Unedited conversations between artist in a productive critique  discovering  thesis and processes behind the work.








Conversation between Samara Ash and Olivia Ramos.


Samara Ash

Adulation, 2014

Acrylic and Wax on Canvas

18 x 24 in.

‬‬RAMOS:  ‪i haven't done my prayer and meditation and my head is super loopy‬‬


ASH:  ‪no worries take all the time you need‬‬


awesome thank you...



20 minutes later...




RAMOS: ‪ok‬‬


maybe the conversation started appropriately


let's talk about the the cathedrals


but first


what does your spiritual practice look like these days?


‪you are absolutely right :‬‬


"i haven't done my prayer and meditation and my head is super loopy" Grand!


My spiritual practice... a search for the Creator‬‬


‪what does that look like?‬‬


reading quite a bit (scriptures)... researching about religious practices and events of ancient Israel.‬‬


Reading the bible and focusing mostly on the major historical events of the centuries with the desire to learn as much as possible in order to apply these teachings to my day to day life hence strengthening my connection with the Creator


‪through reading you are able to connect or to adjust in order to connect to Source‬‬


reading, applying the teachings to the way I act on an every day basis, meditating, and praying... asking for enlightenment


so prayer and meditation are part of it... that was not mentioned in your description above‬‬


yes correct... along with going to church and bible study‬‬


got it... so there's also a fellowship or community that helps you stay connected‬‬




Along with the mercy of the creator that strengthens, consoles, and teaches as one searches for enlightenment


‪"mercy of the creator" - compassion and kindness... is that needed?‬‬


yeah, triggered when one genuinely wishes to learn about his path‬‬


My artwork reflects part of that journey‬‬


‪is "the path" not always there and our willingness simply opens the door within ourselves?‬‬


‪I started the idolatry series a few years back as commentary on the various sets of questioning that were going through my head as I searched for God‬‬


They are all visual manifestations of questions like...‬‬


‪got it... i thought it was referring to the saints you showed me at your studio‬‬



Samara Ash

The Untitled Ones IV, 2008

Silver Gelatin Print

12 x 18 in.



Yes, those deities were part of it as well.  I began by making idols myself‬‬

trying to understand the types of qualities that these idols had to have in order to feel divine


physical characteristics


along with attributes


‪it was interesting because as I created them I was being part of a ritual (creation of idols)... but deep inside I knew they actually had no power


so I sort of placed on a visual pedestal yet I always found myself revealing their true nature to the beholder...


An example of that is "Zuu"  a painting  following the ideas behind prayer cards where the saint or deity's image is on the front and on the back you have a prayer that


sort of explains what said saint stands for.



Samara Ash

Zuu, 2010

Mixed Media Painting

48 x 60 in.


‪Zuu was the visual manifestation of a powerful idea that one fed a lot of energy too.. excessive adoration  ‬‬


and on the back of the painting I wrote what the 2 spirits (ideas) on the painting stood for.  One had no mouth ... therefore not being able to speak and the other behind her... had not eyes‬‬


‪let me digest a bit‬‬


‪if i understand prayer correctly... my intentions are directed at energies that have been given names, colors, powers, etc.


these already exist... such as Yemaya or Mother Mary


is Zuu an exiting deity?


or you are creating new ones?




I'm creating new ones...  new ones are created for us


or by us... power


money, ourselves, idolizing pop singers


or blind adoration to questionable role models


But rather than pointing fingers, I wanted to ask questions and analyze what I followed


what others follow


are you assuming there aren't already deities taking case of those currencies (fame, talent, fortune...etc)?‬‬


maybe not... i'm just wondering


‪i don't follow


you are creating a deity for money... right?‬‬




ok.. you saying that money is already a deity without a name?‬‬


Yes, many idolize money‬‬


Or themselves


or power


‪that's curious...  a deity representing my personal ego‬‬


it's tricky... so most deities have power... are powerful


a deity of power an end and not a means to an end


‪I think that the believer is the one who gives it power


‪that's a powerful statement‬‬


do you think if no one believed in God there would be no God?




‪but you think that God is powerful only through the believers?‬‬




then is it that God's power is demonstrated through the believers?‬‬


‪My commentary is towards inanimate objects‬‬


‪inanimate objects that we, as a race, seem to worship


and therefore give power to


but such would have no power otherwise


like Justin Beaver


Yes.  Agreed. Inanimate objects throughout the world and across various religions hold a focal point towards people's way of being‬‬


the rituals they perform, the ideologies they follow, the way in which sometimes things are revered and valued


or people are revered and valued


modern idolatry


I guess for some... even artwork can be placed i this category


would you say that all of these objects of the world and of the flesh are distractions of the Ego away from God?‬‬


‪I think moderation is key...


I believe asking questions and analyzing what we follow is essential


‪its important to see where our energy and devotion is going towards...


is it directed towards things that unify? teach? Things that help us grow? or become more compassionate towards others? more giving? more loving?‬‬


yes... i always like to ask, how is this being of service?‬‬


as opposed to self-serving


‪or are these ideas/people/ we follow creating gaps between us and others?‬‬


Service is key... I believe that through art we can make others more self aware


Art aids to shed light on subjects that often go unnoticed