I studied at Chelsea School of Art, Manresa Road from 1975 to 1979, obtaining B.A (Hons).
I was awarded the Christopher Head Scholarship for Drawing in 1978 and represented the College at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in the same year. At Art School I had the good fortune to be encouraged by Patrick Symons RA, with whom I worked on Wimbledon Common over several summers after leaving College, his interest in wild flowers was infectious and his meticulous way of working immensely instructive.
Amongst the large open exhibitions I have had work accepted in both the 1982 and 1985 Portrait Award Exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, the Royal Academy Summer Show for 15 years from 1985 and the New English Art Club for 14 years from 1989.
I have exhibited with the RP, RI, RWS, RBA, Bankside opens, The London Group, the Singer & Friedlander / Sunday Times watercolour competition, the Discerning Eye and the Affordable Art Fair.
Since leaving College I have had work in many influential private galleries including Anna Mei Chadwick, Peter Headley, The New Ashgate, Sebastian Pearson, Wykeham, Rona Gallery and the Watercolour and Drawings Fair at the Singer & Friedlander / Sunday Times stand in 2001. In 2003 I was exhibiting and demonstrating at Art in Action, Waterperry. I have exhibited at the Russell Gallery, Putney; the Red Rag Gallery, Stow-on-the-Wold; the Spa Gallery, Tunbridge Wells and with Langham Fine Art in Suffolk, exhibiting with Josephine Harpur, Bury St. Edmunds 2011. I had a painting selected for the RBA to show in the "Pure Gold, 50 years of the FBA" exhibition in 2011. I also exhibited in "Five Painters and a Sculptor" at the Russell Gallery, Putney in 2011 and the "Still Alive" exhibition at the Mall Galleries in 2013.
I have been a member of the Royal Society of British Artists since 1996 where I have won several prizes at their annual open exhibitions, including the prestigious De Laszlo Medal.
I was elected to the Small Paintings group in 2007, becoming their Hon. Secretary in 2010, and have had work with the group at Piers Feetham Gallery, Fulham and in other galleries during that and subsequent years. More recently I have been exhibiting with the Jerram Gallery, Island Fine Arts and Geedon Gallery.
I first saw an exhibition of etchings by Giorgio Morandi at the Tate in 1991 which made me catch my breath, and since then I have looked at painters of that genre and fallen in love with the art. I have always loved work by such artists as Piero della Francesca, Velazquez, Gwen John and Paula Modersohn-Becker. I have looked at and loved still life by the Spanish painters, Luis Melendez, Juan Sanchez Cotan and Goya, and by the painters Chardin and Fantin Latour, to name but a few.
Over the years I have amassed a great deal of still life objects and some I paint repeatedly. I try to catch the transient beauty of flowers and am fascinated by the problems involved in painting portraits.
I continue to be fascinated by the intriguing process involved in working to create an image that has weight and conviction, using my collection of ordinary everyday objects and my oil paints.
I draw in sketchbooks or on any paper to hand, using pencil or pen and ink, deciding both what to paint or just because I love to.
I paint in oils as they are a flexible medium and stay wet long enough to make changes. Working with both sable and hog hair brushes on hardboard primed with acrylic gesso or stretched canvas I take differing amounts of time to complete a work, sometimes quite quickly in a few days but at others I may go on for much longer.
I also paint with watercolours, adding gouache and pastel sometimes and love trying to combine a delicate feel with a strong and convincing image.
I sign my oils with the initials:BR and my watercolours with: Barbara Richardson.