold were for Yves Klein: Ur materials from which to create.
My influences at the time were people like Arthur Koestler, writing about the nature of creativity and Edward DeBono who advocated playful provocations to uncover fresh territories. Brian Eno's interviews played a big part in my thinking and my aspirations, the idea that one can articulate complex ideas to produce beautiful things (in his case music and video art). Later, I followed up on his influences: Cornelius Cardew, Gavin Bryars, John Cage and found the FLUXUS group, whose work chimed so much with me. All of these had one thing in common - they were prepared to work hard to expore open-ended goals.


And so to summarise and emphasise: my painting practice involves the use of water-based paint and salt as my raw materials, from which I develop pieces heuristically, in a variety of forms, often from re-worked materials. This website documents the various outcomes of my approach.
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© Paul Ramsay | 2022