Richards noted, in a letter to Gertrude Brinckle in the Delaware Art Museum files, that 1905 was the year she came to Wilrnington. She studied with Howard Pyle, and remained in the city for seven years. In a 1927 interview, she recalled Pyle's attitude toward his teaching: "Twice a week we would come together and Mr. Pyle would criticize our efforts and offer suggestions. He always acted as if it were a privilege we gave him." After her stay in Wilmington, Richards settled permanently in New Haven, actively participating in the art community there.

By the time Richards had begun her studies under Pyle she was a published illustrator, with works appearing in such juvenile periodicals as Wide Awake, St. Nicholas, Harper's Young People, and Youth's Companion. Her work shows a great simpathy towards children, and they were her primary subject matter for most of her life. During the period spent in Wilmington, her career as an illustrator flourished, and she was especially sought after by publishers of children's books. By the 1920s Richards had given up illustration work in order to focus on child portraiture and do an occasional landscape. Watercolor was her favored medium, although she also enjoyed working in charcoal. Her style had an overall decorative quality, and her works are often gentle in spirit.

Richards exhibited her works often with the New Haven Paint and Clay Club and took an active role in its events. She also belonged to the Plastic Club of Philadelphia and exhibited occasionally with the American Water Color Society. Her illustrated books include Christmas Every Day by W.W. Howells and Eight Cousins by Louisa Alcott. She died of myrocarditis on July 25, 1932, at Southwest Harbor, Maine.

Pyle Students