Monday, December 28, 2009

"Patron Testimonial"

Here's a testimonial from a happy patron...

"You and my husband made me cry this morning. That painting is unbelievably fantastic. I pray that your Christmas is as blessed as you have made mine. All I can say is -AWESOME. Thank you so much"

Monday, December 21, 2009

"This Week Only! (check this out)"

Happy Holidays!...THIS WEEK ONLY!!
(Dec. 21 thru Dec. 26)

Receive a signed & numbered limited edition giclee with the purchase of any original painting! We can be reached by email or phone (919-838-0755).
Feel free to share this with your friends.

Monday, December 7, 2009

"Accepting New Painting Commissions for 2010"

"Your source for original fine art"

How do you stand out in a mass-produced society?
Start with something no one else can have -- your own unique work of art. Contact us to discuss & obtain details concerning the creation of an original commissioned work by renowned artist, Eric McRay
each work special, unique and precious.
"Charming Commissioned Portraits"

Your Home, Boat, Garden, Church or Business
painted on canvas.
Sizes available: 24x36, 30x30, 30x40, 36x36, 36x48, 48x48, 48x60

If you have any questions,
contact us at or (919) 838-0755.
We look forward to hearing from you.

McRAY STUDIOS is located at Artspace, Studio 205
201 East Davie Street (Blount Street intersection)
In the Art District of Downtown Raleigh
(Near Big Ed's & City Market Produce)

We Accept MC, VISA, AMEX & Discover

Thursday, December 3, 2009

"Tips on Art Collecting"

Ten things to remember when starting to collect art!

Tips for beginning art collectors as well as for experienced art collectors. Good reminders for anyone interested in art or already collecting art.

1. Buy art because you like it and because it moves you and because it will enhance your life.
2. Visit as many art galleries as you can, gallery staff can be helpful guides in your art education.
3. Get on artists and gallery mailing lists so you'll be invited to openings and special events.
4. Visit and join your local art museums and non-profit art centers. Curators sometimes give lectures on collecting art.
5. Attend national and international art fairs and art expos whenever possible.
6. If you know art collectors, talk to them and find out what they know and what they've learned about collecting art.
7. Read books on art history and books about collecting art.
8. Subscribe to a few art magazines.
9. Read reviews by local and national art critics, keeping in mind that reviews usually just reflect one persons opinion.
10. Working with a professional art advisor/art consultant is a good way to learn about art collecting, and they will guide you through the process of purchasing art.
Once you've educated yourself and have fallen in love with a work of art, buy it, take it home and enjoy it.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"This Week Only!!! Until Saturday September 26th"

"Pearl Necklace"
Fine Art Giclee
Hand signed and numbered
by the artist
Printed on 100% cotton rag, acid-free, lignin-free
archival quality paper
Certificate of AuthenticityImage Size: 30 x 30
Edition Size: 100

Receive a signed & numbered limited edition Jazz giclee with the purchase of any original Jazz painting! We can be reached by email or phone (919-838-0755).
Feel free to share this with your friends.

Click here: Welcome to McRay Studios - Gallery

"The Creativity Class"

Last night I spoke before a group of 40 NC State MBA students taking a "Creativity Class." That's not the crowd I'm accustom to addressing. To their surprise, I wasn't the flighty bohemian type they were expecting. We connected and it turned out to be a fulfilling experience. They asked great questions about a career in the arts from a business point of view. I knew their language. It was great experience. One young lady said, "You could be a motivational speaker."

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

"Whatcha Been Up To?"

Dear Friends and Patrons,

Between my active Facebook account, visitors to my downtown Raleigh studio and friends I meet in passing, the common question asked is, "Whatcha been up to?" I usually respond, "Oh, taking care of the kids, my art, and staying busy... nothing much... business as usual." In actuality, I'm busier than ever. One day seems like two or three days. My calendar fills and the miles accumulate on my vehicles. I ask myself, "Where did today go?" So, in the upcoming days and weeks, I'll review the past year and highlight various events, exhibitions and collectors. I'll really answer the question, "Whatcha been up to?"

Saturday, September 5, 2009

"First Friday was Phenomenal!"

"Untitled #5" Sold

"Untitled #4" Sold

Last night's First Friday was phenomenal! The crowd was diverse and energized. It was a big party. We had a ball. Many friends and patrons visited the studio. Art left my studio walls off to a better place, the homes of new collectors. If you weren't there, put the next First Friday on your calendar.

