Ray Styles, Artist

paintings in oil, pastel, watermedia, and digital

Artist's Statement

"I paint to see better."

For me, painting is a way to really see the world. To see it better. To see it more accurately. To convey to you how I see it.
Painting forces me to observe deeply and to make many decisions about how I will describe the many details I observe. I find joy in reality, so I stick with classic principles of painting, such as the importance of color and values.
Even so, I do not paint in a formulaic manner, changing only the subject I paint. Why? Because I approach each painting by asking, "How can I best paint this scene?" Then I explore options. For a somewhat realistic painter like me, this is an important aspect of the creative process, and my choices as I paint can vary widely.
I've done some paintings to convey something I observed, some to express an emotion, and others to "abstract out" the essentials of the scene. For each painting, I work to convey a separate feeling using a separate approach. One painting might have smooth, simple areas of restful color. In another, dynamic, energetic marks punctuate the surface. I do each painting deliberately differently, and—I hope—successfully to convey my vision of the scene to you.
My instructional "lineage" includes a heavy impressionist influence, with an emphasis on color, as learned from Lois Griffel (whose teacher was Henry Hensche, who learned from Charles Hawthorne, who learned from Claude Monet). Several other good artists have helped me along, too. I strive to learn from each teacher, as well as from John Singer Sargent, Sergei Bongart, and other immortals no longer with us. Each has inspired me. My appreciation for their work continues to influence me each time I begin anew, saying to myself, "Now what?" 

send Ray an email:  mailto:RNStyles@gmail.com

Ferry Terminal/ digital
Willowbrook Farm/ watercolor
Hansen Road View/ pastel
Tucson Afternoon Sunset/ oil
Chiesa, Venezia/ digital
Gare du Nord, Paris/ digital
Policemen, Paris/ digital
Train station, Paris/ digital
Going home/ digital
Shopping, Paris/ digital