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    Ann Hartley

    My first formal instruction in art was from Steven Missal at Scottsdale Community College in the mid-eighties. At that time, I was also employed by an accomplished portrait painter, John Court, who offered to give me private instruction in oil painting. Court's technique required me to lay a dark wash over the entire canvas, wipe out highlights and slowly add color. Using simple still-life setups, I was to complete at least four of these studies a day for nearly six months. My first studio was an ancient stone shed in the Azores, once used for drying onions- far from American life and all I had ever known. This solitude, lack of distraction, and Mr. Court's discipline allowed me to focus and concentrate on the abstract qualities of light and color. When my studies with Mr. Court ended, he advised me to move to New York City and study with David Leffel, an instructor in oil painting at The Art Student's League. I was at the League for 2 1/2 years and continued in private instruction for 1 1/2 years. I then acquired my own studio at Union Square where I began concentrating on still-life painting using only natural light from a high north window. I was raised on Cape Cod and in June 1996, I moved back to the Cape and have set up a studio in our old family room. I have a north light window and the adde d attractions of the beach, a perennial garden gone wild, the relics of an old orchard, and collections of artifacts and antiques from past generations. I want my paintings to be timeless, evocative and decorative. For subjects I choose old silver, iron, clay or pewter pots and bowls from other eras, which would have survived because of their intrinsic elegance and utility. I mingle these with drift wood, old bottles, or things I might find on a walk such as rose hips, choke cherries, money plants, privit or bayberries- things from nature with rich, deep colors and translucent light.