Thursday, May 13, 2010
I had the pleasure of getting to know artist Ray Strong over a period of several years, before he passed away at age 101. He was always a joy to spend time with at his studio in Santa Barbara, and at his daughter Barbara's hideaway in Three Rivers,Ca. He loved to be in nature, and painted it so beautifully. He delighted in visiting the dioramas that he painted at the museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara. They are really fantastic, if you ever get a chance, go check them out.
Ray always said what was on his mind. He whipped out his harmonica often and broke into song whenever and wherever he felt like it. Kids and adults alike adored Ray and his spirit of fun and his exuberant love of life.
His memories of working with Maynard Dixon were vivid, and he shared with me stories of camping out with Maynard Dixon, substitute teaching for Dixon at the Art Students League, (which Ray founded with his wife Betty). Would that we all could go back in time and attend classes with the incredible talent teaching those classes!
To watch video of Ray,visit my site at: http://raystrong.posterous.com/