Back in the fall, I sat with Jose Ray to talk about the opening of the show which he had titled “Flora” — a solo show that took many years in the making. Now I am back at what seems to be the beginning of a new spring season and Ray is back with a new show titled “Pollen.” It seems the artist, which at the time confessed to have had a difficult time showing solo, has found his stride.

“It is sort of like autopilot mode. But it is not. This series seems to be flowing freely and I have found myself creating these very large-scale pieces with ease,” Ray said. “Each piece is so different and yet fulfilling. It is a definitively a continuation of ’Flora’ and I am now pollinating.”

The new collection of paintings consists of about 14-15 pieces with sizes ranging from four feet squares and the largest at four feet by six feet. The theme is floral but quite abstract and open for interpretation.

“It has been a satisfying process,” Ray said. “Seeing this theme come alive at bigger proportions is gratifying. The colors and the variety of mediums used as well as the design jumps aesthetically. The color composition in this series to me are exciting.”

What started as a seed has become one of Ray’s most successful series. In a very technological world one where we find ourselves plugged most of the time, Ray takes us on a zen-like experience with his watercolor mixed media works.

“There is a harmony and balance that I am trying to achieve. Not only personal but with my work and the world around me. Like ’Flora,’ ’Pollen’ is taking me back to my SCAD days, where drawing and creating were fun,” he said.

No longer a student, Ray continues to approach his work with a very childlike spirit. His use of color and the energy of his work evokes a sense of happiness at times lost by seasoned artists and his excitement towards his new show is contagious.

“I am so happy to be showing ’Pollen’ at the Grand Bohemian Gallery,” he added. “To be able in such a short time to create these pieces and to be shown at the mansion is an honor. I feel like ’Flora’ was only training me for ’Pollen.’”

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