The stars of the art world are usually seen as bad boys with tattoos, piercings, and all the clichés of popular romance. McRay is no cliché. He is an original. He is neither the starving artist nor the profiteering commercial artist. "I am an extraordinary gentleman with an adventurer's heart, but I'm no bohemian!" He is a man that has struggled throughout his career to achieve a high level of technical proficiency, pictorial intelligence and a sense of artistic legacy.
Outside of his artistic endeavors, Eric McRay is an exceptional man who is a dutiful husband and proud father, a supportive son and loyal friend to many. He attends church regularly, has a comfortable home, drives a modest car and strives for the American dream like most descent folk. He keeps a daily studio work schedule, lives near Raleigh, NC and vacations along the Carolina Coast with his family.
McRay earned a BFA degree at the Maryland Institute, College of Art, where he received a four-year scholarship. In 1998, he was juried into downtown Raleigh's prestigious Artspace. Eric has served in the offices of Vice-President and President of the Artspace Artists Association, as well as served on Artspace's board of directors. McRay has been featured on TV and radio, and in numerous newspapers and magazines. The Raleigh News & Observer named him one of the "Artists to Watch" for 2001. He was featured in the June 2002 issue of Southern Living Magazine. In 2008, McRay was anointed by Metro Magazine, "Best Local Artist".
Also, McRay has consistently participated in and supported many charitable art exhibits and other community art events. Some of McRay's corporate collectors include American Tobacco Campus, Duke University Medical Center, NC State University, UNC Chapel Hill, SAS Institute, and Western Wake Hospital, as well as many private collectors locally, nationally & internationally.
McRay’s Guiding Principle — An Artist’s style is his visual language by which he communicates. Thus, Eric McRay is multilingual. Openness and exploration rather than a dedication to a particular style best characterize his work. “I believe there is no single correct pictorial solution.”
Unlike most painters who have a single style, McRay has a range of style and imagery through which he works up and back. He has a powerful pictorial discernment that enables him to go from paintings with a lot of splash and spontaneity to images with a sense of organization and reason. McRay works in themes and variations to empty himself of images.
Perhaps it’s his Picassoesque spirit that keeps him on the road to reinvention. His various styles are not exclusive phases in an evolutionary process but options from which he selects according to his expressive goals. “I think great artists are constantly challenging themselves and changing in search of greater truth – look at Picasso and Matisse.” So McRay continues to prodigiously produce his paintings, drawings and collages. He is constantly driven to master the visual language of the next new ”McRay.”