Painter Kristin Harvey brings the desert landscape to life with bold colors and abstract elements. See more from this artist by visiting her website.
My artistic journey started when I was five. My father built my sister and I each a wall-sized chalkboard and gave us every color of chalk under the sun.
I was very fortunate to grow up believing I was an artist, feeling the love and support of family in that identity. I was also lucky to have been taught and influenced by many talented teachers, both in public schools and in our local arts community in Fresno, California.
Armed with my portfolio, I applied and was accepted into the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, California. The school had a work study program back then. I was able to clean and paint the school during breaks to pay for most of my tuition. During my last semester, I responded to an opportunity to work in video games at Activision and began my digital art career.
In 1990, I graduated from the Academy with a BFA in Illustration. I then jumped into the corporate world of video game design and development. While at Sega, I was given the chance to design and build Sega of America’s first website. This led to a fulfilling career as a website and user experience designer.
Throughout my digital design career, I continued my illustration work as a traditional medium freelancer on the side. I created art for newspapers, magazines and books. In the early 2000’s I finally had the studio space to create large scale paintings on canvas. I soon knew that was what I wanted to do for my full-time career.
In 2015, my husband and I moved to Southern Arizona to be closer to family. I was immediately inspired by my surroundings in the Sonoran Desert. The color of the sunsets, intriguing cactus shapes and beautiful mountain vistas grabbed my attention. I was hooked.
I started selling my paintings at a small local Farmers Market and continued in my professional digital career. For the next eight years, I steadily grew my art practice. I sold cards and prints at local gift shops, participated in art shows and festivals and eventually showed my work in galleries. In September 2022, I left the corporate life to paint full-time.
My acrylic paintings today reflect my love of the desert. Appreciation of the Mexican folk art and celebration culture inspires my color choices. My work is moving towards abstraction while I still find my favorite desert elements to bring out in my otherwise intuitive process.
My hope is that my artwork will take the viewer on a journey through shape, movement and color. I want it to allow them to see all the beauty there is to behold in the American Southwest.