May 19, 2015

Choosing to be a Couple

15 x 10" original oil

Two little pansies represent two people who love each other and have chosen to be a couple. I think it's interesting that even after one marries, it's still a conscious decision to be a couple. 


Apr 1, 2015


8 1/2 x 9 1/2" original  oil

I hope the person that buys this piece is someone who has followed their inspiration in life. I got the idea for this title because of the front tulip that was lit like it had an idea, like it was inspired. 

I have so many shows coming up. I am finishing new work all the time, not all of it makes it to this blog, but it does end up on  my website. Click here to visit my website. 

Mar 20, 2015


5 x 7" original oil

Let's all pretend we have our feet in the still-warm sand as the sun has just set as we take a deep breath of fresh, salty air. 

I have a little event in Salt Lake City tonight with my art (gallery stroll and live painting at Illume Gallery) and thanks to my good friend Heidikins, I've been made aware that the cherry blossoms on Capitol Hill are ready for their close-up. Looks like a field trip to SLC today with  my camera! 

Happy Weekend. 

Mar 11, 2015


10 x 15" original oil

Sun, color, sugar and candy petals. Spring is coming. 

When I was little, my family listened to music all the time and I have vivid memories of one album in particular that played oldies. The song "Lollipop" by the Chordettes is one of those songs written in the soundtrack of my childhood mind. If you haven't heard it yet, here's a link to see the Chordettes singing it on Youtube - I dare you not to grin as you listen. 

Feb 13, 2015

Be Kind to Yourself

5 x 7" original oil

I painted this on a day that was just...not going well. We've all had "those days." I put my emotion into this little seascape and relished the deep, dark water, but found escape in the bright light. Everything is going to be OK. 

Feb 10, 2015


5 x 7" original oil
The freshness and lift that this title implies is the feeling I'm going for in this painting. If you close your eyes and imagine the clean ocean breeze and the coolness of dusk on your face after a hot day, then you open your eyes and see the last rosy tinges of the sunset fading into a blue and purple sunset, you have this painting. It wraps you in its arms, it sweeps all the stress away, and it transports you to another place, another time. 

Feb 2, 2015


5 x 7" original oil
available through the artist

My heart sings when I get to paint little glowing seascapes like this. I start with a tiny panel and on this one I used acrylics to quickly saturate some areas to stain where the water would go, where the brightest areas would go, etc. Then I switch to oil paints, I get my palette knife, and I mix colors I see in the reference photo. I start laying them on until the painting all of a sudden gets a life of its own and begins to breathe. That's when I know the painting is done and it's time for me to stop. Magic!!

Congratulations to whomever collects this piece - may it add a little bit of glimmer to your life and remind you of beautiful things just beyond the horizon. 


Sloan Elizabeth Triptych

26 x 80" original oil triptych

My fabulous St. George Gallery, Authentique, arranged this commission for an out-of-state client. As soon as these paintings are dry, they will be shipped off to Kentucky! This project was so much work, but so rewarding. I spent all of January on it, down to the last day. I'd start my day in the morning in the studio and focus on one blossom at a time. There are so many color changes. I wanted the nuances of the creamier blossoms versus the darker pink blossoms to be obvious, then if you zoom in, there are areas that are purple, orange, gray, blue, and greenish. The prism of colors visible when you zoom in is what makes it feel so alive when you zoom out. Original artwork has personality and depth, and this one is very much alive. Thank you Authentique for securing and arranging this commission, thank you to my new and wonderfully cooperative client for supporting me and purchasing my artwork, and may it bring you joy each time you see it hanging on your wall! 
Much Love,

detail from first panel

detail from middle panel

detail from third panel

Three easels!!

one of MANY palettes that formed this piece

first panel
26 x 20"

middle panel
26 x 40"

third panel
26 x 20"

Matou Te Fiafia Iinei

 15 x 34" original oil

The title of this painting is Samoan for "We Are Happy Here." I did this painting for a couple who used to live in Samoa. They love the ocean. They are my friends and luckily my neighbors. They have known  me for years, long before I was in galleries, and back when I used to have little shows at my house to start the momentum of artist promotion. It was my pleasure to finally do a little seascape for them, and I'm glad it will bring them a little piece of Samoa. I hope it reminds them of warm beachy afternoons, a state of mind, and being decisive. 


