Donray (full legal name, Donald Arvin Ray) was born July 29, 1945 in Houston, TX. and grew up in Texas. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps in Vietnam (1967-68) and was awarded a letter of commendation for his service from the Commanding General of Marine forces and a plaque of appreciation from the Chief of Staff. After military service, he went to law school. While in law school, he studied art. Eventually, like others before him (Matisse and Kandinsky), he abandoned law and focused on developing as an artist. He lived in New York in the 1990s where he developed his techniques in painting and pastels and attended the lectures of Knox Martin at The Art Students League of New York. His work has been exhibited from 1989 through 2020 in New York, London (UK), Washington (DC), and in Texas (Arlington, Austin, Dallas, Fort Worth and Houston). He has lectured in various venues including The Art Students League of New York by invitation in 2016 and at the Arlington Museum of Art in Arlington, Texas in 2015, 2016 and 2020. Essays and statements about his work have been written by prominent critics such as Donald Kuspit, Dr. Ruth Bass and Edward Lucie-Smith and by New York school artist and educator, Knox Martin.
Donray has developed unique methods of working in acrylics and pastels. He invented a technique involving the use of translucent cut-outs made from acrylic materials applied to the surface of his paintings in overlapping layers. The gloss medium used in this process often gives the appearance of shards of glass. This technique, in conjunction with brushwork, pouring and dripping, also creates the sense of motion. His most notable technique in pastels is the use of kneaded erasers to create images and sweeping gestural lines by erasure in materials applied to the surface with hands and fingers. As with acrylics, his pastels are built up in layers with multiple images suggesting motion.
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