Richard Snowden was born in Dunkeswick, between Harrogate and Leeds in 1950.
He is a self-taught artist though he learned much from his maternal grandmother, an artist in her own right. He has painted all his life, even selling sketches and oil paintings at school. As is the norm for a talented artist, he then went on to study farming at Cirencester.
He has painted and exhibited all over the world but now he has settled back in Dunkeswick at the original farmhouse where he was born, where he paints nightly from his studio and gallery in a converted barn on his farm and runs the farm by day.
Richard had his first one-man exhibition at 18 years old- it was a sell-out. He has had numerous exhibitions since.
Richard Snowden’s vision is unencumbered by formal art education. Instead he has his own natural and assured line and an idiosyncratic, even anarchic, approach to colour.
He has to paint. It is a release for him and he fills sketchbook after sketchbook, searching to perfect an image before it is translated to canvas. He often makes random marks on the paper even before addressing the subject in his haste to start the creative process. When working at life class he will complete twenty images before his colleagues have produced one.
When asked what makes him paint, he replies ‘Life’ before correcting himself: ‘No. Colour. It’s colour.’ I would suggest that Life inspires him to paint but Colour drives him on.
Richard is part colour blind and his feel for colour, like his line, is instinctive. He uses colour as he feels it, not as we see it. His trees are rarely green, although frequently his subjects’ hair is – or purple or blue. He says: “I don’t try to make things look the predicted colour, the colour one thinks they should be. Every so often I hit the right colour, but those paintings seldom leave the studio.”