Dan’s cover artist Jane Hartley shares insight into her work


Jane Hartley returns to the cover of Dan’s papers with another exquisite submission. Combining a background in graphic design with an appreciation of the Old Masters, she has shaped her still lifes and figurative paintings into unique works that are both realistic and slightly surreal. Here, she explains how she created this week’s cover art, her signature art style and more.

Jane hartley

What inspired this week’s cover art, “Knot for Sail?” “

Sailing holds a place in my heart. In the late 1980s, my husband introduced me to bareboat sailing. Over the next decade, we set off on our own as our sailing adventures took us through the Caribbean Islands, the Bahamas and the Grenadines. As my navigation skills improved, albeit slowly, we ventured out into the South Pacific, sailing around the Society Islands of French Polynesia and the Islands of the Kingdom of Tonga, visiting places I had only dreamed. We have had some incredibly rich experiences – fascinating, strange and wonderful – many of which are forever etched in my brain. I learned a lot, including how to tie a few knots.

How was this piece created? Tell us about your process.

I have a lot of ideas that started out as doodles for this Knot Play series – which relies on the use of a pun. After selecting the appropriate accessories for a concept, the next step is to organize a setup to define the composition details. This is followed by a more refined sketch which can be transferred to the surface of the painting. Then the painting begins.

Illustration by Jane Hartley
Illustration by Jane Hartley

What makes this work of art so ideal for a Dan’s papers blanket?

Hmm, because art is such a personal thing, I’m just extremely flattered that someone has selected my paintings to appear in your post.

How would you describe your artistic style, aAnd how did you develop it?

My style: contemporary realism with a touch of surrealism. When I started painting I kept trying to find my style. The harder I looked, the more it escaped me. But over time it kind of popped up, and I found myself saying, “Oh, looks like I painted this.” Now I’m not questioning it – I’m just trying to keep improving it.

What artistic achievement are you most proud of?

That I paint and that I still learn after all these years.

Illustration by Jane Hartley
Illustration by Jane Hartley

What do you find most rewarding about being an artist?

This is my escape.

Would you like to share any closing thoughts?

Yes. Thank you Dan’s papers for showcasing my work several times over the past year. As a painter, I know that I will never be able to paint all the ideas I have, but I will paint as long as I can hold a brush. “Ars longa, vita brevis!”

To see more of Jane Hartley’s art, visit janehartley.com.

November 12, 2021 Dan's Papers cover by Jane Hartley
November 12, 2021 Dan’s Papers cover by Jane Hartley

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