Jan 20, 2015


30 x 45" original oil

Last spring, I set out to photograph tulips at my favorite place: Thanksgiving Point Gardens. It's quite an ordeal - I sacrifice a day in the studio and all of that production to traipse around a man-made wonder, hoping to find subject material fit for a painting and worth the studio-time sacrifice. I pack a bag with my big camera and battery, I pack snacks, I pack an ice pack for my sore back (for the ride home), I put on sunscreen, I put on my comfy shoes, I double-check that I have my garden pass, and I get in the car. If I didn't stop to photograph, it would take me an hour just to walk the loop of the gardens. They are huge. There is no quick in and out. 

On this day that I headed out to Thanksgiving Point Gardens, the sun was playing peekaboo with the clouds and it was so windy. Like blow-your-hat-off windy. Usually it will be sunny at my house and cloudy at the gardens. They are situated in a low valley at the point of a mountain and seem to create their own weather. However, I can't waste a sunny day in spring so again, on this day I headed to the gardens hoping to be in the right place at the right time with sunlight and a great patch of flowers. I knew it was a bust about twenty minutes into my route. The tulips were fast asleep in their tight buds and at least a week away from being good subject material. There is a spot in the gardens that gets early sun and is unusually warm, but like running into Wal-Mart for just milk, this place in the gardens was in the very back. Nothing. All of the tulips were totally dormant. 

I came around a cold corner high with mature pine trees, and bam, daffodil land. There on a hill with east sun, daffodils waved and nodded in the freezing wind. My numb fingers snapped a few photos and I called it a day, retreating to the warm shelter of my studio and hoping the day wasn't a total waste. 

I looked through my shots later that night and saw this reference. I immediately fell in love. It had back lighting, balance, strength, and depth. I knew I'd paint it large, and I've been waiting for the right time. My first spring show, Art & Soup, seemed like a good time to debut this sunny beauty and usher in the Spring. 

Sometimes you get a little lucky and have something wonderful in your path that you were not expecting, and I call this painting Serendipity to honor the situation that brought it to me. 


Jan 14, 2015

Follow Me on Instagram @cristallharper

Follow me on Instragram! 

Search @cristallharper and click "follow." 

Enjoy a greater in-depth view of my studio and life as an artist. 

Thanks :)


Jan 5, 2015

Silly Goose & Meander

Silly Goose
6 x 6" original oil

6 x 6" original oil

These two paintings of my lab, Buttercup, will be available in my February show Art & Soup.
Silly Goose is so Buttercup. She is hilarious and loves to play. Meander is Buttercup when she is more pensive and walks slowly around the yard. I like to think that this is the time she contemplates life and is able to reset. Dogs are great examples of playing and being still.  

Emerald & Rest

5 x 7" original oil

5 x 7" original oil

These two seascapes were my final paintings of 2014, numbers ninety-nine and one hundred! I cannot get enough of the ocean and how beautiful it is in all parts of the world and at all times of day. The top painting, Emerald, is of a foggy beach that was burning off and turning sunny on the coast of Alabama. The bottom painting, Rest, is a sunset in Cabo. Cabo San Perfecto as I like to call it...

These originals will be for sale in my February show Art & Soup

Merry & Bright

12x12" original oil

This painting will be included in my February show of Art & Soup. I love love love the row of magenta shapes across the top. They are like little ornaments on a snowy tree. 

Jan 1, 2015

Bird Hunt

24 x 24" original mixed media

Buttercup loves to hunt birds - pheasants and chuckers mostly. It's pretty much the greatest thing in the whole wide world to take your lab bird hunting. 

There is a great place to hunt about half an hour west of where we live. The grass is tall and dry and the foothills are nearby. There are some old washes filled with rabbit brush, but this painting shows one of my favorite open fields. You'd be surprised how many pheasants will hide in this stuff. Your view of the Wasatch Front is spectacular and unobstructed, but the best part though is getting to watch your lab flush out birds and run around like she's at Disneyland. 

This painting is one of my favorites I've ever done of my dog, and it'll be hard to let it go! I know someone will fall in love with it at the gallery and take it home, and if it brings them joy, then I am happy too. 

I used acrylics and oils in this piece. The acrylic base layers were added quickly and with a lot of texture. The final oil layers added value gradation and final grass blades.