Michael “Chili” Thom (1976 – 2016) was a man of the mountains. A wilderness guide turned artist, he was always happiest and most comfortable when he was out exploring in nature. Teaching himself to paint at age 20, Chili found a way to take the emotion and majesty of the landscapes he loved, mostly from his home in British Columbia, and translate it onto the canvas.
Completing over 400 original pieces over his 20-year career, Chili loved to play with color, motion and the passage of time in his work.
When Chili Thom passed over to the other side in November 2016, he left a legacy. His creative spirit and enthusiasm for life inspired us to get outside, to make things happen, and to enjoy each moment spent with friends, especially out amid the power and beauty of the forests, coastlines, and mountains that he loved.
“Nature has given me a lifetime of inspiration,” Chili once said. “In just a few decades, I have seen how mankind has damaged our planet at an exponential rate. I love snow. I love clean water, fresh air, wild animals. There come’s a point where you have to look inside yourself and ask, ‘What am I willing to sacrifice to protect something that has given me the life of my dreams?'”
As an artist, Chili was known for his colorful land and seascapes, painted in layers of bright colors and featuring his distinctive, signature style. His art transports the viewer to remote places of incredible natural beauty. “In nature,” Chili believed, “there are a lot of challenges you have to power through. You suffer out a storm, or a long slog up to a summit, but you are always rewarded with something beautiful.” Beloved throughout the Sea to Sky corridor, he was named Whistler’s “Best Artist” in the Best of Whistler poll for the 14th time in a row in 2016, and post-humously was voted “Favourite Whistlerite” for 2016. (Chili Thom Studio)
Captured by: RE/MAX Sea to Sky Real Estate Whistler