The Artist

pic of the artist

Born in India, Chris spent his early years in Hampshire. Educated at Blundells and the Sorbonne. He was a teacher in Sussex before coming to Mere in the 70's, initially to paint, and then to open the Blue Rider Gallery and Bookshop.
Also very interested in photography, he has travelled to many parts of the world, and has compiled a personal record of the people and places encountered.
He is now a full-time painter again, at this time living in the town of Minehead in Somerset. Over the years he has exhibited at several venues and galleries.

M.D.   2010

Artist Statement

pic of the artist in the studio

I am a landscape painter and have been established since the 1970's. I work entirely in my studio, from sketches and photo references, from inspiration and memories. Nowadays I use acrylics – and the resulting work is often richly layered and textured. My paintings are professionally and individually framed. Original sizes (not including the frames) are in inches*
Here also you will see my photography work: Travel and the more abstract galleries of Ways of Seeing.
Please contact me if you would like further information, or just to get in touch.
I would be delighted to hear from you.

C.R.  2018

* 1 inch = approx 2.5cm

A Review

one of the artist's paintings - Marvel Hill Revisited

Chris draws from his love of the natural landscapes of England and Wales. This is especially so of the Wiltshire downs that surround Mere. His work shows this "connection" with his immediate landscape and none more so than On Marvel Hill, the first of a series to be painted using his new format. He successfully translates the telephoto image of a lens onto canvas and the effect is both striking and individual. It is a difficult technique and one he has sought to perfect.

As he has said himself, Chris has no one particular style or technique but his paintings are unique and very much Richards. His original use of colour, emphasis on form and structure and innovative use of textures of all kinds create paintings of great beauty, depth and meaning. He skilfully interweaves the inner and outer planes, in his own inimitable way.

Chris has a passion for literature and the written word. His poetic titles, haunting and evocative words, add a further dimension to each work; Sleepwalking with the Tides, The Moon a Web of Silence Weaves, The Infinite Wistfulness of Evening Seas all demonstrate this so well.

one of the artist's paintings - Through Holt and Hanger

His paintings are highly atmospheric. There is a raw pain in Landscape of the Broken Heart, meditative calm in The Charity of Night, and isolation in The Day Hangs Suspended like a Soul Between Two Worlds. There is secret energy with beautiful Evermore and effortless grace in Natural Flow. Hereafter holds sacred truths andPer Siempre (Forever) peace and surrender.The Flatlands casts an unearthly spell and The Reason, contemplation and calm. Lazy Water is an epitome of the carefree days of youth and there is absolute joy in my own Swayer of Reeds.

In addition, there is a tremendous power and strength in his work. The charge of The Golden Island and The Dark Side of the Mountain is spectacular and The Edge of Rohan exciting. Shadowland has a presence and stature all of its own and Trickledown Hill a striking and abstract complexity. Lake Consequence shines like a beacon of hope and White in the Moon the Long Road Lies is a quest into the great unknown. Ashe Ridge - Finale is a study of space and form and Dark Isle, the jewel in the crown.

He is an artist of integrity, constantly evaluating and honing his craft. It is this dedication, imaginative approach and standard of excellence that makes it a pleasure to write about his work. The paintings enthral, not only a feast for the eyes and senses, but an inner journey where one Soul speaks with another.

Deborah Oakley 2004

See all reviews


painting by the artist - Exmoor Series - Prologue (underpainting)

painting by the artist - Exmoor Series - Prologue (finished painting)

Practical Approach

I am often asked how I start a painting in the first place.

It was Klee who said: I take a line for a walk – and that is pretty much what happens at the start. (You will see from my vertical landscapes that I am particularly interested in the linear design of the subject). I might add that I splash on some colours and see what happens. This may sound wilful, but from these early stages of chance, and together with the extreme versatility of acrylic paint, my final vision begins to appear.

And this degree of unexpectedness adds a certain charm to the final product. I am never quite sure how it will work – though perhaps never as well as I hoped it would! I trust that my buyers will understand this as a striving for better things, rather than an admission of some degree of failure.

There is no great secret about painting from imagination. Obviously I have a firm idea of how trees and rivers, clouds and skies, valleys and uplands should work, and I try to translate these memories into a world of my own. Of course, written ideas and sketches play their part, and photography is always a standby.

Add to this mix, an exploration into structure and form, by way of the many textures available – sand and gel, mica and moulding paste, even glitter and glow paint, and I am on my way to finishing a painting.

My Inspiration

I paint landscapes, and I try to make my work imaginative, poetic, atmospheric and original to capture the drama and mystery of the natural elements.

inspiration shot
inspiration shot
inspiration shot
inspiration shot

My influences: just about every landscape painter from Palmer and Turner on, but most especially the great British painters of the mid twentieth century: Sutherland and Nash, Spencer and Ravilious, Piper and Hitchens (who was a source of personal encouragement to me).

I lived in Wiltshire for over thirty years, and was naturally influenced by the landscape in the close vicinity of Mere: the chalk escarpments with their terracing of strip lynchets casting strong shadows in early or late light; the surprising steepness of the various combes; white fields and tractor lines in the first green of the corn; the variety of marks on the land: circles and squares, stars and crosses; old track ways across the downs and the way ancient woods suddenly appear on the tops of hills; the silent acres and the luminous clouds that drop lightly half out of sight behind the wide horizon.

inspiration shot
inspiration shot
inspiration shot
inspiration shot

But my heart is very much in Wales, and it is this welshness that I aspire to. Visits with family to the Gower and the Brecon Beacons have been a constant source of delight for me, and I have a very special and secret place in Pembrokeshire – admittedly it was found by Graham Sutherland some seventy years before me!

Here in a land of creeks and river estuaries, of wild coasts and ancient moors, I can let my imagination take over, and this is what evolves when I am back home in my studio with the rain beating on the window.

Dedication & Thanks

I had the idea of asking the owners if they would like to write about their own paintings, and in many cases they have kindly done so. Obviously I couldn't demand this task from everyone (even if they wanted to do so), and some of the subjects written about just didn't fit in here – my apologies to them.

This site is for my mother, source of my one and only sale in my first exhibition (rather like Van Gogh's brother!), and who, until her death in 1982, never stopped encouraging and believing in me.

I am totally indebted to Chris (another Chris R) for all his hard work on the production and excellent design of my website.

I would also like to express my appreciation to the many buyers of my work, and to all my friends who take such an interest and especially to those who have helped me the most; Lynda, Nicky, Debbie, Hugh, Richard L, Richard W, Nick, Tanya, Richie and Stephen - thank you.

C.R.  2018


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01643 706014