Ray Renooy

Ray Renooy (Cosmic Ray to some, Coz to others) grew up in Teulon, a small town in Manitoba‚Äôs interlake. He discovered his love and skill for drawing and painting early in life and stood out as a young student who saw the world with a poetic clarity, but was also gifted to convey that onto paper or canvas or board or whatever was handy. Fearful of what it meant to be an “artist” he parlayed his skills into a successful career in typography and commercial illustration long before the digital age. His career path was fortified with professional training in the Red River College Art faculty (1974-75) and a subsequent apprenticeship in the fine art of sign-writing and gilding with the Belle Sign Co. (Marshall-Goltz Sign Co.) in Winnipeg. His early work gained him notoriety in trade publications for SignCraft, Signs of the Times, Letterheads Magazine, and 3 Seconds as well as a contributing artist to The American Sign Museum in Cincinnati. He worked extensively creating artwork, illustrations, and creative direction for secondary school publications throughout North America with Premier School Publications, the Franklin-Covey Foundation and School Specialty Publications. Throughout his career, Coz has instructed workshops and supported aspiring artists in a variety of media. With a unique zest for life, love, family, and nature, very little escapes his eye and his work has remained void of the cynicism that lurks in some of the darker corners of contemporary art. His coming of age nomadic tours throughout Europe experiencing art and culture remain a cornerstone in his creative foundation. The influences of the French Impressionist movement and the Canadian Group of Seven are obvious in his work and those groups remain one of his greatest sources of inspiration. This is evident in his deft management of colour and texture, all within the sound composition framework that arises from his commercial illustrative experience. He is now comfortable in his role as a rising Canadian artist and he continues to work with a variety of media including acrylics, pastels, graphite, and occasionally coloured pencils and felt markers as remnants from his marketing illustration work. His visual skill and craft of hand permit him to include commissioned portraiture as a continuing part of his studio work. But the drama, mood and light in nature and still life, and the artistic challenges of capturing and conveying them, remain as the “well” he returns to most often.