Chris Paul was born a member of the Tsartlip Reserve near Brentwood Bay, BC. He was raised in a proud, loving family entrenched in a culture rich in stories, traditions and rituals.
Though Chris’ own admiration of Coast Salish art began in childhood, his aspirations of becoming a renowned artist began in 1995, at the age of 26, when he apprenticed with Floyd Joseph. Sparked by personal drive, enthusiasm and an insatiable thirst for a clearer understanding of West Coast Art, he studied the art of Charles Elliott, Susan Point, Mark Preston, Joe Wilson, Bill Reid, Robert Davidson and Roy Henry Vickers. Also in 1995, Chris began a lifelong friendship with Vickers who agreed to provide him an apprenticeship provided he first spent a year at ‘Ksan, a native art school in Hazelton, BC.
At 30, having satisfied Vicker’s request, Chris began an intense two-year apprenticeship with Vickers during which time he honed his skills as artist and businessman. Chris emerged from the two apprenticeships with his own style of expression and presentation, a style that reveals a heritage depicted in strong modern colours giving it global appeal. For Chris, “his culture evokes the spirit of his art”.
As a member of the Saanich Nation, Chris’ style is a unique, refreshing combination of traditional and contemporary aboriginal design deeply rooted in a family and culture that knows and understands man’s position in his family, his community and his natural surroundings. Each event in his life evokes a new image, which Chris transforms into a piece of art.
Chris has completed and marketed a four print series he calls “Saanich Spirit”. Each print reveals a part of his cultural history and beliefs and therefore a part of his inner self. Each new piece he completes, whether on paper, in wood, glass or silver, will be an artistic interpretation, but has its origin in Chris’ ancestry and therefore his being. In his words, he already “has more ideas than he can ever realize in a lifetime.”
In 2007, Chris completed a major commission for the Sidney Pier Hotel and Spa. This project resulted in the creation of three large scale etched glass panels for the lobby of the hotel, as well as smaller panels placed in each of the hotel’s 55 rooms. Chris has also gained exposure through the hit television series Grey’s Anatomy, in which a number of his prints have been featured.