Utah Artists Project Logo

John B. Jarvis

John Brent Jarvis was born in American Fork, Utah in 1946. He is a traditional painter of landscapes and figures. Gouache and watercolor are his preferred media for his paintings in which he uses color rather than detail to give his paintings an aura of reality. He lives in American Fork, Utah.

Jarvis received an art scholarship to Snow College where he earned an AS in 1965; he then earned a BS in fishery and biology with a minor in art from Utah State University in 1971. He enrolled in Brigham Young University intending to earn an MFA, but because his painting career was so successful, he did not complete his degree.

On the TrailReflection Fire, and Ute Camp on Dirty Devil are examples of his work. Among the Hopis (1982) Landscape, Southern Utah (1986) are part of the Springville Museum of Art permanent collection.

Biography adapted from Artists of Utah and material provided by the artist.

John Jarvis was born on November 28, 1946 in American Fork, Utah. He grew up and still lives in the small Utah town of Pleasant Grove. From an early age, Jarvis was interested in art. When his parents gave him a John Clymer scrap book, he quickly filled it with animal and landscape drawings. In his senior year of high school, he enrolled in an art class. On the strength of his high school work, Jarvis was awarded an art scholarship at Snow College.

Jarvis enjoyed art but opted for a more “serious” career. He enrolled at Utah State University where he earned a degree in Fishery Biology with an Art minor. One of his instructors talked him into enrolling in a graduate program at Brigham Young University. Two years later his work was selling so well that he quit school and became serious about painting.

Being an avid outdoors person, his love of nature and outdoor activities has had a great influence on his art. Jarvis soon began painting in gouache (opaque watercolors or tempera plus white). He found that this gave him a tighter control and the ability to fine tune his design and refine the subtle colors. His paintings primarily feature landscapes peopled with Indians. The Indian's respect and reverence for nature seems to coincide with his own feelings.

He now resides in North Pleasant Grove, Utah. His studio is located on the upper floor of his home which is situated on the foot of Mt. Timpanogas overlooking the Utah valley, its lake and the mountains that surround it. His studio is filled with props, Indian artifacts, clothes, skins, hunting and fishing trophies, guns and fishing poles which are often used by his models. The art of John Jarvis is very personal and reflects his pure love for the profession, making his work much sought after by collectors throughout the country.

At the beginning of his career, John produced about 100 watercolor landscapes per year.

George Dibble offered his analysis of Mr. Jarvis' artistic style and gamut of works in the following statement:

“John Jarvis is essentially a realist. Familiar aspects of everyday experience are reported with clarity, fidelity and in cogent detail. He brings to his painting familiar matters that often pass unnoticed- the sedgy borders of a back lot, the termulous character of an old fence or a wall, serrated with intemperate aging.“

Recorded in the February 22nd, 1976 issue of the The Salt Lake Tribune.

Biography courtesy of artist and Artists of Utah.

Newspaper Articles

"At Tivoli: Contrast from Winter to Summer Fantasy." The Salt Lake Tribune, February 22, 1976.

"Showing at Local galleries." The Deseret News, May 28, 2000.

"Showing at Local Galleries." The Deseret News, December 27, 1992.

"State Fair Offers Peek at Works of Man, Nature." The Salt Lake Tribune, September 15, 1974. 


Wooley, Athelia Tanner. "John Jarvis: The Sky Sets the Scene." Southwest Arts, January 1983, 93-99. 


Marquis Who's Who. Who's Who in American Art. 23rd edition. New Providence, NJ: Marquis Who's Who, 1999.

Olpin, Robert S., William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.

Oman, Richard G., and Robert O. Davis. Images of Faith: Art of the Latter-Day Saints. Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1995.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Art. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publishing Co, 1991.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, and William C. Seifrit. Utah Painting and Sculpture. Layton, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1997.

Swanson, Vern G., Robert S. Olpin, Donna Poulton, and Janie L. Rogers. Utah Art, Artists: 150 Year Survey. Salt Lake City: Gibbs Smith, 2002.

 Last Modified 4/1/20