Carl Ray First Nations Artist, Native Canadian Paintings in Motion – Morphing Art
– Video Testimonials (1000s) on Authentic Hand Painted Canvas Art Paintings…….
Carl Ray (1943–1978) was a First Nations artist who was active on the Canadian art scene from 1969 until his death in 1978. Considered primarily a Woodlands Style artist, he also painted European style wildlife and landscapes. He was a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven.
Self-taught artist Carl Ray was born in 1943 on the Sandy Lake First Nation reserve in northern Ontario, Canada and was known in his Cree community as Tall Straight Poplar (he was 6’4″ tall) where he hunted and trapped after leaving residential school at fifteen following the death of his father. At this traditional way of living he was a failure – in Carl’s own words years later: “a year’s catch consisted of four beaver, one lynx, and an assortment of mice and rabbits”. Despite showing artistic promise at an early age, Carl was reluctant to break the taboo of painting the sacred beliefs and stories of his people. He did not touch a brush or paint for many years after having been admonished by his elders for doing so.
Carl was known by his peers as a man of general good humour. He was also known as somewhat of a jokester as described by fellow painter Alex Janvier: “Carl Ray was the guy who could laugh, make fun of you, throw a joke on you and he’d laugh his head off”.
Carl Ray was murdered, stabbed to death, as a result of a drunken brawl over money in Sioux Lookout in 1978. He was only 35 years old. In a note to Carl Ray by George Kenny after his death he wrote “I wonder if those paintings you painted ever satisfied your demons that drove you to paint…Didn’t you realize that fame only comes at the meeting of one of those demons — DEATH? ….Now we’ll never know the extent of your greatness…”