Towards the beginning of this web-log I wrote about close friend, Richard Kidd. I touched upon his drive in creating a fabulous studio near Newcastle, his dynamic paintings and the great night to celebrate them. Friday Night and Saturday Morning (November 2005).
It is in the saddest of circumstances that I write about him now: a small contribution at the point of his untimely death, to mark the life of a remarkable man.
Richard embraced everything he did with a huge heart and enormous energy. With a passion for rock and for climbing, he sought out wild and remote locations for his creative inspiration - Hoy, Ardnamurchan, Skye, Arran, Mull...
Here, the forces of nature were recorded with vigour in direct, small paintings; feelings later to be constructed by rigor and spontaneity into the large bold abstract canvases of the studio. He sought that we be ‘in’ the paintings, experiencing their physicality as directly as we might experience the natural world.
Richard Kidd, oil on canvas
Richard had the rare intelligence of also being able to write ‐ brilliantly. Art, family, heritage, culture, peppered with a keen sense of the ridiculous, somersaulted in his brain to emerge as well crafted plots both complex and powerfully simple ‐ in all, ten highly regarded books for the younger reader. He also wrote a short essay about my work for the book Rock, Raphia, Linen, Lead.
Personally, I recall nestling among sea worn boulders with children and sketchbooks and diving into the cold crystal of Scottish waters. I remember adventures over mountains, across moors and ocean headlands; roaring wind fuelled fires of driftwood on remote beaches, vast spaghetti carbonaras and long creative conversations with red wine late into the night. I remember a disregard for material possessions, a vibrant generosity, a zest for the good things in life and a totally irreverent sense of humour.
Richard Kidd was a man with a vital spirit and a fire in his belly. A few days, ago at the base of a waterfall in the Philippines, Richard was again drawn to experience the powerful energy of the natural world, tragically this time, the forces of nature proved to be too strong.
His wild and rugged soul touched many people. He was our son, our brother, our father, our lover. He was our tutor, our mentor, our inspiration. But most of all he was our friend.
Richard Kidd, June 1952 - July 2008