Ray Atkins was born Exeter, Devon in 1937. He studied at Bromley College of Art, between 1954-1956 and again from 1958-1961. While studying as a postgraduate student at the Slade School of Fine Art (1961-64), Atkins worked in Frank Auerbach’s studio, an artist he greatly admired.
Whilst continuing to develop his practice, he taught part-time at several colleges such as Bournemouth College of Art, Reading University, Falmouth School of Art and Epsom School of Art and in 1970 he had a solo show at Piers Morris Gallery. This launched a series of shows throughout Britain and he has been shown regularly since. He moved to Cornwall in 1974 which had a direct influence on his work, and in 1996 a retrospective was shown at Royal West of England Academy complemented by a solo show at The Art Space Gallery in London. The retrospective included paintings from his 1960s period in London, characterized by a gloomy and dark atmosphere, until his Cornish mature paintings where he developed a method of working on large scale from direct observation of the landscape and where the works were left on site until completed.
He still lives and works in Cornwall, and is represented by the Art Space Gallery in London.
Buckman D., (2006), Artists in Britain since 1945, Vol 2, Art Dictionaries Ltd, Bristol