Birth of a Painting Series III: “Blocked”.

BIRTH OF A PAINTING SERIES III: “BLOCKED, an Art Exhibition”. Fresno, CA, 2000.

As an artist, I paint when I am inspired. Everything flows; feeling great, working in the studio for hours, paint flows from my brush. The question is how to be an artist when the inspiration has disappeared, when you feel blocked from your inner self?

The painting “She Broke”, was the beginning of the “Blocked” series. The dominant orange, the contrasting blue highlights, black drips, blobs, and pools, and yes, the first block began in this painting, on the upper mid-right of the canvas. The broken figurine is real, and she is still broken, kept as a reminder of the past.


I began this series of paintings while I was blocked! My creative solution was to paint the limitation that I was feeling. I began just to paint actual BLOCKS, placed in restrictive grids, which eventually swirled into patterns.

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The next painting is the “Eye of God”. Using the contrasting shades of blue and orange creates a boldness I had not expected.  The ‘eye’ is not blocked,  and is not placed within the grid. The ‘eye’ expands to me the feeling of what is possible, or what is enduring within myself.


The painting “Self-Restraint”, painted in blues and greens which follows the cool color pallet, using analogous colors.  The lovely landscape is blocked by a large grid, and it is broken into drip-like smaller grids within the panes of a window. To me that exemplifies that there is beauty in the world, yet at the time I could not quite access it.

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My favorite of the series is “Creation”, warm colors are dominant, with a touch of cool blues and greens.But everything in the painting is off kilter, the edges are leaning at odd angles. The blocks and the grids remain in the painting.

The artist is still blocked, but ‘she’ is stacking the blocks in a manner that creates tension in the artwork. I am encouraged by the reddish blast occurring in the top left, breaking the grid, and the swirl in the middle, and the circular objects lying upon the grid!


“Venus”, D.A. Hartley

This is the first painting created of the BLOCKED art exhibition. “Venus”, oil on canvas, 30″ x 48″, 1997. Venus figurines found in caves, the earliest created 35,000 years ago.



Many thanks for your interest,

Denise Hartley

Please respect the artists copyright. 

Exhibition: Paintings by Denise Hartley:

“Creation”, oil on canvas, 3’x4′, 2000;

 “Eye of God”, oil on canvas, 3’x4′, 1998;

  “Self-Restraint”, oil on canvas, 3’x4′, 1999;

 “She Broke”, oil on canvas, 30″x 48″, 1998.

“Venus”, oil on canvas, 30″x 48″, 1997. 

Instagram: dahartley222





Birth of a Painting Series: “She Broke”.

Article by Denise Hartley

Birth of a Painting Series: “She Broke”.

Where does the artist find inspiration in creating an artwork?

Second in the series: “She Broke”, oil on canvas, 16”x 20”, 1998. Courtesy of the artist.

The painting, “She Broke” is dedicated to the “#MeToo” movement and to all women. Sadly, most of us are survivors, and each of us follows our own path to recovery.


Time Magazine’s Person of the Year is dedicated to #MeToo.  The Time article  by Bill Chappell.

It has created a wave of awareness and brave confrontations  over sexual harassment and assault, taking down powerful men in the process. And now the #MeToo movement has been named Time magazine’s of the Year for 2017.


Denise Hartley, Self Portrait, oil on canvas, 16″ x 20″, 1999.

Birth of a Painting Series: “She Broke”. This is a 45 second video by Denise Hartley.




Join Senator Elizabeth Warren, standing up to bigotry.

2012 Massachusetts Democratic Endorsing ConventionAnd that marks Democrats’ first job in this new era: We will stand up to bigotry. There is no compromise here. In all its forms, we will fight back against attacks on Latinos, African Americans, women, Muslims, immigrants, disabled Americans — on anyone. Whether Donald Trump sits in a glass tower or sits in the White House, we will not give an inch on this, not now, not ever.

Join Congresswoman Jackie Speier, in support of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to end military rape.

English: Jackie Speier (D-CA), Member of the U...

Below is an email from Congresswoman Jackie Speier and Courage Campaign. Congresswoman Speier started a petition on the MoveOn website, where anyone can start their own online petition.

Congress: Support the STOP Act to end military rape. 
Sign the Petition!

Dear MoveOn member,

Sexual violence in the U.S. military is a crisis.The Pentagon estimates that sexual assaults increased from 19,000 in 2011 to 26,000 in 2012. That’s 71 sexual assaults EVERY DAY, and in roughly 56% of cases, the victims are men.

Making matters worse, each branch of the armed forces has its own judicial system, and it’s currently legal for base commanders to overturn a jury’s guilty verdict, as happened at Aviano Air Force Base in February 2013.

The STOP (Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention) Act takes the prosecution, reporting, oversight, investigation, and victim care of sexual assaults out of the normal military chain of command—which has proven grossly ineffective—and places jurisdiction in an autonomous Sexual Assault Oversight and Response Office.

That’s why I started a petition to the United States Congress, which says:

I stand with Congresswoman Jackie Speier in support of the Sexual Assault Training Oversight and Prevention Act (STOP Act) to end military rape.

