Collector's Comments


In his book NICKLE ON THE GRASS © 2006, Col. Phil 'Hands' Handley presents a series of vignettes capturing his life as an aviator, fighter pilot and leader in a military career spanning 26 years. This is a quote from the book where Phil discusses the cover art...
"The painting RHINO CHARGE shown on the cover is from the easel of noted Canadian artist, Rich Thistle. Working from charts, diagrams, pictures, models and innumerable exchanges with the author, he dramatically captured a historically significant instant of aerial combat with stunning accuracy....I will always be grateful to Rich Thistle for the tenacity, dedication and patience he showed in the creation of this painting which hangs proudly over my bar, and shall forever be a treasured possession."

Col Philip W. 'Hands' Handley 3 DFC's, Silver Star USAF (Ret.), born April 9 / 1935, died on March 1 / 2019

"Unlike my luggage from DC, FINGER FOUR SEAFORD has arrived and I'm thrilled! It will look great in our new house and reminds me of home. I come from near Seaford and used to play golf regularly from roughly where the picture is taken from. Incidentally, we also stopped at Tangmere on my birthday last year. Great, great, great! And thanks."
Colin Hayward
Leymen, France

"My full compliments! Awesome art work! Superb use of colour - and a great web site. What a breath of fresh air and Canadian to boot!"
Bruce Douglas

"I am the author of THE TUNNEL KING; THE TRUE STORY OF WALLY FLOODY AND THE GREAT ESCAPE. I have just received a single advance copy of the book. I had asked especially for Rich's painting IN THE BALANCE, for the cover and was absolutely thrilled to hear that he had granted permission to my publisher. Now that I have seen the cover, I am more than ever convinced that there couldn't be a better image for the front of the book. I wanted to pass on my thanks personally, and say again how much I admire that painting and Rich's other military art."
Barbara Hehner

"The 30th Snowbird Anniversary is already two weeks old and the Team is busy with the winter work-ups in preparation for next year's show season. By all accounts, the 30th was a resounding success. Old friendships were rekindled, new ones were forged and it was an outstanding way for us to close out our 30th season.

Rich and Jay, your support for the Snowbirds has been absolute from the beginning. The letter writing campaign you undertook, allowing us to use your creativity and talent in the creation of FLYING THE FLAG and giving us carte blanche in the use of that image really gave us flexibility in planning the 30th Anniversary weekend. Without your loyal and dedicated support, the weekend would not have been the success it was. It was truly an honour to have you both at the reunion and I hope you enjoyed yourselves. I extend to you both my heartfelt gratitude and thanks for exceptional dedication and generosity. The Snowbirds are fortunate to have you, Rich and Jay, as true friends."
J.G.R. 'Cowboy' Painchaud, Major
Commanding Officer Snowbirds 1999-2000-2001
(Sadly, Bob died on Feb. 28 / 2020 while at his vacation home on the Caribbean Island of Roatán. He will be deeply missed by wife Kate, his family and all who knew him.)

"Just a note to let you know how thrilled I am to be the owner of your original watercolor, DOUBLE DIAMOND RADICAL TWINS. I thought you might like to know that your painting is hanging in a home that appreciates fine art. My late father, James Penman Rae, was an artist and writer. Although never able to support his large family through his artistic talents, he left his eight children a legacy of beautiful paintings and writings (poetry and prose) and an appreciation of the sacrifice, dedication and talent that is embodied in each work of art.  Your painting of the Snowbirds is treasured by our family. Thank you for creating this beautiful piece of Canadian art!"
Janis Stewart

"I was pleased to read in the Beacon Herald that you have completed your artwork on the facade of Stratford Place, entitled THE HEART OF STRATFORD.  Residents and visitors alike will be able to enjoy your magnificent paintings of Stratford for years to come. These pieces act as a time capsule to preserve the present image of Stratford while recapturing the city's history. Your contribution to enhancing the beauty of downtown Stratford through your artistry is a commendable achievement. Congratulations on the completion of this project and best wishes for continued success."
John Richardson (Dec. 1/1932 - June 2/2010)
M.P. Perth-Middlesex, Ontario (1998)

"I finally had time today to visit your installation THE HEART OF STRATORD. What a magnificent presentation! You must be very proud of your accomplishment. I am sure that the building developer and the people of Stratford, including visitors, will enjoy your work for years to come. Congratulations on this tremendous accomplishment."
Garry Clifford
British Columbia

"Rich, you are a messenger who communicates with paint. LONE WOLF AT DAWN remains an excellent representation of the moment, to such a degree that it truly caught my eye. It makes people look, wonder and hopefully explore. The message is the whole canvas, not the tiny details."
R. (Randy) Green