Ray was raised and has painted in and around Williamstown for most of his 71 years. He attended informal after-school art training for a short period. In early adult life Ray sought out more formal training in the traditional oil painting method. He attended lessons first with Lance McNeil and later with the Victorian Artists' society and Shirley Bourne.
The society awarded Ray its highest distinction: Artist of the year four times.
Ray has won many other painting awards and has painted numerous commissions. He has been requested to judge art exhibitions and perform painting demonstrations and workshops.
Following painting trips to France and England, in 2010 and 2011 Ray held a successful art exhibitions of landscapes of the regions of Provence and Cornwell.
Ray is a member of the Victorian Artists' society and currently president of the Twenty Melbourne Painters Society.
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