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Ray was born and raised in northern California.
As a young boy, he didn't want any toys, just a ball of clay, paperclip and rubber bands to make his own toys. Drawing was something that was a high priority for Ray.
He then started to paint when a back injury stopped his avid participation in sports. He painted constantly to relieve the pain and one of his high school teachers, after seeing his artwork, encouraged Ray to continue.
He then started receiving scholarships to take classes with professional artists. Ray graduated with distinction from the California College of Arts.
One of the early highlights of Ray's career was participation in the 1967 National Museum Tour sponsored by Hallmark where he won several awards including the first place award in painting.
In the late sixties, Ray studied and painted in Europe. He took college classes in Ireland, the home of his ancestors, but was not enamored with the strict directives so he returned to the U.S. where he could have more artistic freedom with his paintings.
His unique vision through enlarged images and illusion grasps the essence of the subject matter he paints. He challenges the viewer to see the reality in each painting with renewed emotion.
Ray has had many highlights in his career with exhibits at numerous museums several of which include the Oakland Museum of Art, Modern Art Museum in San Francisco and Crocker Kingsley Museum of Art.
He has also been commissioned to paint several famous individuals, including Oprah Winfrey and Elizabeth Taylor among others.