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Richard Firth was born in Hull, England in 1971. He grew up in the City of Hull with his two brothers and was raised by his father who worked as a builder for the Hull City Council. During his early school years he showed a natural talent for art but, at the age of thirteen, he started to work as a butcher. However, he never lost his love for art and began his artistic career painting vintage cars, two of which were published as limited edition prints. He was mainly self-taught and in 1996, at the age of twenty five, he began painting the marine subjects he is so well-known for today.

While Firth developed his own unique style of painting, he was inspired by great marine artists such as John Wilson Carmichael (1799-1868), Thomas Somerscales (1842-1927) and Montague Dawson (1895-1973).

His love of marine paintings inspired him to become a keen yachtsman. He realized that in order to paint accurate seascapes, he would need to spend time on the high seas and learn all aspects of sailing, as well as sea and weather conditions. His first sailing experience was on the Humber and East Coast of England. In September 2011, Firth competed in the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race off the south coast of England, for which he had to undergo intensive training in sailing, safety and navigation. Although this training was tough, nothing could prepare him for the grueling conditions he met crossing the South Atlantic Ocean from Rio de Janeiro to Cape Town on the winning clipper yacht, Gold Coast. The 3,390 miles across the South Atlantic Ocean took around eighteen days and became the most exhilarating and rewarding sailing experience of Firth's life. 

Firth's experience at sea and dedication in the studio take his paintings far beyond photography, and his canvases show great depth, atmosphere, movement and realism. His paintings are all created from memory, knowing how yachts sit and handle in the waters of all weather conditions.

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