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.
Born in New Zealand in 1939, Ray Ching began exhibiting his bird paintings in the 1960s, which attracted the attention of English publisher Sir William Collins. A keen ornithologist, Collins invited Ching to the UK, which led to a commission to produce a major book with Collins Publishing and The Readers Digest on all of the birds of Britain. The Reader’s Digest Book of British Birds, published in 1969, became the world’s most successful and biggest-selling ornithological book ever.
This enthusiastic reception established his career as an artist at the top of his field, and also encouraged him to produce many natural history books over the last 40 years. His works are held in collections all over the world. In 2012, Ching was commissioned by his friend Sir David Attenborough to produce an oil painting for the cover of Attenborough’s book Drawn from Paradise. Ray Ching lives in Wiltshire, UK, and continues to paint birds and animals, as well as remarkably life-like portraits.