Born and raised near the village of Bear River where he now resides, Sanford started his career in school, drawing scenes of the village as well as wildlife sketches.
Although basically self-taught, he enrolled in a course of commercial art prior to studying fine art under well known Halifax artist John Cook. He also studied under artist Alan Wylie from Scotland as well as studying for a brief time at NSCAD.
Ray's quiet and often rowdy seascapes show his love for the ocean. His passion for nature is evident in the many landscapes from days spent in the woods, in fields and by the streams of his native Nova Scotia home.
Three of his works were included in the book "Nova Scotia Contemporary Artists, Volume Two". His paintings may be found in collections from the Northwest Territories to Puerto Rico, Europe and Beyond.