King Log

Oils on board
61 x 76 cm
Illustrated in P. 186 – 187 Aesop’s Outback Fables

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The Story of The King Log, by Raymond Ching

The Frogs, tired of living in their anarchic society, petitioned the gods to send them a king. The gods saw that the Frogs were simple creatures, and threw a log into their marsh. The wood splashed into the water, terrifying the timid Frogs. After a time, they formed courage to return, and before long developed a contempt for this new King. They felt shame at the logs’ lack-lustre ways and contemptuously jumped about playing on it.

They shortly sent another deputation to the gods, asking for a monarch that was more lively and deserving of respect. The gods obliged the Frogs by sending down a White-Faced Heron which set about eating them all up.

Ray Ching was born in Wellington, New Zealand and has been called an ‘artist’s artist’ and among bird painters is a draughtsman without peer. A renowned artist of life-like portraits, Ching paints obsessively to push the boundaries of bird painting from its more familiar tradition, to break entirely new ground.

Now settled in England, Ching continues to paint birds and animals, as well as remarkable life-like portraits. Working primarily in oils and watercolours, Ching’s works are incredibly detailed with an almost photographic quality. Merging realism with fictional compositions, Ching slowly builds up his paintings layer upon layer, often leaving the underdrawing peeking through the transparent paint.

Ching exhibits regularly in New Zealand and around the world, including Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in the USA; Brighton Art Gallery and Museum, England; and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. His paintings are held in numerous private and public collections, such as the National Museum of Wildlife Art in the USA, and portraits from his exhibition ‘A True Story’ are held in the Dunedin Public Art Gallery and The Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa.