On a planet of over 8 billion people, I suppose it was inevitable that there would be someone out there with the same name as me (even the atypical spelling without the ‘s’ on the end), but what is remarkable is that we’re both artists, working in a not dissimilar vein. Rich Rawling is a watercolourist, based in Squamish, British Columbia, with a delicacy of touch and subtle colour pallette that only adds to the rather dreamlike quality of his paintings. Rich got in touch with me to alert me to his presence, and we’ve exchanged emails where I expressed my respectful envy for his circumstances. I visited BC in 1998, and after a week on Vancouver Island I knew I had found my spirital home, the place I had always nostalgically yearned after but had never known. I didn’t want to leave. We would wake jet-lagged in the early dawn to find deer in the garden, and the local news would report mountain lions walking down the highway. One memorable evening we visited relatives living out in the woods, and sat in their hot tub as a soft gentle rain fell, swigging beer and feeding pretzels to their timber wolf. After that, a quiet night in on a housing estate gazing into the vapid abyss of Netflix seems desperately disappointing.

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