The 20th HAS Members' Art Show opens at Cowbridge Hall in Hertford on 27th October

This show of more than 200 artworks never ceases to amaze visitors with the diversity of the work and the talent on display. Some visitors come early to be sure of buying a painting by an artist they admire, others enjoy voting for their favourite artwork and choosing from the artists' cards on sale. Tea and cakes are available and the artists, who run this event themselves, are always happy to talk about the society and the artworks.

Click here to download flyer [PDF]


The 20th HAS Members' Art Show

Summer Painting Weekend - Rye and Camber Sands - September 8th, 9th and 10th 2017

The HAS annual art weekend away for 2017 saw us visiting Rye and Camber Sands. Having moved the weekend to the latter part of the outdoor painting season we had a slightly better response from Members.

Rye proved to be an ideal venue enabling a choice of marine or town subject matter, however, as the streets were narrow and busy with tourists the majority of us stayed in the Old Harbour area.

  • Summer Painting Weekend
  • 2017sep-summer-painting-weekend-rye01
    George Garbutt - Sketch 1
  • 2017sep-summer-painting-weekend-rye02
    George Garbutt - Sketch 2
  • George Garbutt - Sketch 3
  • John Jarratt - Derelict but once crucial
  • John Jarratt - Sketch - the end of the waterway
  • John Jarratt - Watch Tower House
  • Margo Ward - House - Oil
  • Margo Ward - Oil
  • Ray Ward - Acrylic
  • 2017sep-summer-painting-weekend-rye10
    Ray Ward - Watercolour
  • Stephen Lowe - Martello Tower, Rye - Oil - 50 x 30cm
  • 2017sep-summer-painting-weekend-rye12
    Stephen Lowe - Sailboats, Rye Harbour - Oil - 25 x 20cm

For full report, click here for more details.

Winter Programme 2017 - 2018

From September each year Society Members and visitors enjoy a Programme of talks, critiques, demonstrations and workshops. These sessions are on Tuesday evenings from 7.30pm to 9.30pm at Cowbridge Hall, Cowbridge, Hertford SG14 1PG. Approximately half the evenings in the Winter Programme are for Members to paint or draw either from still life arrangements or a life model. The remaining evenings are taken up with talks, critiques of paintings brought along by Members, demonstrations from a professional artist or workshops. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the non-practical evenings (marked with an asterisk).

Winter Programme 2017-2018 (pdf) - click here for more details

Summer Programme Review 2017



Each summer Hertford Art Society Members enjoy painting and sketching out of doors on Tuesday evenings at various venues in the Hertford Area.

For full report, click here for more details.

Printmaking Workshop at Hertford Museum - 14th June 2017

At Hertford Museum’s request Hertford Art Society is running workshops on different creative techniques during 2017. In June it was the turn of Printmaking and this session was led by artist Geoff Reynolds. The seven members of the public who signed up to the 2½ hour workshop were given an introductory talk describing what can be found in the Museum. They were then let loose to hunt down exhibits that would make good subjects for printing. Some quick design work, mostly on polystyrene tiles, and then the messy part of the workshop began as folk rolled out their ink and transferred it to the etched tiles.


The result was a wide range of images reflecting what is to be found in the town’s Museum. Within a short while complete novices were turning out attractive patterns on paper and cloth, based on the exhibits on display. They left the workshop full of enthusiasm and looking forward to the next HAS Workshop. This link between the Art Society and the Museum can only be good.

Art Workshops at Hertford Museum


14th June 2017 - Printmaking with Geoff Bennett

27th September 2017 - Clay Sculpting with June Pickard

15th November 2017 - Collage with Kathy Burman

In collaboration with Hertford Art Society, Hertford Museum is running a further series of Art Workshops during 2017. These Workshops will use the exciting and varied range of artefacts available at Hertford’s Museum as a starting point for the design of the finished article and are suitable for beginners and those more experienced. The first session, on Watercolours, was run by Denise Allen and was a great success. The downloadable leaflets give full details of times, cost etc. Booking is directly with Hertford Museum - (Tel: 01992 582686)

Prize Winners for Hertford Art Society 65th Open Exhibition - April 30th - May 13th 2017

Award Winners

  • The John Goss Prize is awarded by Judges to the painting considered to be the best in show. This year it has been awarded to Roger Dellar ROI RI PS for his picture ‘Sunday Morning, Wexford’.
  • The Lady Laming Award for Abstract Art is awarded for the best abstract picture in the exhibition. This has been awarded to Stella Green for her picture ‘Storm over St. Ives’.
  • The Bill Dale Award is for the picture deemed by the Judges as showing the most merit chosen from among works by Members who regularly support the whole of the Society’s activities. The picture is by T John Jarratt for his picture ‘Late Snow near Ayot St. Lawrence’.
  • The Mayor’s Award is presented for the best 3D work. This year’s award goes to Nigel Earle for ‘After GR’.
  • The Edward Mason Brushes Award, as deemed by the Judges, is for the best watercolour painting in the exhibition. This has been awarded to Trevor Chamberlain ROI, RSMA for his watercolour ‘Evening Shade, Archers Green’.
  • Visitors’ Choice Award - Trevor Chamberlain, ROI, RSMA 'Rainclouds over Malden' Watercolour.

