Dick Rauh came to botanical painting in retirement, after a career in motion picture special effects. The certificate program in botanical art at the New York Botanical Garden led to illustration work for a number of scientists. Ignorance of botany caused him to pursue a graduate program in plant sciences, and he earned a doctorate in 2001 from the City University of New York. Illustration of Carol Levine's Guide to Wildflowers in Winter sparked his interest in the dry fruits and other remnants of out-of-season natives, which he paints in enlarged versions to demonstrate their architecture. A collection of this work received a gold medal from the Royal Horticultural Society in January 2006 and a Best in Show award. As a fellow of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Florilegium Society, he has drawn a number of specimen trees in the living collection, including several in the Garden's important collection of bonsai.