Sylvia Richard (nee Sylvia Barrett)
My art education started at Harrogate art school where I studied for three years for the National Diploma in Art and Design, I then worked for five years as a display artist at Mathias Robinsons until matrimony and motherhood (I had four children) took me away from the art world and many years later I eased myself back into things artistic through pottery, studying for two years part time for the City and Guilds certification in three dimensional design.
Eventually I returned to my first love of drawing and painting, this was done at Swarthmore in Leeds where I was a student of Mary Lord for painting and the late Pam Rex and Frank Lyle for life study and portraiture respectively.
Weekly workshop sessions followed with Clive Head, now head of the art department at Scarborough University and to all those I owe a lot for their guidance and encouragement.
Leeds City Art Gallery library
Manor house, Ilkley
Menston Art Club
Holmfirth Art Space
Harrogate Mercer gallery, open exhibition
I have always admired the romance and idealism of the pre-Raphaelites era, also such artists as Dame Laura Knight for her portrayal of the east coast fishing communities and Margaret Cameron’s photographic record of the early last century, these two probably influenced me to paint Departure and The Return, while Gaynor, Gaynor’s sister, Abbe, Guy, Becky, and many others who were all life models representative of many happy and fulfilling workshop sessions at Castleford with Clive Head.
Tuscan landscape is evocative of a long caravette trek following my husband’s redundancy, many weeks of slow wandering though France and Italy, a quick peak at culture and civilisation, Florence from piazza Michel Angelo back into wilderness of a cork oak forest surprisingly only a few kilometres north of Saint Tropez.
In an attempt to introduce some spirituality in this mad commercial world I took a two year course at the University of Avalon, studying the ancient pagan religions with particular empathies on the cult of the Goddess, I found this totally life changing and was initiated as Priestess of the Goddess which stimulated me to paint “Rhiannon” and “the Goddess of Avalon”.