"I see Chimo!"
©2017, 11" by 14", Watercolour
I grew up in the small northern-Ontario town of Cochrane and, although I moved away years ago, it’s stayed with me. Cochrane’s beloved mascot is the huge statue of a stately polar bear named Chimo who greets those who enter the town right where HWY 11 takes a sharp left. For those of you in the GTA, HWY 11 is the natural extension of Yonge street and is what makes it the longest street in the world. I used to argue that Cochrane was the furthest north you could go on Yonge Street.
I have many fond memories of my formative years in Cochrane, but chief among them directly concerns Chimo, and explains my choice of titles for this painting. Any time we had been out as a family for a drive and as we approached Cochrane, I, along with my two brothers, would strain to look out the windows. We were playing a game invented by my father, and the first one to see the huge polar bear would yell out, “I SEE CHIMO!” I don’t recall there being a prize for being the first, other than to see our father grinning at us proudly, which was always reward enough.
The painting is a composite of many of the scenes that are most iconic to Cochrane, the way they would have appeared in the 70s and 80s when I lived there. First, there are two images representing Cochrane’s winter carnival: an interpretation of the event’s long-standing logo on a button, as well as the torch-light parade. Then there is the famous Polar Bear Express train engine, the bridge spanning the two halves of the lung-shaped Commando Lake with the ever-present swans out front, the town’s one and only high school (ESCHS), and the town’s water tower with the large image of Chimo on its side. This last image has an added level of symbolism in the choice of backgrounds. In this painting, the water tower is depicted at sunset because, in the notoriously long summer days we were afforded in our northern-Ontario youth that always seemed to end with a ridiculously gorgeous sunset, that’s when the curfew horn mounted on the tower would sound telling us kids it was time to head home.
I See Chimo
Reproductions of my art are available printed either on paper or canvas. Both formats are signed by me, the artist, and are high quality, full-colour prints of a high resolution scan or photograph of the original painting. All prints are inspected to ensure that the colours match the source and created using inks that are guaranteed to resist both fading and UV light.
These are printed on high quality paper to give them the look and feel of the original painting. In terms of the dimensions listed, please keep in mind that they are approximate. Since I custom mat and frame the prints myself, I reproduce them at specific sizes so that when they are matted to standard matting dimensions, the mat-board borders are consistent widths on all sides. It’s because of this that I highly recommend that you upgrade to the matted version (seriously, go do it now).
Now, if you've ordered a print that is not a standard sized when matted, then I highly recommend that you go back and order it in a frame. As described in the sister section Frames, I do all my own framing using reclaimed wood and am affordable.
If you want to avoid matting and framing altogether, then I suggest that you order the canvas option. I stretch the canvases myself using reclaimed wood and, with a profile that is an inch and a half thick, the art will make a strong statement on your wall.