Born in New Zealand in 1939, Ray Ching began exhibiting his bird paintings in the 1960s, which attracted the attention of English publisher Sir William Collins. A keen ornithologist, Collins invited Ching to the UK, which led to a commission to produce a major book with Collins Publishing and The Readers Digest on all of the birds of Britain. The Reader’s Digest Book of British Birds, published in 1969, became the world’s most successful and biggest selling ornithological book ever.
This enthusiastic reception established his career as an artist at the top of his field, and also encouraged him to produce many natural-history books over the last 40 years. His works are held in collections all over the world. In 2012, Ching was commissioned by his friend Sir David Attenborough to produce an oil painting for the cover of Attenborough’s book Drawn from Paradise. Ray Ching lives in Wiltshire, UK, and continues to paint birds and animals, as well as remarkably life-like portraits.