Richard Twose (born in Devon, 1963) studied 3D Design at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham, in the 1980s. After a successful first career as a jewellery designer in London, during which time he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Brighton and Camberwell College of Arts, Richard relocated to a village near Bath and began to paint portraits while teaching art and art history at a sixth form college in Bristol. From 2009 his work was exhibited in galleries in Bristol and Bath.
In 2012 (and again in 2021) Richard won the Bath Society of Artists’ Painting Prize in their annual Open Exhibition at the Victoria Art Gallery and was invited to become a member of the Society.
In 2014 Richard won second prize at the BP Portrait Award. He was shortlisted again for the award in 2017 for his portrait of film director Ken Loach, which was commissioned by the University of Oxford. The institution has since commissioned him to paint four other portraits. Richard has also been commissioned by The National Portrait Gallery, The Holburne Museum in Bath and Marks & Spencer.
In 2017 he won the Royal West of England Academy’s annual Open Exhibition Award and in 2019 he was shortlisted for the Ruth Borchard Collection Self-Portrait Prize.
Although commissioned portraits, often of eminent figures in their fields, represent most of his output, Richard also paints animals, self-portraits and a variety of figurative pieces, always in oils. He has worked with circus performers and dancers, among others, to bring his ideas to life. During lockdown, he turned to his own family story, referencing Renaissance paintings, when he couldn’t work with live models.
Richard’s current series of paintings focuses on figures in movement in semi-abstract interiors as he reflects on the transient, delicate beauty of life. The artist lets colour, line and texture interfere with the formal subject of the painting. He wants the surface of the painting to be enjoyed as expressive and sensual in its own right. Ben Luke, writing in the Evening Standard, has described his work as having “an elusive, poetic quality”. Edward Lucie-Smith has called Richard “a modern master of the non-finito technique”.
Richard’s paintings are shown regularly in both solo and group shows at galleries in the UK, America and Hong Kong, where he has many private collectors. His most recent solo shows have been held at Catto Gallery, London, in 2021, 2019 and 2017, at the Victoria Art Gallery and Beaux Arts Bath in 2019 and at The Biscuit Factory in Newcastle in 2016, where he was invited to be a judge for their Open Contemporary Portrait Award. Richard was one of the three judges for the BP Portrait Award’s Travel Award 2016. He has undertaken residencies at Elisabeth Frink’s studio in Dorset (2018) and the Royal College of Art in London (2015).