Kidd, Richard 1952–2008

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Kidd, Richard 1952–2008


See index for CA sketch: Born June 22, 1952, in Newcastle upon Tyne, England; died by drowning, July 19, 2008, in the Philippines. Artist, painter, educator, and children's author. Kidd began his career as an award-winning artist. His first award was an Abbey painting scholarship for the British School at Rome that he received in 1974, when he was not long out of his teens. Kidd's landscape art reflected his love for the outdoor world at its most rugged and challenging. He painted the mountainous terrain of the Scottish highlands and the remote splendor of the islands of the North Sea, writing that a sense of place and immediacy—even urgency—was a critical element of his best work. At its peak, Kidd's art was exhibited throughout the world, including shows in San Francisco and New York City in the 1980s. He also exhibited regularly at the Biscuit Factory in his hometown, and he taught painting classes at British universities. It was parenthood, perhaps, that led Kidd toward the written word. When his own daughters were quite small, he published Almost Famous Daisy! (1996), part children's story, part art primer for the very young, winning criticism for his meandering text but praise for his beautiful illustrations. He persisted. Monsieur Thermidor: A Fantastic Fishy Tale (1997) and Lobsters in Love: A Whirlpool Romance (2001), both illustrated by his wife, Lindsey, follow the adventures of a lobster who owns a restaurant that serves his secret seaweed soup, until he needs to share the confidential recipe to save his life, first from a rival chef and later from a fisherman. Kidd's later books were mysteries for older readers. These include Giant Goldfish Robbery (1999), the story of a boy's quest to save his neighbor's valuable giant koi carp. Another, Deadly Famous (2001), is about a boy who suspects that a local artists' disappearance is part of a plot to increase the value of his artwork. Kidd wrote nearly a dozen children's books, but it may be his artistic journey through the wild places that will linger longest in the memory of his admirers and critics.



Times (London, England), July 26, 2008, p. 67.