Click here to add your name to this petition, and then pass it along to your friends.


–Congresswoman Jackie Speier

This petition was created by the Courage Campaign on on MoveOn Petitions Political Action Edition, which is licensed to and paid for by Political Action. We are not responsible for the contents of this or other petitions posted on the site. The Courage Campaign didn’t pay us to send this email—we never rent or sell the list.

Want to support our work? We’re entirely funded by our 8 million members—no corporate contributions, no big checks from CEOs. And our tiny staff ensures that small contributions go a long way. Chip in here.


A video of Eve Ensler speaking on


This blog, FRIEND NATURE, was created to help me expand my practice, the practice of being human. I hoped to assemble from my posts who I am and what I stand for. I began Friend Nature on Word Press in December 2012, inspired by one of my sons who thought that I had something to say, and Word Press was the place to say it.

My plan was to write, and place my best-written work on my web page,

What I have learned about myself in the past year is that I AM STILL A GIRL, if you listen to Eve Ensler’s Ted Talk video, you will understand. I care about the world, the planet, and the life, as it exists, on a beautiful, fragile place that we call Earth.

The last six months I have been in a teaching credential program to become an art teacher in the grades K – 12th (ages 5 – 18). Friend Nature was developed in the early hours before class, and in the middle of the night, when I could not wait to write and post. I have written several hundred pages in the last six months for the State of California, to qualify as a teacher here, and worked for no pay the last year as a student teacher. As well as taking 16 Education classes for my credential in this past year. I took my CSET test, to demonstrate that I know the subject that I will teach, art, after months of reading and studying.

Recently, I have been reposting because even the early dawn hours were filled by my writings for the State of California. I have just finished my credential, and I have one more week of student teaching to fulfill my program.

What I have been reporting upon were issues that I have found important to me, and should be important to you. Life on Earth. I have posted petitions, and asked you to sign. I have joined, marched, talked, and posted, all the while seeking solutions to the gross imbalances of power and how the powerful create violence against Mother Earth, and her creatures. The more unbalanced we become as a species, the more violence perpetuated.

In this video, we hear Eve Ensler speak about the increased violence to the most venerable, women and girls. My last three posts have been about RAPE IN THE MILITARY. Rape of the women who have chosen to represent the USA, who are trained to fight the enemy, little realizing that the enemy was the recruiter, trainer, or the person fighting next to them.

I believe that to make changes on our Earth it will be necessary to promote the feminine principle, those that girls still possess. My own ‘girlness’ has been beaten, raped, and abused.’ Why has this happened? Because I am a girl.  I do not understand how one (male) could look at a beautiful, enthusiastic, caring person and think; wouldn’t it be fun to beat the girl, rape her, and toss her in a field, trash bin, or out of a bus, dead or alive. Or publicly rape her and post it on Facebook. Or choose any woman and drug her, rape her, and kill her. In civilized society, it is one of every four girls that are raped and worse, to be sold as a sex slave, and treated more or less valuable than cattle. Or kidnapped, chained, beaten, and raped for years, as our recent news has reported.

I have lost two beautiful women in the past month, friends of family, both found in a field, raped, mutilated, and dead.

One was a beautiful, caring, professional nurse, a mother of four, a teaching nurse, and a mentor to many. The suspected killer is her husband. She had told her abusive husband that she was divorcing him, and was not seen again until they found her in a field, mutilated beyond physical recognition.

The other, the daughter of my friend, who recently did not return home from work, and was later found in a field, beaten and raped, killed. Such a cruel and senseless loss to family and friends.

This is too much for me to process, but I am trying to share with you what is to be a girl.



Information from Wikipedia

Please read about her new play, “Emotional Creature.”

 Ensler was born in New York City, New York, the daughter of Chris, a housewife, and Arthur Ensler, a food industry executive. Her father was Jewish and her mother was from a Christian background. As recently described in a profile in The Nation, “In her 2007 book, Insecure at Last (a meditation on deadly American illusions about safety in the wake of the attacks of 9/11), she describes being raped and brutally beaten by her father, a food company CEO, from age 5 to 10.” She graduated from Middlebury College in 1975. She married Richard McDermott in 1978, and divorced him 10 years later. She is the adoptive mother of actor Dylan McDermott, whom she adopted when he was 15 and she was 23.

The Vagina Monologues

The Vagina Monologues was written in 1996. First performed in the basement of the Cornelia Street Café in Greenwich VillageThe Vagina Monologues has been translated into 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. Celebrities who have starred in the play include: Jane FondaWhoopi GoldbergIdina MenzelGlenn CloseSusan SarandonMarin MazzieCyndi LauperMary Testa and Oprah Winfrey. Ensler was awarded the Obie Award in 1996 for ‘Best New Play’ and in 1999 was awarded aGuggenheim Fellowship Award in Playwriting. She has also received the Berrilla-Kerr Award for Playwriting, the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Solo Performance, and the Jury Award for Theater at the U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

The V-day logo

The V-day logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Celebrating female youth


1 Billion Rising


Tony Award winning playwright Eve Ensler talks about her new off-Broadway play, “Emotional Creature.”