Monday, August 24, 2009

"A Not So Still Life"

Dear Friends & Patrons,

Below are Pics of select pieces from my new "Coffee Collection." I'm showing them in September at the Little Art Gallery in Cameron Village, here in Raleigh, NC. The Little Art Gallery was one of the first galleries to show my art back in the early 90's. Time passes so fast.

It seems like it was just yesterday I meet the regal and somewhat opinionated "Ruth Green." Ruth and her daughter, Rosanne have built and maintained the longest running gallery in Raleigh. They are true business women. I can't begin to tell you how many of my paintings they have sold over the years.

Concerning Ruth Green, I love that lady. She built a toughness and confidence in me that has carried me through my career. I'm honored to debut these new works with the Little Art Gallery. Please make time to visit the gallery. Make your purchases early. I'm sure they would be glad to give you an early preview. Like fresh pastries, first come, first served.

Enjoy, McRay

"Still Lifes by Kimberly Alvis & Eric McRay"

Opening Reception to meet the artist
Saturday, September 12th, 3-5 pm.
Please Join Us!

Little Art Gallery & Craft Collection
432 Daniels Street, Raleigh, NC
(919) 890-4111

Monday, August 17, 2009

"What is a Giclee? - Part 3"

Hello fellow artists types,

I know I've mentioned this event previously. The reason why is because, it's a big deal! You ask, "Why?" I'll make you a short list.

1. If you've been fortunate enough to price yourself up and out of the market of collectors that used to be able to afford your art, this is a way to keep them involved in your career. Giclees are much more affordable.

2. Giclees are ideal for the surrealist, photo-realist and hyper-realist painters who can't produce a large volume of art and also can't sell their works at lower prices. The time it takes to produce those styles of art are very labor intensive, thus demand higher prices. Giclees keep a cash flow while you continue to paint.

3. You've moved you stylically, but you still have request for that previous style of painting. You'd rather cut your wrist than paint another sunset or tobacco barn, giclees are the perfect reproduction process to satisfy the market demand.

4. You're a computer generated artists, you get less respect than an abstract painter. Folks, don't just say, "my kid can do that." They say, "my grandma does that on her Dell desk-top to relax." Giclees on higher quality papers in larger sizes have more creditiblity. It won't look like you print off your little Epson printer or from Kinko's. Sorry, if that was a little harsh, just keeping it real.

5. Giclees can make you lots of $$$$$$$$$$$$. Is that simple enough?

Check Damon and Stephen out!!!

VAE August Artists' Night: Fine Art Giclée Prints with Damon Rando of Artful Color, Inc. Damon Rando of Artful Color, Inc. ( will give a talk entitled "The Art & Science of Fine Art Giclée" on Tuesday, August 18 at 7pm at Visual Art Exchange (325 Blake Street, Raleigh, 27601).

Damon writes, "Whether it's hard economic times or good times, artists are usually looking for a way to expand the market for their work. Many artists are now producing high quality prints through the giclée process to expand the availability of their work and produce a lower cost alternative to originals. This presentation will cover both the technology and the business of selling giclée prints. In addition to knowledge gained by Artful Color over the years in this business, artists will share their own personal experience."

The talk will last about 1.5 hours, with time for questions.
The talk is FREE for VAE members and $5 for non-members. For more information or to register, contact Rachel Berry at or 919.828.7834, ext. 4.

Space is limited, so sign up early!

Friday, August 14, 2009

"An Oldie, but a Goodie"

I'm finishing up the last paintings for an upcoming exhibition at the Little Art Gallery in Cameron Village. The opening reception is Saturday, September 12th from 3pm to 5pm. Put it on your calendar. It will be worth your time. I was drawn back to an oldie, but a goodie. It was comfort food, without the calories.
Hope to see you there, McRay

Monday, August 10, 2009

"What is a Giclee? - Part 2"

"Whether it’s hard economic times or good times, artists are usually looking for a way to expand the market for their work. Many artists are now producing high quality prints through the giclée process to expand the availability of their work and produce a lower cost alternative to originals. This presentation will cover both the technology and the business of selling giclée prints. In addition to knowledge gained by Artful Color over the years in this business, artists will share their own personal experience."

