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Art & Life with S. P. Harper

Today we’d like to introduce you to S. P. Harper.

S. P., please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up in a beautiful place: Rancho Santa Fe. I attended Earl Warren Junior High School and San Dieguito High School. I studied art at the American University in Paris, France with Paul Jenkins, USC Roski School of Fine Art where I received my BFA. I went to ArtCenter in Pasadena for advanced studies. After spending 12 years in New York, I returned to California to teach and practice art. I specialize in teaching Ecocentric Art, Master’s of the 20th Century, Drawing For Life and Finding Your Artistic Focus. My grandfather, Archibald Picking, was a diamantaire: diamond cutter before becoming a conductor for Pacific Electric Red Cars.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I work with images of gemstones on recycled materials. What begins as a bit of refuse is repurposed, transforming base materials into noble objects. The surface is a discarded scrap where the gem image is instigated from a photograph from a magazine or catalogue. An existing printed background partially disappears behind an acrylic wash as well as disappearing all together behind opaque oil paint rendering. Background recycled patterns appear and disappear through the transparent and reflective facets in the jewels. Jewels capture our imagination and reflect our world. Diverse mediums such as wall lath and plaster rubble, tablecloths, discarded canvases and metal scraps are surface materials. By reforming and re-employing, the work fits into the Ecocentric Art Movement to reduce, reuse and upcycle.

Gods of Fire have made their appearances in cultures throughout history. They have been chosen to represent gems that bring repurposed media back to life. Eternal flames re-emerge in the facets of jewels which reflect and transfix.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
I am extremely sensitive to our carbon footprint. I am on a campaign to recycle starting with my art. I also collect friends and children’s used clothing and the die. The newly colored garments are very appealing and stylish They always sell out in shops, fairs and to my friends and clients.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I synthesize historical and contemporary styles by mixing the classical tradition of a still-life painting with modernism. I show in primarily modern and contemporary art venues. Please visit my FB and Instagram to find out where I am included in the gallery, art fair and museum exhibitions.

Contact Info:

  • Website:
  • Email:
  • Instagram: @s.p.harper
  • Facebook: Espe Harper

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