Are you a beach, forrest or desert person? I love them all for different reasons, I grew up in San Diego, California and there we are lucky enough to have all three within an hour and a half drive, that’s right, you can literally go from the beach to the forrest to the desert all in one day! When I first discovered the art of Kristin Harvey it hit so close to home for so many reasons. To me it was a mix of my childhood memories at the Anza Borrego desert and historic Old Town in San Diego. She is based out of Arizona so much of her inspiration is from that southwest, to me the tones and vibrance of the desert are so universal.
She captures the vibrance of both color and light that the desert so uniquely displays. When the sun rises or sets the beautiful yellows, purples, pinks, reds and oranges dance onto the cactus, rocks, animals and birds, her paintings capture those moments in time so we can see them again and again. Her art has a lovely mix of Southwest and Mexican art influence with a dash of magic. The thing I love most is she has such a huge variety of work from adorable desert animals to cactus in the wild and in pots, to cultural buildings and tradition, and even some grand landscape views of the desert as a whole.
If you love the desert and color this art is for you, she offers a wide variety of gifts from prints to decorative pillows with her art on it and even greeting cards, bags and much more! Be sure to check out her links below to see her online shop and be sure to follow her, her Instagram and Facebook feeds are a burst of color, she is always sharing something lovely.
1. Can you tell us about your work, when did you start creating?
I started creating at a very young age. My father installed a wall sized chalk board in each of our rooms. I had every color of chalk you can find! As a teenager he helped me paint a wall sized rainbow with clouds in my room. I went to Art School in San Francisco and studied illustration. I designed video game backgrounds for awhile and focused on children’s digital products. Once I moved into a home that afforded me the space – a basement studio – I started painting on large canvases and my work has been evolving since then. I moved to the Southwest 4 years ago from Western New York and my imagery has inevitably been influenced by the local flora and fauna of the desert.
2. How would you describe your home decor style?
Eclectic Thrift! Ha! When we moved to Southern Arizona from Western NY, we REALLY downsized from a house into an apartment. So, I gave away SO much of my colorful pieces. Instead, I decorate with my art. With little storage space, I use my walls to rotate my art until it finds a home. So, I derive all of my color from them and decorate to compliment.
3. What inspires you when you get in a rut?
Going to Tubac, AZ! It’s a historical town about 40 min south of Tucson. The historical structures have been converted to studio, gallery and boutique and restaurant space. Many of the shops specialize in Mexican art and decor. I just love the Mexican Celebration culture! I have papel picado hanging throughout our apartment, the colorful flags that hang during festivals. The galleries show beautiful southwestern contemporary work and Tubac is home to many colorful artists. It never fails to inspire me to come home and create colorful paintings of what I’ve seen.
4. What colors do you enjoy using in your art the most and why?
I use the full spectrum of color, but I especially enjoy the warmer side of the color wheel. It works with our intensely colorful skies in the southwest. A pop of cool next to a warm yellow orange can’t help but vibrate with energy and happiness.
5. Where do you create most of your work, what is your space like?
I have a bedroom studio at this time. I have a drafting table where I cut and create my blank greeting cards and an easel for canvases. I’m more limited than I’d like to be with canvas sizes, but I’m grateful to have a dedicated space. I also have a bedroom office dedicated to my digital endeavors. It’s just us and the pets so I’m able to have my private creative time.
6. Name 3 crafters, artists or designers that you follow and love their work…
7. What are your favorite items decorating your home and why?
My mirrors. We live in a small apartment and they are strategically placed to give the effect of more space. My office desk. It’s an old dinning room table painting in electric blue metallic flake car paint. It looks like a carnival ride car! My art. Since we rent now, I can’t paint the walls. I can’t afford to collect yet, but I can rotate my work and always have color on the walls!