Raised in the mountains of northern Utah, Ray’s first paintings were sketches of the American West inspired in part by his outlaw ancestry, Butch Cassidy’s McCarty gang.
Ray graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in fine art. As a student Ray studied the great masters in Spain and France and his work began to show the distinct influences of Modigliani, Renoir and Toulouse-Lautrec. Women in Victorian settings began to take precedence over the cowboys and Indians of his earlier Western paintings. His experimentation for a brief period in non-objective art provided the freedom of technique that contributed to his unique style.
Ray's dramatic use of line and color, along with foreshortening techniques, make his work instantly recognizable. We can compare his vision with that of the Toulouse-Lautrec in his treatment of the female face and form. McCarty uses live models in all of his portraits. His canvases capture these models in all of the many human palettes: proud and haughty, sensual and sexually confident, shy and humble, reflective and contemplative.
During the early 1970s, McCarty relocated to Las Vegas. He was acutely aware of the city's renegade past and fascinated with its brash, glitzy attitude and began to paint scenes from the town's early gambling saloons.
Ray's paintings are collected throughout the United States and many foreign countries. Two of Ray's major collectors are Stephen Wynn of Las Vegas, with 42 pieces in his collection and Dr. Edith Martin of Jackson Hole, with over 30 in her collection.