With a background in both fine art and graphic design, Jane Hartley has an appreciation of the modern and historical. A member of the American Society of Traditional Artists, International Guild of Realism and the Oil Painters of America, Hartley currently lives on St. Simons Island, Georgia.
What was the inspiration for this piece?
I like to create paintings in series, and this one is from a series called “KNOT PLAY,” which is based on all the ways knots play a part in our lives. Since the subject is way too complicated I decided to have fun with it and explore it using a play on words. Knots occur in nature, bird nests being an example.
How did you first discover a love of fine art?
You could say I stumbled into it. After graduating from MICA with a degree in Fine Art, I went on to spend 20 years in the graphic design business before returning to an easel. I was asked to be part of a design seminar shortly thereafter—that sort of changed things.
In your biography on your website, you talk about “Old Masters.” How do they inspire you?
At that seminar, I was lucky enough to meet an artist who led me to The Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore, where I studied and learned the methods and techniques of the Old Masters that enabled them to achieve an “inner glow” or “luminosity” in their paintings. That’s what I was attracted to.
Where do you draw most inspiration?
Anywhere and everywhere. A lot of times it’s my imagination—I seem to have an active one. I also like my paintings to have stories because they go deeper than what’s on the surface.
Which artist(s), living or dead, would you love to sit down and talk with?
Oh, there are a lot. But William-Adolph Bouguereau was the first artist I studied in depth. His mastery of the human figure is incomparable. And there are quite a few contemporary artists whose work I admire.