Damon Rando
Artful Color, inc
Best in Class Giclée Studio
Apex, North Carolina
919.363.6271 office
919.656.8853 cell

Thursday, August 6, 2009

"What is a Giclee? - Part 1"

Dear Friends, patrons, and fellow artists,

A mysterious word has arisen in the art world over the past ten years. Still today many of us can't pronounce the word, "giclee". According to Wikipedia, here's the definition...

Giclée (pronounced / "zhee-clay" or / from French) is an invented name (i.e. a neologism) for the process of making fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. The word "giclée" is derived from the French language word "le gicleur" meaning "nozzle", or more specifically "gicler" meaning "to squirt, spurt, or spray"[1]. It was coined in 1991 by Jack Duganne[2], a printmaker working in the field, to represent any inkjet-based digital print used as fine art. The intent of that name was to distinguish commonly known industrial "Iris proofs" from the type of fine art prints artists were producing on those same types of printers. The name was originally applied to fine art prints created on Iris printers in a process invented in the early 1990s but has since come to mean any high quality ink-jet print and is often used in galleries and print shops to denote such prints.

Well, there you go. I figured I'd leave the details up to the experts. Speaking of experts, it would be worth your time to visit the VAE and meet Damon Rando of Artful Color. A national expert on the art and science of fine art giclee prints. I highly reccomend working with him and Stephen Carroll, who is likewise a brilliant printmaker. They produced my portfolio of giclee prints.

Check out Damon Rando and the VAE...

August Artists' Night: giclee prints Damon Rando of Artful Color giclee studios ( will give a talk entitled "The Business and Science of Fine Art Giclee" on Tuesday, August 18 at 7pm at VAE. FREE for VAE members, $5 for non-members. To register, contact Rachel Berry at or 919.828.7834, ext. 4.

Monday, July 27, 2009

"Scenery Paintings by McRay at Wilson Arts Council"

"Sky's the Limit" acrylic on canvas 18 x 36
McRay Art Exhibition will open on August 6th at 5:30 pm in the Boykin Gallery, Wilson Arts Council. For more information contact the Arts Council at...

Eric McRay's Art Exhibition will run 8/6/09 through 9/15/09

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

"Artspace Summer Arts Classes with McRay"

(rising 7th-10th grade)
In this class you will create your own unique collage artwork, utilizing painted papers, photographic reproductions, photos, scraps of fabric, elements from magazines, paint, and more. Through collage techniques you will experience a truly unique way of approaching your art, whether creating representational or non-representational works.
Instructor: Eric McRay

Tuesdays, July 28, August 4, August 11
6 - 9pm each day
Add unique abstract paintings to your portfolio to show your versatility as a young artist!Exploration and creativity is the focus of this fun class! You will be introduced to the many possibilities of acrylic paints, gels, and texturing medium. Our focus will be experimenting and exploring various modern art styles including Cubism, Geometric Abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, and Contemporary Abstraction. Discover the missing links to becoming a better non-representational painter.
Instructor: Eric McRay
Cost: $135 ($125 members)Some supplies will be provided. Supply list will be provided upon registration.

Monday, June 8, 2009

"McRay, VAE, Longview & Mary Phillips High School Students Create Mural on the History of City Market"

Students from Mary E. Phillips High School and Longview School worked with Raleigh artist Eric McRay to create a mural as part of VAE's educational outreach program. The mural is based on the history of the City Market neighborhood and installed near Zydeco & Big Ed's in City Market. Special thanks to the Exchange Project sponsors: North Carolina Arts Council, United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County, City of Raleigh Arts Commission, Askew Taylor Paints & Art Supplies, Mary E. Phillips High School & Longview School. Special thanks to Adam Peele, Scott Renk, Robin Foster, Angela Parks, & Eric McRay for all of your hard work. Special thanks to Dave Greway, Derek Toomes & Ben Young for all of your hard work installing the mural.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"New Arrivals: Coastals & Sceneries"

"Windswept II"
acrylic on canvas

acrylic on canvas

"Cottonfield in Eastern, NC"
acrylic on canvas

"Sky's the Limit"
acrylic on canvas

"Let's Go to the Beach"
acrylic on canvas

"Hay Along 95"
acrylic on canvas

"Bridge & Reflection"
acrylic on canvas

"Backyard Hoops"
acrylic on canvas

"Seafood Market"
acrylic on canvas

Thursday, April 2, 2009

"How to Get Unstuck. Dealing with Creative Blocks"

This post is especially dedicated to the sweat dripping, hands wringing, nail biting, and eye tearing budding artists. Likewise, here is insight for the sleepy eyed old dog that refuses to learn new tricks.

