"My practice consists of making drawn and painted portraits of my family, friends, self-portraits and nudes. I prefer to work from life, rather than photographs so that I can involve each sitter in the making process. Over the course of each painting, conversations differ and our moods create a range of tensions which feed into each portrait, influencing my painting process. I want my paintings to convey something subtle about these encounters, as if looking at one was like wandering into a space where this person just happened to be".
Richard Kitson paints, draws and makes etchings in his studio in Barnsley. Although the human face and figure are Kitson’s key preoccupations, he often depicts the interior of his studio and the objects within it in his paintings as integral parts of each composition. Kitson is influenced by artists such as Rembrandt, Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach and Edgar Degas and his work is a personal response to his observations of theirs and other artists whose work he has studied.
In 2018 Kitson participated in Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year where he painted Paralympic athlete Kadeena Cox MBE at the Wallace Collection in London. 2018 also saw the opening of Kitson's first solo exhibition at the Cooper Gallery in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. The exhibition featured 25 paintings and drawings created over a ten year period from 2008 - 2018. As well as showing portraits of Kitson's friends and family, the exhibition featured a portrait of Barnsley Central MP and South Yorkshire Region Mayor Dan Jarvis MBE.
Kitson’s first international solo exhibition took place during the Spring of 2019 at the Labor Im Chor gallery, part of the Museum and Galerie im Prediger in Schwäbisch Gmünd, Germany.