John Goss Prize for Best in Show,
Roger Dellar ROI RI PS,
'Sunday Morning, Wexford'.

Lady Laming Award for Abstract Art,
Stella Green,
' Storm over St. Ives'.

Bill Dale Award,
John Jarratt,
'Late Snow near Ayot St. Lawrence'.

The Mayor’s Award – best 3D work,
Nigel Earle,
' After GR'.

The Edward Mason Award – Best Watercolour,
Trevor Chamberlain ROI RSMA,
'Evening Shade, Archers Green'.

Visitors' Choice Award,
Trevor Chamberlain, ROI, RSMA
'Rainclouds over Malden' Watercolour.

2017 Hertford Art Society Open Exhibition Review

I have to say that I am totally awe inspired as to how people can find the words to form a review of an exhibition. With so many varied and intriguing pictures to look at and then somehow describe them will always amaze me. So when I was asked to write a review of the 2017 Open Exhibition I was daunted but definitely up for the challenge.

On thinking how to start I decided that the best way was to be as if entering the exhibition and ambling around as I would if just viewing.

On entry to the exhibition I noticed straight away “The Bubbles” by Sharon Wright, this item brought on great feelings of serenity and calm. The colours were moderate and the subject thought provoking, as well as very well executed. As I continued to shuffle around the pictures I was very impressed with the overall standard, as always. The mix of colour, shape and form was mind boggling.

For full report, click here for more details.

The Making of “The Trinity” - a sculpture by June Pickard for the garden of the United Reformed Church, Cowbridge, Hertford

When the elders of the URC Church in Hertford asked if anyone in Hertford Art Society could make them a sculpture for their Church Garden I immediately thought of the planks of wood I had seen on numerous times on the balcony of the church. Whenever I saw them they suggested that they would make a lovely sculpture.

Working from photographs of each piece mounted on foam board I decided to make 3 standing figures representing the many forms of the number 3 in the bible. After deciding which pieces looked best together it immediately suggested the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

The planks of wood must have been originally cut direct from a tree as they had not been trimmed because they still had the bark on in places and had natural holes and edges. These I left to give character to the figures. The Father is the most solid piece, the Son is made from the two narrowest planks and the Holy Ghost uses the planks that are most irregular. I also carved the top corners off the Father and Son figures so that they appear to connect with each other.

The pieces have a centre post cut from one of the planks and are bolted together with stainless steel bolts. To keep them securely in place they have brackets which are bolted into the ground. The planks were given 3 coats of preservative which enhanced the colours in the wood. To display the sculpture the sculpture at the 2017 Hertford Art Society Open Exhibition base is was covered with pea shingle.

I hope the URC members and others get enjoyment from my interpretation of The Trinity for years to come. They will be installed in the garden to the right of the URC Church, Cowbridge, Hertford, during the summer of 2017 and can be viewed and contemplated by walking through the garden to the patio at the end where they will be positioned.

June Pickard

Summer Programme

Every summer following the indoor Winter Programme and the Open Exhibition, Hertford Art Society Members enjoy painting and sketching out of doors on Tuesday evenings at various venues in the Hertford Area.

Painting in the grounds of Hertford Castle
Painting in the grounds of Hertford Castle

Any local artists from the villages or areas to be visited are welcome to come along for the outdoor painting sessions etc. Parish dignitaries or councillors are also invited to join Members socially later.

Public Art in the City of London - Illustrated talk by Alexandra Epps - 18th April 2017

Alexandra Epps, a graphic designer, NADFAS lecturer and City of London Guide was welcomed back for a talk on Public Art in the City of London, concentrating on modern and contemporary art. The City has been her home for over twenty years and since qualifying as a guide she is keen to share the stories of its public art, iconic architecture, and fascinating history.

  • Paternoster - Elizabeth Frink - 1975
  • Angels I to V - Emily Young - 2003
  • Paternoster Vents - Thomas Heatherwick - 2002
  • City Wing - Christopher Le Brun – 2013
  • Nail - Gavin Turk - 2011
  • Relief panels - Mitzi Cunliffe - 1969
  • Ceramic panels - Rupert Spira - 1992
  • St Stephen’s, Walbrook
  • Adam and Eve stained glass by John Hayward - 1968 at St Michael Paternoster Royal
  • Revolution in 2 parts - Rob & Nick Carter - 2005
  • Time and Tide - Simon Patterson - 2005
  • Chromorama - David Batchelor - 2015
  • Memorial to Heroic Self Sacrifice - George Frederick Watts - 1899
  • Zodiac Clock - Frank Dobson & Philip Bentham - 1959
  • Gilt of Cain - Michael Visocchi & Lemn Sissay - 2008
  • Memorial to the people of London who died in the Blitz during World War II - Richard Kindersley - 1999
  • Three Printers - Wilfred Dudeney RBS - mid 1950s
  • Monument to Baron Paul Julius Reuter - Michael Black - 1976
  • Murals - Dorothy Annan - 1960
  • Resolution - Anthony Gormley - 2012

“The role of Public Art is to enrich the environment in which we work, play, learn and live” - Listing Team, Historic England.

