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 .
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 .
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