"The Altar Series is based on Christian symbols and the belief that God loves all his creatures - from the beginning of time until today - in nature as well as the hearts of all people" - Jerry Wray
"Within the Altar series are primitive symbols taken from many cultures indicating that God has been with his creation since the beginning of time."
Her method of painting is similar to batik. The symbols Christian are drawn from her Christian background - butterflies (rebirth), rainbows (God's promise), The Cross, The Heart (Love, The Dove (Holy Spirit), Sunrise, Sunset, Trees, leaves, flowers all used in early Christian paintings. Within the Altar Series are the series - Primitive symbols taken from American Indian, Australian Primitives and caves of France. Also geometric markings can be found in every culture - the x, the diamond squares, circles. Each painting expresses a small statement about God's love and about his never changing nature. The basic design is a square drawn in wax with an oval above and an oval below or 3 ovals below. The square represents the earth (God's Altar), the oval above represents God, the Ovals below represent the Trinity, circles on each side represent his followers. The longer x in the middle of the square points to the four corners of the earth -in other words- all the earth.
Jerry Wray was trained as a traditional watercolor painter. She soon began to experiment with inks, gouache, acrylics, and collage, learning to use them individually and then in combinations to produce exciting visual experiences with an emphasis on color. Her current paintings are created by drawing with wax resist on the surface of watercolor paper. She then applies cold water dyes and fixes the color with a dye set. The paintings are then embellished with water soluble crayons and gauche. Her technique is comparable to a batik process which is typically applied to fabrics.
This material is made form many many experimental techniques. First she uses "hot wax resist" to draw the lines on Lana water color paper. Then she selects 3 to 5 colors of powdered cold water dyes and sprinkles the colors on the paper. Then she activates them by spraying them with water. She says "I like not having control at this point because I could never think up the beautiful intertwining of colors and texture that that process gives. After setting the dyes and allowing them to dry, I paint with gouache structuring the composition with an opaque contrast to the transparent dyes." To complete the works Mrs. Wray embellishes the paintings with water-soluble crayons similar to the gouache, using many different kinds of symbols.