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Born in 1936 in Floresville, Texas, Michael Gray was raised in San Antonio. His roots extend back to the famous Gray Ranch, also called La Gloria. This was one of the sites of the last Indian raids in Texas. His fifth generation grandfather, English immigrant Edward Nixon Gray, was a Captain who delivered arms to the Texas Army along the Rio Grande with Richard King (founder of the famous King Ranch) during the Mexican American War. He rode with Jack Hays and was one of the first Texas Rangers. He also served under Zachary Scott with the "Texas Rifles". All men serving in the “Texas Rifles” for at least one year recieved some land as compensation. Captain Gray built a mercantile store on his land in the town of Conception. The store became the main center of trade for that part of South Texas and enabled him to buy more land on which he established the 40,000 acre Gray Ranch. He built a two story, twenty-two room mansion with a cupla (guard or lookout tower) on the roof. Michael's grandfather on the other side, a Spaniard named Antonio Maria Palacios, was the first Justice of the Peace in Texas, appointed by Sam Houston. The historical events that occured at the Gray Ranch are all recorded in Austin, The Alamo Library, The Institute of Texan Cultures, and Washington, D.C. The artist has painted many of the events from this era.

The artist started painting at the age of nine, he would cut linoleum squares from old kitchen tables and paint on them. The artist is self-taught, studying the works of Salinas, R.H. Russell, Remmington and other great western artists. A great deal of his work has been influenced by his years of extensive research on South Texas history, including that of his own family. His own unique style has developed over 54 years. He paints in the medium of acrylic although his works take on the quality of oil due to the techniques he employs. He prefers this medium partly because of it’s longevity and has been using acrylic ever since it’s developement in the art world.

Michael Gray spent 13 years in the U.S. Air Force, mainly in Strategic Air Command. Stationed most of that time in Tucson, he was able to study many areas of Arizona. So many of the breathtaking scenes he viewed compelled him to commit them to canvas. His art progressed from landscapes to western art to biblical art. The history of his family, some of the early pioneers of South Texas, has deeply influenced his work. To this day, he still roams the towns and back roads of South Texas searching for information to bring about his next image of Texas’ historical events. He is committed to putting those events on canvas so as to preserve them for future generations. South Texas, in its history, provides many tales yet untold. The artist searches out these historical tales. One of his sources is Frank Dobie, writer of folklore of South Texas.

The artist is very selective about which of his works he is willing to sell. At the present time he is offering a very small number of his western works, both historical and action. He has a deep faith in God and says that his talent is one of God’s many gifts to him.

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