If you ever asked, "how to get unstuck?” Well friends, this is how to deal with your creative blocks...

1. Turn off your television.

2. Set aside special time daily or weekly to create your art.

3. Set aside a special designated place to work, i.e. garage, attic, a drawing table, a place in your garden with a great view or any place where you can escape.

4. Get rid of idle web surfing. Make the Internet a tool, not an addictive drug.

5. Don't allow family, friends, associates and enemies to pull you away from making your art.

6. Find music that inspires you. "I love jazz!"

7. You must be willing to change your style. If you've been a plein-aire painter since Jacob was a pup, try something new. Paint an abstract or photo-realistic piece.

8. Find a mentor or coach.

9. Humble yourself. Follow the leadership of your mentor/coach.

10. Try a new medium. If you traditionally work in watercolor, try oils. You're a painter, but ceramics always fascinated you. Give ceramics a try.

11. Don't fear change. Read "Who Moved My Cheese."

12. Pray about it, and then get to work. God isn't going to paint the canvas for you. "Faith without works is dead."

13. Read art history.

14. Keep art journals containing your ideas, concepts, and sketches.

15. Don't allow the cost of art materials to justify not making art. There are student grade and low cost art supplies available. Also, if you sell your art pieces, you'll regain your initial investment.

16. Be disciplined and work faithfully. Eventually, you'll get excited and have lots of fun.

17. Have fun making art. If you look at it like a "job," you'll treat it like a job. You'll quit.

18. Fall in love with making art. No one should have to force you to do what you love.

19. Study children as they make art. They don't have too many rules. Kids are free spirits.

20. Don't be lazy. Most artists are lazy, so get up and get to work.

21. Don't allow your tattoos, piercings, colorful hair, drug usage, odd clothes and artist's lifestyle to represent you more than the art you create. Once again, get to work!

22. Find a favorite artist and copy their style. I promise you, you'll never be another Picasso, Rembrandt, or Norman Rockwell, but you'll be a better artist when it's all said and done.

23. Work in series, for example, Degas's ballerinas, Monet's haystacks, and Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Cans.

24. Visit museums, galleries, and art studios to gain inspiration.

25. Stop making excuses. "My cat had puppies." "If I had a studio like McRay, I'd paint." "One day when the world is at peace, I'll start drawing again." I know my examples are silly, but not far from the truth. I've heard excuses very close to those.

I hope this helps, McRay

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Creative Blocks?"

I've been asked many times, "Do you get creative blocks"? My response, is “no”. I may not have enough materials to produce all the ideas I have for art. For example, studio rent and taxes may be due. Oh and the babies need new shoes. All of a sudden, buying high dollar arches watercolor paper isn’t a priority.

Sometimes, I may be too emotionally and physically tired to work. I’m blessed with two precious children, but I must frankly say, “Small kids have more energy than I could have ever imagined”. Last year was wonderfully exuberate and painfully weighty. In 2008, my only sister, Shirley passed away. Sometimes the challenges of life bring me down. Yet, in the midst of my weariness, I find some way to express myself through my art.

Regardless of the circumstances, ideas abound. I believe there is no single correct pictorial solution. Unlike most painters who have a single style, I have a range of style and imagery through which I work. Jazz musicians, the southern landscape, female nudes, steaming coffee, and the black experience are depicted through expressionist, cubist, abstract, neo-impressionist styles. Openness and exploration rather than a dedication to a particular style best characterize these works. I use pictorial discernment which enables me to go from paintings with a lot of splash and spontaneity to images with a sense of organization and reason. Themes and variations on themes are used to empty myself of ideas and images.

The attempt to embrace a Picassoesque spirit keeps me on the road to reinvention. My various styles are not exclusive phases in an evolutionary process but options from which I select according to my expressive goals. For example, a jazz musician is painted stylistically different than a low country salt marsh. The emotions, sensuality, and concepts are disparate. Thus, the use of a new style is exercised. “I think great artists are constantly challenging themselves and changing in search of greater truth – look at Picasso and Matisse.” So, I press forth to faithfully continue to produce my paintings, drawings and collages. I refuse to use excuses not to work, but find ways to overcome the obstacles that hinder productivity.