About Sam Ralston
Art is a big part of my life. It gives me purpose and direction. I’ve always felt the need to be creative. It makes me feel different...in a very good way. People think my work looks like internal organs, creatures or some form of sea life. I play on that. They’re usually from free form sketches where I let my brain go on autopilot. Some of my sketches sit around for years, while others are used, often combined and then translated to paint. At first, the shapes weren’t important. I was more interested in creating a mood with color, a balance with high contrast. The shapes were almost secondary. Now years later, the shapes have become much more important. I want them to be believable, not necessarily representational. I want them to be recognizable, even though most of my subject matter doesn’t exist in nature. I want my work to stand out, almost glow. Many people have asked what inspires me. I get my queues from nature, underwater environments, science fiction and Art Nouveau.
I was born in South Amboy, NJ, in 1967. After moving several times, my family settled in Monroe Township, NJ. I started painting in my early twenties. I dabbled in illustration while still in high school, but didn’t truly find my niche until the late 1980s, when I began taking classes at DuCret Art School in Plainfield, NJ. This is where I experienced my first oil painting class. I enrolled as a part-time student at Kean College in Union, NJ, in 1989. I took night classes to become an art teacher then changed my major to graphic design. Over the years, I’ve displayed my work in different venues and have won a number of awards. I’ve sold many paintings to private clients and have been commissioned on a number of occasions. I now work full-time as a graphic designer and paint in my free time.