Detail from "Angel, after Cabanel"

Detail from "Boat at Sunset"

Detail from "Summit Talks"

Detail from "See the World"

Detail from "Autumn Walk"

Detail from "John Montague"


Alan Douglas Ray is a traditional oil painter with a passion for Canadian landscapes, figures, portraiture and still life. Inspired by the Old Masters, his paintings depict quiet, private places with an air of mystery and intrigue.

Alan paints in the style of classical realism, a form of representational art that exhibits a preference for order, beauty, harmony and completeness, and the representation of nature based on direct observation using traditional methods.

Click on the images below to jump to a particular subject in Alan’s portfolio.  Upcoming events and the latest news are also listed at the bottom of the page. Contact us if you would like to know more about a particular piece of work, an upcoming exhibition or studio tour, how to commission a painting, or just to say hello.  You can also sign up for his mailing list to receive email updates about new works available for sale and upcoming events.

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Previous Issues: July 2018, June 2018, May 2018


Portrait Sketches

When I travel, I normally pack my portable easel, brushes, and a box of oil paints (with a note to remind customs that my "artist materials" do not pose a danger to air travel).   This past August, we were on Cunard's Queen Victoria, cruising the Baltic Sea.  Instead of my usual paints, I packed a sketchbook and some graphic pencils.  On sea days, I would pull out the sketchbook and work on copies of master portraits  I admire.  I learned to appreciate again the fine details you can achieve with a graphic pencil, even a dull one. Here are two sketches. The first is based on the head of the peasant girl in William Adolphe Bouguereau's painting: "Jeanne" (1888). The second portrait is from the angel's head in Annie Swynnerton's "The Sense of Sight", (1895). Both are approximately 6" x 4".


If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.

Edward Hopper

It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance, and I know no substitute for the force and beauty of its process.

Henry James

Great art picks up where nature ends.

Marc Chagall

To be an artist is to believe in life.

Henry Moore

To give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.

Steve PrefontaineOlympic runner

Art doesn’t just capture the thrill of life … sometimes it is that thrill.

Julian Barnes

Those who do not want to imitate anything, produce nothing.

Salvadore Dali

The job of the artist is always to deepen the mystery.

Francis Bacon

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way–things I had no words for.

Georgia O’Keeffe.

If people knew how hard I worked to get my mastery, it wouldn’t seem so wonderful at all.


The purpose of art is the gradual lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.

Glenn Gould