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Nita Harper

Nita Harper was raised in Chicago. Her paternal grandfather, a friend of Edgar Payne, was an artist who earned his living as an illustrator and fine artist. He was Nita’s inspiration. She remembers her grandfather spreading a roll of paper out on the dining room table, telling stories, and quickly drawing the characters and animals in his stories. By age five, Nita was sketching all of the time. She got her first set of oil paints at age 11.

Nita studied painting, first at Stephens College in Columbia, MO, then at the University of Arizona, and the Glassell School of Art in Houston, Texas. Moves across the country from Chicago, to Miami, to New York, Texas, and Los Angeles exposed her to different cultures and the varied landscapes of the country.
After moving to Los Angeles, she met an artist who invited her to paint “en plein air” for the first time. The challenges of painting outdoors, quickly, without chasing the sunlight, became a passion.

Living in California for the past twenty years, Nita has had the opportunity to meet and travel with other adventurous artists. She has painted in Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley, the Grand Canyon, Zion, and many of the National Parks throughout the Western United States. A few years ago, she made
a trip on horseback into the Eastern Sierra with the PAC6, a group of six women who travel and paint together, following in the footsteps of the early California landscape painters. Nita describes herself as a representational impressionist painter who tries to add a little piece of drama to her paintings. She says artists’ eyes see things slightly differently.

She tries to “push” what she calls the “Four C’s of Painting”, Composition, Color, Contrast, and
Commotion. What does commotion have to do with painting? That’s where the drama happens. It can be a light that is perhaps a little too bright, a color contrast that actually vibrates, uneasy edges, and a
number of other things that make a painting exciting. Nita says her goal is to make the viewer feel the emotion that she felt when she chose that particular scene to paint. She believes that artists are truly the luckiest people in the world.

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