Crystal Orlando was born and raised in Central Texas. From childhood, she has always had a strong connection with animals. At around 12 years old, she began working at a horse barn in exchange for riding lessons. She has also always had an interest in equine veterinary medicine and received her A.A.S. specializing in Equine Science from North Central Texas College in Gainesville, TX. During her time in North Texas, she became a professional horse trainer working for facilities in Texas and southern Oklahoma, including Leroy Ashcraft World Champion Cutting Horses, and a United States Polo Association Certified Umpire. Although it was obvious that she could have had a brilliant career in the equestrian world, her heart was pulling her in a different direction. All her life she has been compelled to draw. In all her endeavors a sketchbook was not far away. Crystal has been showing and selling her drawings since she was 12 years old. She has always studied other masters art to increase her drawing skills.
In 2012 Orlando became a full- time professional artist. She explored the possibility of becoming an oil painter. She studied color theory and oil painting with world renown abstract artist Kay Griffith. Learning how to paint the illusion of 3-dimensional space was important to her. She quickly excelled with oil painting but realized her first love was working in greyscales. Crystal is primarily self- taught in graphite and charcoal.
In 2013 and 2014 Crystal was invited to participate in Gala Fundraiser events towards the former First Lady, Claudia Johnsons, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. In 2016, The University of Texas granted Crystal a month-long solo show in the Wildflower Centers prestigious Carriage House.
The National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson, WY has sold her wildlife drawing prints in their official gift shop. In 2018 she was scouted by Royal Artist Darren Baker to join Art London Dubai. Two of her drawings were auctioned through his foundation Art and Mind at Kensington Palace in London. She is currently represented by Griffith Fine Art Gallery in Salado, TX; and Amaran in Jackson Hole, WY. She has participated in multiple solo, group and museum shows across Texas and the U.S.
In 2020 Crystal was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. During her fight and recovery, she slowed down production and played with technique again. She is now NED and back full time in the studio again. Crystal currently has a studio in her rural home in Moody, TX, along with her 9-year-old daughter.
Mostly self- taught in drawing
Sandy Dusek (mother), art basics and foundation.
Kay Griffith, oil painting and color theory.
Jim Cox, oil painting, color mixing, still life
Dalhart Windberg, realism in oil painting
Michal Windberg, oil painting
2023, Bosque Classic- Gold medal Best in Drawing and Purchase Award
2022 16th ARC Salon Semi-Finalist, and Finalist
2021 15th ARC Salon Finalist
2013 Emerging Artist of the Year, Art Galleries and Artists of The South Magazine
2011 Best of Show, Moody Art Show, Moody TX
2010 Best of Show, Moody Art Show, Moody TX
2008 Award of Excellence, Barclay, Temple TX
2007 Best of Show, Barclay, Temple TX
2023 Group Exhibition Cowgirl Artists of America, Cowgirl Gathering Invitational, Ft Worth TX
2022 Group Exhibition Cowgirl Artists of America, Cowgirl Gathering Invitational, Ft Worth TX
2022 16th International ARC Salon Semi-Finalist, and Finalist
2021 15th International ARC Salon Finalist
2020 Group Exhibition, Azalee Marshal, Temple TX
2023 Art of The West Magazine, May/June
2017 Tex Appeal Magazine, Texas Young Professionals Edition
2013 Art Galleries and Artists of the South Magazine, Vol 10, Issue 1, Emerging Artist of the Year
2022-Present Cowgirl Artists of America Signature Member
2016-2017 Owner Orlando Studio Gallery
2016-Present Vice President of Western Graphite Guild
2015-2017 Manager Advantage Picture Framing and Gallery
2014-2017 Vice President of The Ringholz Foundation for the Arts
2012 WAOW Woman Artists of the West
2022-2023 Windberg Fine Art Center, Georgetown TX
2019-Present Amaran Gallery, Jackson Hole WY
2018-2021 Art London Dubai, London England and Dubai
2018-2019 307 Jackson Gallery, Jackson Hole WY