I believe the creative process must be preceded by some primordial urge, some instinctive need. This is followed by the desire to reach a state of child-like innocence, and thus the condition of the primal shaman. In this uninhibited emotional realm, the seed of a work of art is created. This seed is fertilized by the subconscious and brought to the embryonic level. Here, the conscious attains control, nurturing and developing the embryo into maturation. The result of this process is a work of art. The artist must be in tune with his/her true self, the subconscious, contemporary society, the vast history of art and civilization, and the wonderful complexities of the chosen medium.
Therefore, a work of art can be viewed as a visual distillation of life experience, knowledge, talent and instinct. However, a work of art is not complete until it reaches an audience, until it finds that secret realm of shared humanity.
Ray Paul began drawing and painting as a young boy, so art has always been a part of his life. Animals and images from National Geographic Magazine were his early subjects.Growing up in Ohio, dreams of Florida and all things tropical helped him survive the dreary winters and infused his palette with saturated hues. This, and a fascination with science, led him to Florida State University where he received a B.S. in Biology in 1986. Returning to his first love, art, Paul earned his M.F.A. in Painting from the University of Cincinnati in 1991.
Ray currently resides in Tampa, FL., where he maintains a studio. His work is a synthesis of life experiences and a desire to illuminate the subconscious. Elements of abstract expressionism, surrealism, pop art, biology, and psychedelic music all combine and intertwine, creating an unique style of abstract painting. Each work is an experiment, as different paints mix and swirl, with meticulous layering providing the final touch.
Ray has been diagnosed with a high-grade recurrent and metastatic myxofibrosarcoma. He is currently a patient at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. He is about to undergo surgery and radiation for a recurrence of his cancer. He previously has undergone 9 surgeries, 2 courses of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and an immunotherapy clinical trial. He recently mounted a collaborative exhibition, entitled "My Sarcoma," in the Healing Arts Gallery at Moffitt Cancer Center, curated by the University Of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum. This exhibit illuminated his experiences as an artist and cancer patient. This journey has led Ray to a greater understanding and appreciation of his work. He envisions his art to be a prescient, visual manifestation of the battle raging within, and a powerful testament to the beauty of Hope.