by Janice Hendricks / Tombstone Times
World famous artist Les Ray in Tombstone Arizona
Les Ray had never been to Tombstone, in fact, he really had never thought about coming to Tombstone, but a recent change in his life led him and his wife, Joy to consider visiting many places they had never thought of before. They had sold their home in Pine Mountain California and taken to the open road in their newly acquired motor coach.
Amazing adventures awaited them as they planned out their journeys and took note of just what they wanted to do. And for some reason Tombstone came into the picture. Thoughts were swirling around in Les's head about this new adventure. What could he learn about Tombstone before he arrived to help him create yet another masterpiece? Joy was soon at task researching the history of Tombstone and the legends associated with this wild west town. Descriptions of events, photographs of not only Tombstone but also the people of town, and images of the many important buildings were shared with Les and soon the vision was forming in his head. Images of a time long ago. Images of the Ghosts of Tombstone!
Les Ray is an incredible artist, but to say that he is simply an artist would be lacking in description for he is truly a consummate storyteller in whatever medium he is working. This past month of March visitors and locals alike have been gifted with the opportunity to watch the story unfold, to watch the masterpiece come to life, and to do so while looking over the shoulder of this visionary, as the epic of Tombstone is told with paint and brush. An epic he named, "Ghosts of Tombstone", the vision he had before coming to town. But little did he know that he would be painting his collage of Tombstone history in the building known as "Ghosts and Legends"!
Les sits with his back to the window...
Sitting inside the Ghosts and Legends building with his back to the pane of glass, Les spends his days carefully capturing every minute detail of Tombstone's early days in a collage of both historic buildings and the colorful characters that lived and died in the "Town Too Tough To Die".
Images of buildings steeped in history hold the backdrop for the ethereal images of men and women whose journeys thru Tombstone left a mark in history, their stories retold again and again. And now told inspiringly through the eye and the hand of this world famous artist. What a gift it has been to have Les and his wife Joy spend time in Tombstone. Their time here has touched many lives as they shared stories of their lives and loves. Les's homespun way of telling stories on canvas and in words delights all who stopped and visited with him as he brought his latest story to completion. The story of the "Ghosts of Tombstone" that has been told through brush strokes that speak to our hearts, our hearts that love Tombstone.
Les Ray's art is nothing short of spectacular and I strongly encourage all to visit his website to really see and feel what I mean by story telling through the brush stroke. Details of a lifetime, nostalgic and memorable, delight the eye and call you into the canvas as if you could almost hear the conversations being spoken among the participants he has painted into the scene. While there you can also learn more about Les's life, a life that speaks volumes through his art as well as learn more about purchasing "Giclee" reproductions of not only "The Ghosts of Tombstone" but also numerous other delightful pieces, a story in each one!
GHOSTS OF TOMBSTONE by Les Ray
Les Ray Studio