New Zealand bird paintings

Ray Ching is internationally recognised as one of the world’s greatest living wildlife artists. Born in New Zealand, he established himself as an artist in the 1960s, before moving to England where he has spent the majority of his career.

He has never lost his interest in his roots, however, or the New Zealand birds that inspired his move into art, and over the last 60 years, he has built up a remarkable collection of paintings of our wildlife. These form the heart of this gorgeous book, which is also accompanied by his own text. Working primarily in oils and watercolours, Ching’s works are incredibly detailed with an almost photographic quality. They are slowly built up, layer upon layer, often leaving the under-drawing peeking through the transparent paint. This large-format, lavishly produced book is an impressive tribute to the legacy of one of the most significant wildlife painters of our time.

Ex-pat Kiwi Ray Ching is regarded as one of the world’s greatest living painters of birds.  His latest book is filled with paintings and drawing he’s made of the manu of his homeland over the past six decades.

But Ray Ching is more than a series of stunning pictures. Ray also pays his tribute to the many species of birds long extinct here, as well as the chances of current birds surviving.

Ray lives in Wiltshire now, and paints his work in a studio filled with taxidermy and pieces of paper.

Working with Ray on this big book has been his long time friend and agent, Jonathan Gooderham , and author Geoff Norman.

Lynn Freeman speaks with Jonathan and Geoff, and first asks Jonathan about a photo in the book of Ray’s workspace.

 Ray Ching New Zealand Bird Paintings is published by Potton & Burton.

Featured Works

Ray Ching
The Rats & the Oystercatchers
Oils on board
510 x 610 x 20 mm

Ray Ching
The Kiwi at the River 
Oils on composite board
915 x 1070 mm
Signed & dated 1993