Woman bending over filling a hot water bottle from a kettle.

An artist who lifts the spirit .

In Zoe Cameron Blog by Zoe Cameron

There are artists who lift the spirit with their paintings, perhaps with their skill, portrayal of great beauty,  colour or narrative , top of that list for me with his figurative and very personal choice of subject matter is Ben Hartley 1933 – 1996 .

Woman bending over filling a hot water bottle from a kettle.
Kimono Cottage by Ben Hartley.

When Ben died, he bequeathed all of his work to Bernard Samuels who was then Director of Plymouth Arts Centre , and in response Bernard put on many exhibitions and made publications sharing these lovely works with us all. Pigs Must Eat on Sunday, by Green Books ltd , remains a much treasured gift on my bookshelves from a dear friend who many years ago introduced to his work . We both enjoyed Bens wonderful observation and the tender humour in his work .

Book cover, farmer wearing a cap, leaning on a gate
NoteBook – Pigs must eat on Sundays. Ben Hartley .
Woman in an apron feeding a chicken.
Chuck Chuck by Ben Hartley.
A big yellow goose greets a car driven by an old lady.
Granny Gander by Ben Hartley.

Bernard later discovered letters that Ben wrote to Susan his niece in Manchester during the 1960’s , which were compiled into a book of his drawings of rural life, entitled, Dear Susan by Ben Hartley.

I shall continue to enjoy his uplifting work, perfect any day, but especially on rainy or sad days x.

Link- (which doesn’t seem to be working just now , but it was the authentic site )http://www.ben-hartley.co.uk