William Wray - California Regionalist Paintings

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The highest compliment I ever received was when a great painter told me my paintings look old.

I love the early 2Oth century’s art and architecture and work hard to invoke comparisons to that period in my work. I love the idea of capturing what's left of a bygone era; recording it before it’s gone, replaced by a new strip mall.

I’ve spent my life studying the artists of that era, reaching for a level of skill and feeling that the modern art world has long dismissed as dull-witted craft.

I hope my Paintings of these old structures has become less an invocation of nostalgia than an important race to record what is fast disappearing.

Every time you find an old factory, a rundown dock or an old shack, a developer is sure to be there trying to convince the city it’s time to renovate. Good for the economy, they say, but bad for the painter looking for interesting subjects to paint.

California’s urban pockets of age are disappearing at a record pace, so I have to paint as fast as I can.

William Wray