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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Oliver Ray

Oliver Ray

"His work has been sold to collectors as far away as India, Australia, Great Britian and The Philippines. From golf tournaments to music festivals and branding for organic coffee, the copyright to Oliver Ray’s art is also in demand. And while his audience grows, this emerging artist continues to explore new subject matter from his studio on Prince Edward Island.Canadian artist, Oliver Ray, painting outdoors.

Oliver William Ray was born on the last day of summer in Winnipeg, Manitoba . As the youngest of four siblings, he became a keen observer. With an extensive library to complement the family’s eclectic art collection, the young “student” was immersed in Fine Arts from the beginning.

The most immediate and constant images in his life were of art. His uncle, now an internationally renowned illustrator, was busy studying Fine Arts in France. George Ray, Oliver’s Grandfather, was a commercial artist in the advertising department of the Hudson’s Bay Company. His Great Grandfather, also named George, wrote plays and novels (most notably the adventure romance “Kasba”, published in 1915). And Oliver’s Great Aunt Joy, who studied at the Ontario School of Art, was an accomplished landscape painter (as was her second husband). Each of these relatives added to the family’s extensive collection of works and greatly influenced Ray’s first creative impulses.

After an adventurous trip to Hong Kong and Australia, the young artist enrolled at the University of Northern British Columbia. There he was elected President of the school’s student association and became the first person to receive a Northern Studies degree in Canada. Like his great grandfather, a Conservative member of the Manitoba government, Oliver represented the Progressive Conservatives in the 2000 federal election- a campaign that became the federal party's last stand.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, inspired Oliver to join the Canadian Armed Forces, where he was commissioned an officer. A year later, he married his sweetheart, Christie Lee Westman in a small Anglican church in the tiny community of Quick, BC. Their honeymoon was a backwoods trip through northern BC to Alaska.

Artist Oliver Ray and his wife Christie.After his stint in the Military, Ray was hired by the Deputy Premier of British Columbia (and Minister of Health Services) to be her representative in the largely rural riding of Prince George – Mount Robson. At the same time, Christie developed her business acumen working for several large firms in forestry and economic development. Her skills would prove invaluable when the couple succeeded in making art a fulltime endeavour.

In 2010 Oliver and Christie fulfilled a long standing dream and moved their young (and growing) family to a small village on Prince Edward Island. They bought a 100 year old church and converted it into a home and studio. Oliver continues to spend his days painting while Christie manages their business affairs and makes art connections on a truly global scale."

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