Ray Roberts is one of California's most respected Plein Air artists. He has recently won the Gold Medal for "Best Painting" at the California Art Club and the Artists' Choice Award, the highest accolade from fellow artists, at three major Southwest art events. Ray Roberts is best known for his seascapes, figurative work, and majestic views of California and the Southwest.
Artistic style and influences
Ray Roberts' vibrant use of color, bold textures, and sensitivity to shifting patterns of light give life and movement to his paintings. They are to be experienced, not merely observed.
Inspired by such early California impressionists as Hanson Puthuff, William Wendt, and William Ritschel, Ray Roberts seeks to capture the luminous, golden light and the magnificent, vanishing landscapes of his native state. Like his other great hero, Maynard Dixon, Ray Roberts shares a reverence for the land and a marked spirituality in his work.
Ray Roberts believes in the importance of artistic legacy. "There's a brotherhood of painters who came before me and who will come after. We speak in the past, present, and future. We talk about our experience and personality, our torments and exhilarations; we talk about the beauty of the fleeting light, time and of our family, friends and acquaintances."
Born in 1954, Ray Roberts grew up in an Orange County with orange groves, before the days of freeways and sprawling housing developments. It has given him an enduring affection for the untamed, undeveloped California of his youth.
One boyhood neighbor was painter Evelyn Nunn Miller, who would let Ray Roberts into her studio to retrieve the balls he'd hit over her fence. Later, after the early death of his father and mother's ill-health, Ray Roberts was sent to Orme School, a beautiful, ranch-style boarding school in the Arizona desert. Its strong fine arts program helped Ray Roberts to discover his artistic talent.
He then attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he studied under John Asaro. He has also studied under Dan McCaw, Len Chmiel, and Mark Daily.
Art Center is where Ray Roberts also met his wife, impressionist painter Peggi Kroll. While dating, the two of them would go out nightclubbing, to sketch rather than dance! It has been a successful partnership ever since.
Like many successful artists before him, Ray Roberts first pursued a career as an illustrator, establishing a studio in Los Angeles and then Scottsdale, Arizona. He got up the courage to switch to fine art in 1992 and has never looked back. Ray and Peggi now live with their three children and assorted animals on a 20 acre ranch in Angel's Camp, an old California gold rush town, surrounded by the oak-studded hills which he frequently paints.
The great outdoors is RayRoberts' studio. A bit of an adventurer, he's been known to backpack for several days into the wilderness, set up his easel on a cliff edge, or in the surf, for just the right setting.
Ray on Ray
"Over the years I've become my own artist. I'm constantly searching and evolving. When I go out to paint, whether it's on the coast, the mountains or the desert, I look for something that speaks to me emotionally, and try to get that communication across. I hope that people can share my vision through the canvas. My paintings are my footprints."
Awards and Affiliations
- Signature Member - Plein Air Painters of America (PAPA)
- Signature Member - California Art Club (CAC)
- Signature Member - Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA)
- Signature Member - Northwest Rendezvous
- 2012 - Best of Show, Maynard Dixon Country, Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts
- 2012 - Artists Choice Award, Maui Plein Air Invitational, Maui, Hawaii
- 2012 - Best of Show, California Art Club Gold Meda Exhibition, Autry Museum, Los Angeles, CA
- 2012 - Southwest Art magazine, Award of Excellence
- 2012 - Landscapes of the West, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
- 2012 - 4th Annual Small Works Show and Sale, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
- 2011 - Best of Show, Maynard Dixon Country, Thunderbird Foundation for the Arts, Mount Carmel, UT
- 2011 - Best of Show, laguna Art Museum Plein Air Invitational, laguna Beach, CA
- 2007 - Haggin Museum, Stockton
- 2007 - Santa Lucia Preserve, Invitational En Plein Air, Carmel, CA
- 2007 Exhibitor, Arizona: A Millennium of Arizona Art, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ
- 2004 Gold Medal for "Best Painting" at the California Art Club's 94th Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition, Pasadena Museum of California Art, Pasadena, California
- 2004 Artists' Choice Award- Laguna Plein Air Invitational Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California
- 2004 Artists' Choice Award- Maynard Dixon Country Invitational Mount Carmel, Utah
- 2003 Artists' Choice, Laguna Plein Air Invitational, Laguna, California
- 2003 Artists' Choice Award, Carmel Plein Air Festival, Carmel, California
- 2003 Honorable Mention, Carmel Plein Air Festival, Carmel, California
- 2003 Maynard Dixon Award, Sonoran Desert Invitational, Tucson, Arizona
- 2002 Honorable Mention, Laguna Plein Air Invitational, Laguna, California
- 2001 Honorable Mention, Scene on the Straight, Vallejo, California
- 2001 American Artist Magazine Award for Excellence, Oil Painters of America National Juried Show, Palm Desert, California
- 2000 Best of Show, American Impressionist Society, Cincinnati, Ohio
- 1999 Honorable Mention, Laguna Plein Air Invitational, Laguna, California
- 1999 Best Seascape, Ebell Club Annual Art Show, Los Angeles, California
- 1999 Artists' Choice Award, Carmel Plein Air Festival, Carmel, California
- 1995 Best of Show, Phippen Memorial Art Show, Prescott, Arizona
- 1995 First Place Oil, Phippen Memorial Art Show, Prescott, Arizona
- 1995 Best of Show, Beaver Creek Art Festival, Beaver Creek, Colorado
- 1994 Best Portrait, Oil Painters of America, Chicago, Illinois
- 1994 Tara Fredeicks Award, Oil Painters of America, Chicago, Illinois
- 1994 Best of Show, Beaver Creek Art Festival, Beaver Creek, Colorado
- 1993 Best of Show, Beaver Creek Art Festival, Beaver Creek, Colorado
More Selected Exhibitions
- 2010 Diné, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Santa Fe, NM
- 2009 Historic Trading Posts of the West, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ
- 2007 Santa Lucia Preserve, Invitational En Plein Air, Carmel, CA
- 2007 Arizona: A Millennium of Arizona Art, Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ
- 2003 Desert Landscapes Show, California Art Club
- 2003 On Location in Malibu, Frederick Weisman Museum of Art, California
- 2003-01 Northwest Rendezvous, Montana
- 2002 Museum of the Rockies Invitational Show, Colorado
- 2002 American Impressionist Society Show, California
- 2001 American Impressionist Society Show, California
- 2001 Two Person Show, Medicine Man Gallery, New Mexico
- 2001 California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition, California
- 2000 American Impressionist Society Show, Ohio
Return to Ray Roberts' Paintings