Carl Ray pursued a career as an artist and became a distinguished self-taught artist. He broke the taboos around depicting Indigenous traditional stories, and began to use them as inspiration for his work. Ray illustrated Cree legends and rituals, fearing they would be lost if they only continued to be passed down orally. Renowned Aboriginal Canadian artist Norval Morrisseau introduced Ray to the ‘woodland style’ during their work on a mural for the Expo67 in Montreal. As co-founder of the Indian Professional Artists Association, he and several others fought for the inclusion of their work, while addressing colonization and the discrimination of First Nations Peoples. Ray’s unique style is seen in the featured piece, Guardian Water Spirit, displaying inner organs and exposed energy lines. Ray’s work is full of movement and disturbance, usually placing the subjects in conflict with the elements.