Richard tended to keep to a palette of “earth” colours: umbers, ochres, siennas etc except with the sea where greys and blues predominate. He experimented with greens but found them difficult to handle. But at periods throughout his life he was beguiled by fierce reds and violets. He loved flowers of the brighter sort: dahlias, sunflowers, nasturtiums and dark red roses but on occasions these colours could take over in landscapes and seascapes as well. The 60s has the highest representation of these wild colours and freedom of paint, when he was obviously feeling the urge to move on from his tighter narrative compositions.
Already as an 18 year old and beginning to explore the effect of light out on the moors after the urban life of Bradford (his parents moved out to Ilkley in 1920) Richard here breaks up the light on the trees and rocky landscape into pinks and reds and blues. Still looking fresh after 100 years.
This little picture shows the experience of years of painting and the mastery of the overall textures is exciting as well as the heat of the colours. The cows are deftly characterised and the tones are low enough for the bright yellow-red in the distance to glow.
Now nearly 80 Richard refuses to follow a consistent path. This picture is oven-hot and the few flicks on the water of whitish-lilac serve to emphasise the heat from the other side of the spectrum. The black in question is a mixture of colours to achieve a sort of blackness that vibrates in a different way from black out of a tube.