The chaos of the pandemic sent me immediately into my studio. I felt an intense pull to make marks, to create order, to identify my place in space and time on paper.


Ray 11 WhichCity

Amy Ray, Which City?, ink wash on paper, 22 x 22 in., April 2020 (photo: Jay York).


The early works in March, when things first went down, are abstract expressionistic. There are suggestions and hints of space, figures, and movement. The images push in and pull away, gather and separate in the same way that we as physical beings were finding our place in cloistering away in our nests, in walking in the woods, heading to the ocean, finding community in the ether of social media, and reinventing our worlds.


Ray 6 LetsTakeADrive

Amy Ray, Lets Take a Drive, ink wash on paper, 20 x 20 in., March 2020 (photo: Jay York).


In June, I returned to Eastport and rediscovered the world that had formed my very first visual language as a child; the Latin of my iconography.


Ray 7 LittleSigns

Amy Ray, Little Signs, ink wash on paper, 20 x 20 in., April 2020 (photo: Jay York).

Ray 10 RidingTheWhaleBackHome

Amy Ray, Riding the Whaleback Home, ink wash on paper, 20 x 20 in., May 2020 (photo: Jay York).










The abstracted shapes, forms, sense of space, texture, and weight were all there.


Ray 9 TheSoughing copy

Amy Ray, The Soughing, ink wash on paper, 24 x 32 in., June 2020 (photo: Jay York).


I impulsively and intuitively began a series that referenced the landscape and flora more directly. Seaweed became an obsession.


Ray 4 Seaweed4

Amy Ray, Seaweed 4, ink wash on paper, 22 x 30 in., summer 2020 (photo: Jay York)


There in the viscous bubbles, hills, mounds, floating tentacles, and dried branches I found the origin of my language.


Ray 2 Seaweed2

Amy Ray, Seaweed 2, ink wash on paper, 22 x 30in., summer 2020 (photo: Jay York).

Ray 1 Seaweed1 copy

Amy Ray, Seaweed 1, ink wash on paper, 22 x 30 in., summer 2020 (photo: Jay York).









I scan the wide open sea and find green islands and yellow buoys, old pilings and the cadence of the waves, the drama of crags, the constant motion of herring gulls. These sounds, these smells, the feel of salty air on skin all contribute to the order. They fulfill my desire to find patterns, to see the rhythms, to make sense of it all.


Image at top: Amy Ray, Seaweed 3, ink wash on paper, 30 x 22 in., summer 2020 (photo: Jay York).