Chris Gill


The medium in which I am currently most interested is water color painting. I generally work fast and impulsively. I am probably best described as an action painter. There are no particular themes in my visual art work, which is most concerned with color, form and rhythm. My writing, on the other hand, while quite abstract and sometimes about language for language sake, is often concerned with my life long obsessions with the essential nature of existence, and the effect of institutionalized media culture on how reality is defined and perceived.

I have always had a powerful urge to express myself. As a young child I did crayon drawings of monsters with big teeth. At 15 I started playing drums in garage bands. At 16 or 17 I did an occasional action painting in my mother's painting and print studio, which had previously been our garage. At 18 I began to write abstract poetry. In my mid twenties I started a performance art group with my friend, the artist and composer, Jed Speare, called the Brook Path Media Group. At 26 I wrote half of an autobiographical novel which got lost when my sister put the suitcase in which I was keeping it in the trash.

Later in my twenties I played drums in the San Francisco and Boston punk and new wave rock scenes in the bands Ultrasheen, The Alterboys, Frank Hyming and Vitamin. In San Francisco, in 1979 and 1980, I also read my poetry and did performance art in various venues, including The Club Foot, where I was the doorman and where I performed in and produced a video on April 10, 1980, called Primidonative, featuring a night of poetry, performance art and music from the San Francisco underground art and music scene.

In my thirties, while raising a family and launching a career as a psychotherapist, I taught myself guitar and bass, so that I could write songs to put to lyrics I had written. In my 50's I started a tiny record company, I called Vague Moon Records, so that I could release cds of my music I made under the name, The Primidonnatives.

In 2010, at age 58, I started drawing, painting and collaging every day. For a year, between February 2011 and February 2012, I did a minimum of three pieces a day, mostly using water color pastels and acrylic paint, and documented the process with laptop photo booth pictures of myself and of my pictures. In the summer of 2012, I met the artist Jane Goldman, who is now my wife, and with Jane's encouragement, I starting using water color as the primary medium for my paintings and collages. In the summer of 2013, I started taking photos with the digital camera on my phone.