In the big sky landscape of Northumberland 14 miles due west of Newcastle, Friday night saw the studio opening of good friend, Richard Kidd. Richard paints landscapes. Large, gestural, freely abstract canvases full of energy and movement evoking the wild rugged land of Scotland. Six months ago, forced vacation of his derelict industrial studio building on the banks of the Tyne meant a search for a new workspace. Six months on and his hard labours have transformed an unprepossessing breezeblock warehouse of a barn, surrounded by acres of cows, fields and woods, into the ideal work environment. White expanses of wall, good light, insulation, storage, toilet, kitchen area, bookshelves, music and sofas to break away and relax on. But best of all ‐ a fabulous wood burning stove chucking out heat and bringing the whole place alive. Through the evening lively conversation, great sounds, home smoked salmon and oysters plucked from the sea that morning ‐ (what a mouth sensation they were!) All very inspiring – a great achievement ‐ a great night. At the end of it those of us that were left threw quilts and sleeping bags onto the grey concrete floor at the base of these huge paintings, and slept in their landscape. In the morning I got to thinking about this unlikely combination of environment and creativity and how one farmer with vision and an open mind could make such a difference.