<font color="#808080">HARRIS-CHING, Ray</font>

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RAY HARRIS-CHING
(
1939 - )

Raymond Ching was born in Brooklyn, Wellington, New Zealand in 1939. His paintings were first seen in Auckland in 1966, with a showing of thirty watercolors and gouaches of birds.

These early paintings and a further collection shown the following year, firmly established his reputation in New Zealand and formed the basis of work that was, by 1972, recognized among the finest of its kind in the world.

Anyone who is concerned with the practice of a painting technique, may very well soon reach a point where mastery of his craft becomes his foremost ambition. Brilliance of technique becomes the center of his thoughts and he will soon select only those subjects that offer opportunities to display some part of that technique. This is often true of "realist" painters, who by necessity strive for the acquisition of an artistic skill which can help them understand the true nature of their medium. Raymond Ching has so well mastered his technique that he is, fortunately, able to leave concern for this aspect of his art behind him, and to concentrate on what finally matters, the realization of his own private images into paintable concepts.

Late in 1968 The Reader's Digest commissioned Mr. Ching to illustrate their now famous book, THE BOOK OF BRITISH BIRDS. The target date for publication was summer of 1969…a seemingly impossible task. However he met the problem head-on and in less than one year completed the 250 paintings of birds necessary to finish the book.

At first thought one might think that to complete such a Herculean feat some accuracy and detail were sacrificed. Nothing was sacrificed and many ornithologists, including Sir Peter Scott, have acclaimed the book to be the finest of its kind yet produced.

Three large coffee-table books have been published on the work of Raymond Ching. The first was THE BIRD PAINTINGS (1977) which contains twenty-six full page color plates and fifty drawings. This was followed by STUDIES AND SKETCHES OF A BIRD PAINTER (1981), an equally spectacular work. The third book, THE ART OF RAYMOND CHING (1981), features both wildlife and non-wildlife subjects.

Five other books which feature his art are NEW ZEALAND BIRDS (1986), WILD PORTRAITS (1988), KIWIS (1990), JOURNEY OF AN ARTIST (1990), and A VOICE FROM THE WILDERNESS (1994).

An artist's strongest critics are usually his fellow artists. In the case of Raymond Ching many of his contemporaries regard him as one of the greatest bird painters of the century…perhaps of all time.














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