Born in the Peak District in 1933, Ben Hartley studied at the Royal College of London where he graduated with first-class honours.. For many of the following years, he lived in Devon, painting and teaching, before moving to the Welsh Borders in later life.
Though a solitary character, his work exudes a love of life and its simple pleasures, driven by his passion for all things French.
“He was a colourist, an abstract painter and a suberb draughtsman. His paintings describe the human condition with humour and passion… (they) show his appreciation and understanding of nature; with a countryman’s eye, he recreates birds, butterflies, insects, dogs, cats, farm animals and the people who live with them and happy to grapple with life’s problems.”
Tony Birks-Hay, L’enfance retrouvée à volonté, 1998.