Like Chris Sinclair, Richard was persuaded
to teach local authority-sponsored evening classes in the
early 1970s. Although open to all, the classes were dominated
by Art Circle members. He particularly recalls an elderly
lady student, Mrs Jackson, married to a Methodist minister
and even then in her eighties.
"One day we all went out on a 'field
trip' and the idea was that I would demonstrate the process
of beginning a landscape painting in oils. I had set up my
easel at the base of a steep bank and the students had arranged
themselves on the bank itself for a good view of the canvas.
Mrs Jackson hadn't noticed that two of the legs of the stool
she was sitting on were gradually sinking into the soft earth.
The inevitable happened and I turned round just in time to
see her somersaulting down the bank to land, literally on
my palette. Undaunted, she straightened herself out, covered
in mud and paint, climbed upon the tall bike she liked to
use and cycled off. Half an hour later she was back, with
a complete change of clothes, just in time to see me finishing
the painting. She was a remarkable lady and I seem to remember
she was still an active Art Circle member into her 90s."
Richard Scott twice sat on the Summer Exhibition
selection committee in the '70s - once with the redoubtable
local artist, Peggy Somerville and on an
even more memorable occasion, with Richard Parsons,
head of Lowestoft Art School and a one-time President of the
"In those days, the selection process
was more formal than today. The selectors sat in a row and
the pictures were held up one at a time for their consideration
- a bit like the RA Summer Exhibition. Dick Parsons was a
delightful man whom I had never heard express an unkind word
about anyone - which made his behaviour on this occasion especially
As the pictures were displayed, Dick became
increasingly uninhibited and articulate in his appraisals
- I think, quite forgetting that, in many cases it was the
artists themselves holding the works proudly aloft.There
were a few rather tense moments.
Over the years, the Circle has become much
more approachable and less formal. I remember it in the early
days as having a somewhat impenetrable quality. It is a much
larger society now and the range styles and subject matter
is much wider. On the whole I think the quality of work is
higher now. Traditional landscapes are, perhaps, the exception:
there are far fewer exhibited now and I think many of them
lack the richness and technical competence of those I remember
in my youth."