Born in the Midlands in 1976, Richard's artistic leanings were obvious from an early age. As a child he dreamed of being a painter, and he regards himself as one of life's lucky ones, gifted with the talent to turn dreams into reality. After graduating from the University of Central England with an impressive First Class Honours degree in Visual Communication, Richard became a professional illustrator of childrens' books and undertook numerous other design projects. He was soon invited to display a selection of his work at the New Designers Exhibition in London and Images 24, an exhibition which opened at the Royal College of Art and then toured the country at selected galleries. Lovingly executed in acrylics, his glowing landscapes explore the lustrous shades of Provencale summers, and possess an immediacy and charm that have enchanted art-buyers across the UK. His broad and jagged brush strokes blend with surprising ease to create harmonious pastoral images, which never fail to evoke memories of our best and longest summer days. His numerous exhibitions have provided him with a wealth of new ideas ensuring that this bright, young and dynamic talent has a great future ahead of him.
I am lucky enough to be able to paint virtually every day in my local studio. I find that an early morning visit to the gym gets me going, both physically and mentally, so I try to start every day in this way. I like to reach my studio feeling positive and full of energy, and Iím sure this contributes to the fact that I always seem to do my best work in the morning! I generally tend to try and work a nine to five, as like everyone I have a finite amount of energy and I donít want to produce substandard paintings through tiredness. As I said, I am at my most productive in the morning, and I think this is also partly due to the light that comes streaming in at that time of the day. I am quite organised and tend to concentrate on one piece at a time, although I do usually have some experimental work on the go concurrently, which often no-one sees but me! On a good day, the ideas just flow and I love the time spent in the studio and canít wait to get back in there. Sometimes it is rather more like hard work, but either way, I still find looking at a finished composition an immensely rewarding experience.
I love to paint, and am inspired by the whole concept of creativity; the idea that a blank canvas can be turned into something that someone will cherish is very exciting to me. I also enjoy the fact that a painting can mean different things to different people, so a scene I painted after a glorious trip to Provence will remind me of that sun-kissed day with my sketchbook, while for another person it may evoke memories of a childhood holiday, or a romantic summer afternoon! Naturally the landscape is a huge source of inspiration to me, particularly that of Southern France, Italy and Spain. Every time I look out of a window in Tuscany, the scene before me is so impossibly beautiful I wonder if Iím looking at reality or an idyllic painting.
Although I love visiting galleries at home and abroad, and admire the work of many artists, I would not say any particular individual had influenced my style. I think that subconsciously all the art I have looked at over the years has had an effect on me, teaching me about form, colour and technique, and I like to think I have absorbed these lessons into the work I do.
A painting begins for me with the sight of a sunlit hillside or a glorious cloudless sky. I rarely paint on location however, but prefer to store the memory in my camera - I take lots of pictures from every conceivable angle - and then translate the memory onto the canvas back in the studio. Although I have been very happy painting with acrylics for most of my life, I have recently begun to explore the possibilities of alternative media, but have not yet found anything that gives me the same vibrant colours that are such an essential part of my images.