Luna Lee Ray received her BFA from the Pacific Northwest College of Art in Portland, Oregon in 1988. Born in Queens, NY, and the great- grand- niece of Man Ray, she has lived and shown her work in Oregon, Hawaii, Arizona, and New Mexico, before settling in the Chapel Hill area in 1998.

Luna is a founding artist member of Frank Gallery in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, as well as the lead curator for the gallery. She is also a well established and respected teacher of watercolor, acrylic, and mixed media painting at The ArtsCenter in Carrboro, North Carolina. In addition, she has been a member/participant in the Orange County Artist’s Guild Annual Open Studio Tour since 2004.


My current paintings are inspired by the interplay of air, water, and light: Rain and sunshine and mist; Moisture in the air at dawn; The charge in the air after a summer storm.

My artistic process involves multiple layers of acrylic paints and graphite-sometimes charcoal, pastel, ink, and collage as well. I begin each piece as an experimental journey, finding the composition and meaning as I go.

I work with both randomness and intentionality. The early stages of a piece involve active drawing, sometimes with my eyes closed. I then add multiple layers of thin and thick paints, adding more graphite between layers. As a piece moves on I will begin to add more complex forms and fine tune the color harmonics. As I layer, some elements are enhanced and some are obscured, resulting in an atmospheric surface rich with history, depth, and luminosity.

“I am learning to see something new. In addition to sky and land, a third thing has equal significance – the air.“ -Rilke