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Resident: Richard Douglas' story

Currently residing at Mount Vale Care Home, Richard Douglas of Thirsk, is a truly talented artist, and is most famous for his portraits of Methodist founder, John Wesley, and his depiction of eighteenth century scenes.

His passion for art developed during his work as a missionary in Namibia; a devout Christian, at the age of 20, Richard had decided to leave his native England and head to the dry plains of southwest Africa. It was during this journey to Namibia that he began reading John Wesley’s sermons. Shortly thereafter, he started drawing scenes from Wesley’s writings, which quickly became a fierce passion that only grew through the years.

After 13 years in Namibia, health problems forced Mr. Douglas to retreat to England, where he spent many years teaching religion and art at Eskdale School in Whitby and continuing to draw and paint as a hobby.

It was during his retirement that Richard Douglas gained widespread recognition; the extra free time meant that he could dedicate more of his life to art. His paintings of John Wesley, the Wesley family and bishop, Francis Asbury, soon made him a leading authority figure on eighteenth century Methodist leaders.

The meticulous research Richard did into eighteenth century customs and dress for his paintings had made him an expert on the subject, and much of his life’s work is now being displayed at the Asbury Theological Seminary.

Today, Richard Douglas lives at Mount Vale Care Home, and he has been the main inspiration for a free art exhibition at the home that showcases the fantastic talents of residents and those living in the local community.