In fairness, you could call me a lot of things in fact (all complimentary of course). Over the years I have collected a number of skills and much experience. My nearest and dearest would no doubt tell you that when I find something that I am passionate about, I go all out. I love to learn new things, to challenge myself and share the things I love with others.
With that in mind, here’s a little more about me and the many hats that I wear (with style).
Richard Gladstone: Gallerist, Framer & Artist
By day I'm a framer at "The Connection Gallery & Framers" in Darlington, Co. Durham. We are the region’s only artist-owned Abstract Art Gallery. Amongst other treasures here you will also find my photography (more on that below).
As someone who is always setting their sights on the bigger picture, in 2019 I trained as a framer under experienced and highly skilled members of the Fine Art Guild. Utterly fascinating and incredibly in-depth, this was a learning experience that I will treasure for years to come. Adding the framing service to the gallery enables me to help people protect precious momentoes and show off their favourite pieces.
While I originally hail from Scotland I have lived in Darlington for many years but fell in love with Thirsk, North Yorkshire, this was the birthplace of "The Connection Gallery" in April 2017 and relocated to Darlington in 2020. In 2018 I had been awarded the Hambleton District Council Business Champion Award. That was a very proud moment. As a member of the Thirsk and District Business Association,
Richard Gladstone: The Photographer
While my photography time is limited, when I get out there - it's a great rush. When behind the lens of the camera I'm suddenly transported into a world of my own, losing all track of time. I love most aspects/niches of photography - my favourite is Night/Structure Photography with the emphasis on "Bridges". I have earned the affectionate moniker “Bridge Tart” amongst some who regularly view bridge-related work, a nickname I’m most fond of.
Sunsets/rises are another particular favourite of mine and I love the challenge of macro photography mainly with the focus on "Dragonflies and Damsels". I'm always attracted to monochrome, to me black and white is timeless and classic. Given the technology we all have assess to when it comes to photography, I love admiring old film sepia/B&W photography. For me personally, early film photography had a sense of purity and innocence about it.
Clearly, photography is a passion of mine! I've always had an interest in photography and it wasn't until I was in my forty-something years I could reasonably afford the equipment. Once I got my first DSLR I was a little bewildered by the technical aspect of the camera so I attended Teesside University and studied towards a University Certificate of Professional Development in Digital Photography.
Richard Gladstone: The Podcaster
Anyone who knows me knows that I like to talk but only if I have something worth saying. I’m not a waffler but I love to debate, to engage with others on interesting topics, share insights on my somewhat colourful life and to talk about the things that I am passionate about. It seems a shame to let my natural talent for conversation go to waste which is how my podcast, The Connection Cast, was born. (coming soon!)
Richard Gladstone: In The Driving Seat
Another passion of mine - "Driving!" I absolutely love it. The best drive of all is when I go out to somewhere and nowhere for photography. The majority of the time I do not decide on a destination, I just end up there.
My love for driving stated early and for 18 years I worked Saturdays and the odd Sunday as a wedding chauffeur. There's something quite magical about being part of someone’s special day and who would complain about being able to drive some of the most amazing classic cars? I most definitely enjoy being in the driving seat. I'm a trained chauffeur and have a member of the Inst, of Advanced Drivers for 14 years now.
Richard Gladstone: The Gentleman’s Barber
Did you know that I am also a mobile barber? I offer traditional barbering services for the traditional gentleman. I started in the world of barbering at age sixteen and retrained in 2016 to enable me to offer additional exclusive barbering services to those who prefer a luxury experience in their own homes. I have VTCT NVQ Diploma in Barbering, am registered with "British Master Barbers" and am a State Registered Barber (SRB) with the Barber Council. I’ve kept my skills, registration and safety training up to date so that I can offer the very finest service. It’s the least I can do given that I benefit from the opportunity to have a good natter with my clients at the same time.
Richard Gladstone: An Author in the midst
I have quite a collection and variety of books! I also have quite a collection of material just waiting to be finished....! From fact to fiction to fiction with fact. My newly decorated bookcase is now nicknamed "My retirement collection" as I can't stop buying books! I'm buying then quicker than I'm reading them, which is even quicker than my writing them (lol)
So many passions in life and enjoying fitting them all in!
Richard Gladstone: Just Me
I’ve lived one heck of an adventurous life so far and each experience has shaped me and given me the life that I have today. With each new day comes a new challenge, a new experience, a new friend or a new photograph. The possibilities are endless and that’s what I love about the world. I don’t have any plans to add any other hats to my collection right now, but you what they say? Never say never!
The aim of this website is to bring together the numerous facets of my personal and professional life, my “hats”. I’m not planning on