Richard’s background is Irish on his mother's side, and German/Dutch on his father's [“What a gloriously jumbled nation we are!”]. Born in Aylesbeare, a village near Exeter in Devon, England, he was brought up in North Wales amongst limestone fossil-encrusted hills which remain his favourite habitat. After Prep School he was sent to what he calls “a godawful boarding school” in Southport, Lancashire which he hated and where he was told he couldn't draw. The opinion, foisted on him at home, that he was little more than an idiot was reinforced there.
If you would like to read more of what Richard says is “some life”, please follow this link. In a nutshell, Richard sees little difference between art and science. He feels the old term ‘Natural philosophy’ sums it up pretty well, so if you had to put a label on him, ‘naturalist’ - another name somewhat fallen into disuse - fits as well as any other, and better than most.
A note on a name
If you go to 'Writing' you can see that all Richard’s early published work was under the assumed family surname, Martin, due in part to the German ancestry mentioned above. Since he was already being published before being told that his true name, Meyer, had been changed by his great grand-parents when they had fled to London from anti-Jewish pogroms in the 19th century, he retained that until the 1980s. His painting has always been signed Meyer however.