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Ray is a native of Martinsburg, West Virginia which is located in the northern end of the Shenandoah Valley just east of the Appalachian mountains. As a native West Virginian, he loved to fish, hike and hunt the mountains, streams and rivers of eastern West Virginia. Since childhood he was entranced with drawing, art and photography.
Development as an Artist
From copying comic characters to drawing original sketches in his childhood and teenage years, he slowly developed his artistic skills. His aunt, who saw promise in his raw talent, gave him a set of oils in exchange for a promise to receive a painting. Even though he quickly honored her request, he shelved oil medium until later years. When he was 20 years old, his art development was put on hold when he responded to God's unexpected call into the ordained ministry of the United Methodist Church which changed the direction of his life for the next 40 years. While in college he took a number of courses in art and discovered an interest in watercolor painting. However, he did not pursue that interest for a number of years due to educational and job demands. In 1977 he was assigned as pastor of a church on the Eastern Shore of Virginia where a number of excellent watercolor artists practiced their craft and his interest in watercolor painting was rekindled. After taking several courses in watercolors at the local community college under Willie Crockett, a local watercolorist and a watercolor workshop taught by Robert Burnell of Portsmouth, VA, his professional career as an artist took off. He began exhibiting in street shows, wildlife festivals, art league shows, galleries, church bazaars, juried exhibitions, and online at www. fineartamerica.com.
Ray has taught introduction to art in high school and has taught classes in watercolors in four churches and given demonstrations in churches and civic organizations. He currently has a number of instructional videos on his YouTube channel, YouTube/RayEdmonds.
Even though Ray's pastoral ministry kept him from exhibiting in many shows but he continued to paint and exhibit when possible. He has won awards and purchase awards as well as the accolades of appreciative church members. His artwork is displayed in homes and offices throughout eastern United States and is currently available from this website, from www. raymond-edmonds.pixels.com and from www.FineArtAmerica.com and directly from his studio in Point Harbor, North Carolina. A list of his past exhibitions, awards and churches using the Print Program are listed below.
Artist's Style and Genre
Ray's art paints in a traditional, realistic style that is easily understood and enjoyed. Often his scenes are nostalgic and familiar scenes from the areas he has served as minister--mountains, seascapes, landscapes, wildlife and portraits of churches. However beneath these first impressions lie a complexity of emotions that often cannot be put in words. Viewers are drawn to time and place where they may have experienced a similar scene but yet it takes on a new meaning or feeling of its own. Many viewers experience a calmness, peacefulness and serenity which may give us a little insight into the character and calm demeanor of the artist himself.
Exhibitions and Art Shows
Churches Who Have Used Art Print Program
Member of the Dare Arts Council, Dare County, NC
Past member of the Rappahannock Art League,
Member of the Watercolor Society of North Carolina