Ray Roberts was born in 1954 and grew up in an Orange County, California with orange groves, before the days of freeways and sprawling housing developments. It has given him an enduring affection for the untamed, undeveloped California of his youth. In 1969, after the early death of his father and mother's ill-health, Ray was sent to Orme School, a beautiful, ranch-style boarding school in the Arizona desert. Its strong fine arts program helped Ray to discover his artistic talent.
He then attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where he studied under John Asaro. He has also studied under Dan McCaw, Len Chmiel, Ned Jacob, and Mark Daily, among others. Art Center is where Ray also met his wife, impressionist painter Peggi Kroll. While dating, the two of them would go out nightclubbing, to sketch rather than dance! It has been a successful partnership ever since.
Like many successful artists before him, Ray first pursued a career as an illustrator, establishing a studio in Los Angeles and then Scottsdale, Arizona. He got up the courage to switch to fine art in 1992 and has never looked back. As well as being a PAL instructor, Ray currently teaches figure and landscape workshops with Plein Air Liaison, The Art Academy of Petaluma, formerly known as l'Atelier aux Couleurs: the Art Academy, in California, as well as several other locations across the country and abroad.
Ray and Peggi now live on a 20 acre ranch in Angels Camp, an old California gold rush town, surrounded by the oak-studded hills. Besides being an instructor for PAL, he currently teaches landscape, portrait and figure workshops at the The Art Academy of Petaluma, formerly known as l'Atelier aux Couleurs: the Art Academy, in California, as well as several other locations across the country and abroad.