Ray lost all voluntary use of his hands, aged twenty-one, being involved in a car accident in 1962 which paralysed him from the shoulders down.
He spent some years in hospitals and institutions before fighting his way back into the community and finding a clerical job which he could cope with part time, until ill-health obliged him to leave. This gave him even more time to devote to his hobby and passion—art; which had absorbed his interest since his early days as a quadraplegic.
Eventually he was persuaded to send some of his mouth-paintings to the MFPA and although he had already achieved some status as an artist, he was awarded Student Membership, moving on through Associate Membership to ultimately be honoured with Full Membership of the organisation.
Over the years, Ray has participated in various exhibitions; recieving numerous awards.
Always a lover of colour and impressionism he has developed his own style, painting a wide range of subjects, mainly in oils – but favouring New Zealand scenes and also florals.