Harley Bartlett is a New Englander in home, heritage and spirit. An early interest in drawing led to a career in easel and mural painting. It has been said that he casts a wide net in the world of art. He has run an art company providing murals and faux finishes for commercial and residential applications and has exhibited his fine art paintings in regional galleries for over twenty years. He recently painted the official portrait of Rhode Island Governor Donald Carcieri. His commercial customers range from Darden’s, The Capital Grille Steakhouse, to the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line. He has painted artwork for Catholic Churches in Rhode Island and his handiwork may be found in Statehouses throughout the United States. He has worked with some of the area’s top design firms, such as, Morris Nathanson Design, Niemitz Design Group, Judd Brown Design and Jackson Creative Group.
His landscape paintings typically depict the rural, wooded and coastal areas of New England. The quality of light and weather serve to establish the mood of the painting. Man-made objects may also play a part as symbols to the mood or as anchors to help the viewer to move through the painting. Natural objects are used in a likewise manner. Nostalgia and or reflection play a large part in the creation of these images looking away from much of what modern living brings to the existing landscape. In this he is looking to the positive and major-key aspects of that natural world. These paintings are not always a portrait of a specific place but may be a depiction of a number of areas which support a theme.
Animals often make their way into his paintings. Cows, sheep and sometimes deer add to a desired sense of timelessness which he strives for.
His figurative paintings depict common activities such as a day at the beach, apple picking or other daily tasks common to us all.
Sporting and maritime themes are subject specific and while not a specialist in these fields he endeavors to correctly depict each as required by the subject while still adhering to the same formal qualities that make up his landscape paintings.
Harley Bartlett looks primarily to the artists of the past for his technique of painting. Drawing, composition and brushwork all work together, in unison, to create an image that, while realistic is not photographic in quality.