Artist of the moment…….Raymond Harris Ching….

Raymond Harris Ching was born in Wellington, New Zealand in the year 1939 and is world renown for his paintings of birds. Ching left school at age twelve and was an apprentice in an advertising agency. He eventually became art director but was unhappy with this job as he wasn’t as free to paint what he wanted.

Ching had his first public exhibition of his bird paintings in 1966.

In the late sixties many international publishing houses wanted to create a book that specialized in birds. However they could never find an artist who was had both a high level of technical ability with a modern sense of design. When Ching’s work was discovered the publishing houses all jumped at the opportunity to have Ching be their chief artist. Ching went with Readers Digest and published this book on birds in 1969. It is the most successful book of its genre and other artists simply copy the paintings of Ching and sell the works as their own.

Price range information:  Works in watercolours range $5,000 to $60,000. Works in pencil range $1,000 to $3,000. Works in oils range $3,000 to $37,000.

Chang designed a postage stamp for Britain in 1989.

He is married to an author, Carol Sinclair.

He paints with oils and watercolours on gesso prepared board.

Some other great painters of birds include John James Audobon, Kevin Sloan, and Isabelle du Toit. Audobon is best known for his prints. If you ever get the chance to view an exhibition take the opportunity at once!  Audobon took as much time and detail in painting the bugs and the background as he did the birds. Sloan is a huge fan of Audobon and contemporary artist that paints birds in both oils and acrylics. Isabelle du Toit is renown for paintings of birds and also children. Below is an example of Isabelle Du Toit’s style.

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As an artist I most admire his mix of detail and abstraction. Whereas some people thought of Andy Wyeth as highly wound tight painter, Wyeth thought of himself more a loose painter that enjoyed looking at abstract patters in things. This idea is very apparent in the works Ching also, with his abstract patterns found in feathers.

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