Richard graduated from Edinburgh College of Art in 1975. He retired from teaching in 2005 and has been painting full-time ever since. He combines ordinary people with ordinary and imaginary scapes to create work that stimulates the viewer to think and dream. Each work has specific and vague meanings, hinted at by their title, which arise from its conception and the process of its making. He considers himself to be a 'symbolist' in that the figures and objects he portrays often have more than one significance.