Village of Hartley – Still reflects the mid 1800’s
John Vander has reproduced the Village of Hartley in the Hartely Valley in the Blue Mountains. It reflects the simple needs and the way of life in the mid 1800’s. There are three old inns which still cater for weary travellers. Two churches served Anglican and Catholic beliefs. Three of the historic homes are now privately owned whilst the fourth is the presbytery for the catholic priest.
The Court House was the scene of the trials of hundreds of convicts in its early days and is now a museum, brought to life with tape recordings based on actual trials. You actually pass Hartley on the way to the Jenolan Caves. Much of the town is still the way it was 100 years ago. J ohn has captured this nostalgic scene in wonderful style early one misty morning.
John Vander – Landscape Painter
John Vander came to Australia from Belgium in 1969 where he fell love with the Hunter Valley. He and his wife, Francis, spent many weekends visiting the area and looking for subject. He had his first one man show over 40 years ago named “Paintings of the Hunter Valley Vineyard District” at the Saints Gallery in Carlton.
Now, more than 40 years after that successful first one-man show he is one of the most popular artists in NSW. For many years now, John’s work has been reproduced extensively in prints. Hence, he has attracted a large following amongst art collectors and become a household name throughout Australia.
John paints a town as if he were painting a portrait with every building perfectly accurate. Even before he starts his final work, he sketches every building in the street.