NEWFANE >> It has been several years since my last gallery opening. So much has changed in the world and in my process as an artist. I have dedicated my time and energy to being a full time creator. The benefits have far outweighed the risks. My inspiration is a gift I am truly grateful for. Much of my earlier work was a struggle. This was a time of great fear and change in my life. Depression and addiction had a crippling affect on my soul.
I believe it is the soul that yearns for creativity. If we are not feeding this beast it will find a way to eat us. My therapist said I would get mentally sick when I was not creating. Once I heard that, something clicked. Since depression stifled inspiration, the incentive was to accelerate my creative life. This left no room for the dark thoughts to enter. The creative mind does not micro manage. It is freeing and healing.
With the help of my family, friends, priests, prayer, many doctors, several hospital stays and my higher power, I am depression free."My addiction today is art! It is positive and healthy. The art process I use has been the focus of my work for the last three years. It involves several layers of different colors and textures. I use my abstract paintings and photography to reach my goal with each piece.
Technology plays a big part in my process. At first I was hesitant to use a photo editor program. Once I saw how powerful it was, and learned to mix the old with the new, I was sold!
Over the last three years I have experimented with hundreds of layering effects. I use ink, oil sticks, pastels, acrylic paints and markers. Each medium has its own quality. I am not sure what will happen to the photograph when I start adding, subtracting and manipulating these layers. I feel I have developed signature digital style not seen elsewhere. I hope you enjoy my work as much as I did creating it!
Richard Ray: The Soul Behind the Beauty exhibition will be at the Crowell Gallery for viewing at 23 West St., Newfane, from July 1 through 31.
There will a reception on July 9 from 1 to 3 p.m. All artwork will be for sale and 25 percent of the proceeds will go to gallery foundation.