By Bonnie Gangelhoff
Some might call California painter Ray Roberts an “artists’ artist.” Judging by his array of artists’ choice awards over the past few years, who could argue the point? Roberts is perhaps best known for capturing the rocky Pacific coastline and the majestic southwestern deserts. It comes as no surprise that he calls the great outdoors his own personal studio. Viewers of a Roberts painting can expect to find the artist’s trademark sensitivity to changing patterns of light. Maybe that’s because he often experiences Mother Nature first hand and has been known to backpack into the wilderness to set up his easel. His mission: To share his emotional experience of the scenery he paints. “My paintings are my footprints,” he is fond of saying.
Has your style or approach to your art changed since you first appeared in Southwest Art? I’ve been able to refine my vision and have more clarity about what I want to say. I’m more consistent in deciding what to paint and how I approach a painting.
What is your proudest accomplishment so far? Receiving recognition from my peers, especially all the artists’ choice awards I’ve won.
Would you have done anything differently? I’ve had some opportunities I wish I’d taken advantage of. And I wish I had listened to my wife more.
What advice do you give to artists just starting out in their careers? Draw. Draw. Draw.
What motto do you live by? Eat, drink, and sleep art.
What artists have influenced you? Maynard Dixon, William Reichel, Hanson Puthuff, Edgar Payne, Gustav Klimt, and Leon Gaspard.
What are you working on now? California seascapes and landscapes.
What’s your next big goal? To further refine my vision.
Knowlton Gallery, Lodi, CA; James J. Rieser Fine Art, Carmel, CA; Michael Hollis Fine Art, Pasadena, CA; Mark Sublette Medicine Man Gallery, Tucson, AZ, and Santa Fe, NM.
First appearance in Southwest Art: Profile, March 1998
Awards won since then: Artists’ Choice Award, 2006, 2004, and 2003, Laguna Beach Plein-Air Painting Invitational; Artists’ Choice Award, 2004, Maynard Dixon Country Invitational Art Exhibition; Best of Show, 2004, Gold Medal Juried Exhibition, Pasadena Museum of California Art. Artists’ Choice Award, 2003, Carmel Art Festival, Carmel, CA.
Price change since then: My prices have more than doubled.
Featured in “Success Stories” in December 2009