Ray-Mel Cornelius is an illustrator who grew up on a ranch outside of Dallas. He was surrounded by a landscape that has influenced his life, his work and his vision. He was raised by a father who, with his friends, would "be strapped to a 500 pound animal to chase a 500 pound animal"--an environment he was more an observer versus a participant. However, the landscape called to him:" I was surrounded by this massive landscape...I could see from horizon to horizon...I spend most of my time surrounded by this landscape". His love for landscape has shown itself in his commercial work but has expanded into his gallery paintings, which I think is a mode that speaks to his love and joins it to a brilliant palette. Ray- Mel recognizes that illustration is a struggling business. Gallery painting became a necessity --but personally, I feel that the necessity is a place that he can expand his love of landscape, his love and pride in Texas, and those images that capture Texas such as livestock, and his cowboy paintings. I throughly enjoyed Ray-Mel Cornelius, his relaxed personna, his beautiful work and his love of where he lives and what he does.