Rich Thistle, Collector Plates

Rich Thistle, Collector Plates

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Dedicated to farmers around the world,  RICH THISTLE is a multi-disciplined, Canadian visual artist respected for his aviation art as well as watercolor and acrylic landscape paintings of Ontario's lake country. His work extends to other subjects including horses, cars, trucks, motorcycles, tractors, sailboats and canoes.

His images are available as original paintings. In past years his images were published as limited-edition prints, posters and collector plates, all editions now sold out. Over his career Rich has also designed and created original stained glass, furniture, pottery, whips, knives and works in leather, as well as designing and building two homes.

Rich spent thirty years as a visual-art educator and consultant in Perth County, Ontario, while developing his career as an artist. He studied at the Ontario College of Art (& Design), earned a BA (Visual Art Major) from the University of Western Ontario and is a graduate of Stratford Teachers' College.

His original paintings are in the collections of the Canadian War Museum, Jersey Museum Channel Islands, King Charles III, 431 (AD) Squadron Snowbirds, Canadian Forces Base Greenwood, Bombardier/Canadair, Penn West Energy and numerous other corporate, military, public, museum and private collections worldwide.

Rich has been profiled on national television and radio and his images appear on the covers of Canadian, American and British books, magazines and in television documentaries. One of his paintings is depicted in bronze in the Royal Canadian Mint's Canada Remembers medallion set commemorating the 50th anniversary of D-Day in World War 2.

In early 2000, Rich was commissioned by the Snowbirds, Canada's military aerobatic display Team, to create a painting celebrating their 30th anniversary. The painting Flying the Flag was published by the Snowbirds as a limited-edition print with artist proofs personally co-signed by Rich and the entire 24 member Team. The following year Rich painted Double Diamond Radical Twins, also published as a limited-edition print, co-signed by Maj. Bob Painchaud, Commanding Officer/Team Lead 431 (AD) Sqn. Snowbirds 1999-2000-2001. Sadly, Bob died suddenly in March 2020 while at his vacation home in the Caribbean with wife Kate.

Over the years Rich has given numerous presentations to service clubs, historical, Probus and community clubs, aviation associations and veteran's groups. These presentations feature his paintings and career as an artist with particular focus on the Canadian history depicted in his many historical aviation images depicting both military and general aviation aircraft.

Rich has created commemorative aviation posters for veteran's associations and various annual or special aviation events. He has written several articles about the aviation history represented in his paintings for the American magazine AVIATION HISTORY and 33 monthly columns for CANADIAN FLIGHT , the national publication of COPA, the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association.

Since 2000 Rich has also kept busy creating graphic design work for his wife Jay's website design business Thistle Site Design

Rich and his wife Jay owned and operated Gallery 164, a retail art gallery, in their home town of Stratford, Ontario before re-locating to cottage country in 1999. Visitors are now welcome by appointment to Rich's studio/gallery located in Wasaga Beach, Ontario, north of Toronto. Collectors can view and purchase original paintings or discuss a commission for a painting.
This year-long project produced an exciting public art installation THE HEART OF STRATFORD MURAL completed in Nov. 1998, including 23 original acrylic paintings by Rich Thistle. These works, a visual art tribute to historic and current Stratford, are permanently mounted across the front of Stratford Place, a commercial/apartment complex in the heart of downtown Stratford Ontario. Take some time to view these widely-acclaimed images, and read a little bit of history about Rich's hometown.