I paint the emotion I find in flowers, seascapes and dogs. My florals are powerful, my seascapes are balanced, and my dog paintings are joyful.

I was the kid that loved art. My paintings are inspired by early experiences with light and color. My earliest memory is toddling along the beach at sunset. I can still see the glowing orange everywhere and the sparkling water.  Later, as a kid, I used to study a lily painting that hung in our home to figure out how the artist made the light real using only paint. My dad also had a stained-glass window of irises at his office and I was fascinated by the translucent, bright colors and simplified shapes. Today, I paint in very much the same way that a stained-glass artist works: in facets. One critic said of my work, “Your style is wonderful; your personal version of abstraction is so beautifully rooted in reality.” I usually paint alla prima, or all at once, wet paint on wet paint, instead of waiting for layers to dry. I focus only on color temperature and value until it feels lit.

I inherited my love of flowers from my parents. On vacations, they take more pictures of the local flowers than their own family, something I’m now guilty of as an adult. I like the artistic challenge of taking something traditionally feminine and fragile, like a flower, but redefining that femininity with strength and confidence.

My ancestry comes from the Adriatic Sea; for me, the seashore feels like home more than any other place in the world. The moods of the ocean reflect my own feelings of peace, hope, struggle or pain. I feel a spiritual connection with the ocean, and I brush this into every seascape I paint. Stormy waters can become still, shores are washed clean each day, and the vastness does not diminish the importance of one viewer on the shore.

I had a yellow lab named Buttercup who passed away in late summer 2016. She epitomized loyalty, joy and friendship. I started painting her as a pup and my passion for capturing her happiness quickly grew. Now my dog paintings are in numerous galleries and dog-lovers everywhere are connecting with my work. Dogs are furry angels of comfort and joy, and especially now that my sweet Buttercup is gone, I feel driven to spread that simple joy.

My three painting subjects are family. My parents inspire the florals, my ancestry inspires the seascapes, and my angel dog, Buttercup, inspires the dog portraits. I offer my paintings to those who need to feel strengthened and important. I hope they find what they are looking for in my artwork.

Cristall Harper graduated in 2002 from Brigham Young University with a BFA in Painting. Her studio is in American Fork, Utah where she lives with her husband. Her work is shown in galleries in Utah, Idaho and Wyoming and collected nationally. 

Selected Shows, Awards & Publications


Honoring Utah Artists, Alpine Art, Salt Lake City, UT

100 Dollar Show, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

135 Fine Art Show, Sugarhouse Garden Center, Salt Lake City, UT

Utah Art Invitational, London Studios, Holladay, UT

Pieces of Me, Guest Artist Exhibit at Ravenscroft School Fine Arts Building, Raleigh, NC

Utah Valley Spring Art Show, Provo, UT

300 Plates, Art Access Gallery, Salt Lake City, UT

92nd Annual Spring Salon, Springville Museum of Art, Springville, UT

Southwest Art Magazine, Featured as an Artist to Watch, April 2016 issue

28th Annual Art & Soup Celebration – Featured Artist, Salt Palace, Salt Lake City, UT