Ray Strong was born in Corvallis,
Oregon in 1905.
Strong began painting plein air with Clyde Keller of Portland
while still in high school.
Strong's passion for art led him to enroll in the California
School of Fine Arts in San Francisco (today's San Francisco Fine
Ray then went on to study with Frank Vincent DuMond at
the Art Students League in New York.
In the early 1930s, Ray returned to San Francisco where
he helped organize the Art Students League of San Francisco.
Ray studied and taught with Maynard Dixon (1879-1938),
Frank Van Sloun (1879-1938) and George Post (1906-1997) eventually
opening an Artist's Cooperative Gallery.
In the Depression Ray painted
murals for the WPA and some
of these 1930s paintings are in the Smithsonian American Art
In 1960, Ray and his wife Elizabeth, moved to Santa Barbara,
California. He was commissioned to paint the backgrounds to dioramas
"The birds and the banks" in the Bird Hall of the Santa
Barbara Museum of Natural History. He also created some paintings
for local banks.
Until his death in 2006, Ray Strong was recognized as one of
the leaders of the preservationist painters collective known
as the "The Oak Group" in Santa Barbara County.