|With colours as bright as the day they were painted, personalities encountered at Barmouth, Wales by full time solicitor and
part time artist J. Walter Richards were recorded for posterity on 7 August, 1907.
Apparently a part time artist who drew and painted for his own enjoyment, Richards exhibited a very keen eye for details, a
certain sense of humor and seems to have possessed a level of technical ability on par with many artists of a professional ilk.
Unfortunately very little regarding this talented artist has come to light.
He seems to have made a living as a solicitor at Colwyn Bay, Wales According to an article that appears in the 3 February,
2007 edition of the Daily Post (Liverpool) Richards retired to Ty Croes, Wales sometime in the 1930s and passed away in the
late 1940s or early 50s and was buried Gwalchmai, Anglesey. The article also related how the vast majority of his drawings
and sketchbooks were burned in a bonfire after his death. Such stories seem to abound for authors and artists so perhaps this
was the case with much of Richards' work also. In any case some of his work did indeed survive as evidenced by this
beautifully preserved page.
Based upon the apparent accuracy exhibited in the three volunteer soldiers portraits on this page Richards may have had
more that a passing knowledge of military matters. Note the old quartermaster sergeant's Volunteer Long Service & Good
Conduct Medal. Additionally both sergeants of the Notts & Derbys wear white tunics that have actually been painted a very
light cream colour while other parts of their parts of their kit have been painted in with white. A lesser artist may have chosen
to simply leave all these elements unpainted, leaving the white of the paper to serve instead.
Watercolour Sketchbook Leaf
8 3/4 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches high
(22.2cm x 14cm)
J. Walter Richards
August 5 & 7, 1907
|The reverse side of Richards' sketchbook page showing denizens of Portmadoc [sic], Wales. 5 August, 1907