Whether Ray Crooke is painting the lushness of the tropics, the arid Australian desert or as in the case of Homestead, NSW, the sunburnt western plains, there is an uniqueness to his palette and technique that brings to the viewer a very true sense of place. There is a genuine simplicity to all of his landscapes and in this relatively early work there is a feeling of dryness and depiction of light that is highly evocative.
"Perhaps the most astonishing thing about Crooke's landscapes is that they look like 'portraits' of particular places(his) paintings often carry such a vivid sense of locality that one feels that a precise counterpart must surely exist in natureHidden behind the natural appearance of his landscapes is an organisation of forms as thoroughly thought out as a piece of architecture. They describe with unprecedented accuracy an unique region and a special kind of lightCrooke is an original artistbecause of the particular temperament his paintings bring to us. His paintings reflect a mind that is intensely serious, thoughtful, and in sympathetic harmony with nature." (James Gleeson North of Capricorn: The Art of Ray Crooke, Townsville. 1997. pp. 19-20)