For full report, click here for more details.

Haydn’s Mass and Te Deum - All Saint’s Church, Hertford - 1st April 2017

The Art Society was once again invited to illustrate Hertford Choral Society’s Spring Concert – Haydn’s Mass and Te Deum. This is a tricky score to illustrate – the works contain devotional phrases familiar to us all but few descriptive terms that readily transform to figurative pictures.

Persis Limbuwala did the sensible thing and painted an abstract of ‘Heaven and Earth full of the Majesty: of thy Glory’ - a Mondrian-style image of colourful panels edged in black which gives the picture a stained glass effect, entirely appropriate to its church setting.

Jenny Stratfold worked in a human theme with a panoply of worshipers from different lands to convey ‘The holy Church throughout all the world doth acknowledge Thee’ and Geoff Reynolds also decided to go for a group of people to illustrate ‘We praise You, we bless You, we worship You, we glorify You’.

Paul Swinge created cubist images depicting ‘You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ with the Holy Spirit in the glory of God the Father’; John Jarratt selected just one of the Holy Trinity but was able to add in Planet Earth to illustrate ‘You who take away the sin of the world’.


For full report, click here for more details.

The work of Mary Beale (1633 - 1699)

Visit to West Lodge Park, Hadley Wood - 21st March 2017

We were made very welcome by Mr Andrew Beale the current owner of West Lodge Park, a Beales Hotel - originally a hunting ground for kings and queens. It is a family run hotel with a beautiful Arboretum and a heliport within its grounds. The main purpose of our visit was to see the collection of paintings and learn about his famous ancestor, Mary Beale.

Andrew Beale with a self portrait by Mary Beale.

For full report, click here for more details.

Talk and Show - Mixed Media by Val Pettifer - 31st January 2017

Val Pettifer visited HAS on Tuesday 31 January and gave us an interesting evening called “Talk and Show” on Mixed Media.

Right: Val Pettifer - Les Trois Filles - Collage Acrylic

The evening started with a large selection of materials and books laid out on three long trellis tables and a few examples of finished pictures in mixed media with a variety of finishes. She introduced herself as having a passion for art in childhood and after retiring this passion was rekindled. She did various courses with great enthusiasm over a few years before investing in the "Old School Studios” in Whittleford Cambridge - just off the M11 at Duxford. She runs various Workshops and Drop In days. These are very convivial surroundings and Val is encouraging and works to each individual’s strengths. She also has visiting artists leading some of these courses.

For full report, click here for more details.

Birds of Prey - An opportunity to draw and paint four birds of prey presented by Kirsty Allen, Falconer - 24th January 2017

Harris Hawk Kestrel Lanner Falcon Peregrine Falcon
Harris Hawk, Kestrel, Lanner Falcon & Peregrine Falcon.

Pennine Falcons is situated in the heart of the Pennines and is led by Kirsty Allen; a young falconer who has been practicing the sport since 2007. She has had a lifelong passion for all birds, particularly birds of prey. She has experience working with the BBC and Silverback Films, Vogue Magazine with Helen Macdonald, has featured in the National Press and is highly regarded within the industry. Kirsty is the daughter of Member Denise Allen and we were delighted to welcome her and four of her Birds of Prey for this very different Members’ evening.

For full report, click here for more details.

Tonal Values Workshop with Chris Christoforou - 12th November 2016

Chris Christoforou has been a professional artist for 30 years and has built an international reputation for his work, since he started as a commercial artist. He is well known for his depictions of wildlife, although he enjoys painting all manner of different subjects. He has written many articles for art magazines on various art materials, including his own painting techniques. He visited us on the “Critique” evening that began our Winter Programme for 2016 and when he was invited for a workshop with us he suggested the topic of “Tonal Values” as this subject had arisen during the Critique. Thus this was the subject for the day and it turned out to be a very interesting and enlightening tutorial.

The workshop began with monochrome sketches using photographs which the artists had selected as suitable for this exercise. To create an image with a clear foreground - middle ground - background in black and white for example you can use just black (ink or paint) and progressively dilute it to get a vast range of tones from initial black all the way through shades of greys by reducing the strength of it till it reaches no colour at all. This tonal range can also be achieved in pencil or charcoal. Chris suggested that we experiment (later) with creating a “Grey Scale” for our own use.

For full report, click here for more details.

The 19th Members’ Art Show and Sale

28th - 30th October 2016

For only the second time in its history, this took place at the Cowbridge Halls, Hertford. Once again the Members rose to the occasion and put on a varied and vibrant show of work of a very high standard. The light and spacious surroundings made this a show which was a delight to walk around and, of course, there was the lure of tea and homemade cakes at the back of the hall! Visitors have told me and other stewards how much they enjoy this show and what a credit it is to the Society. Thirty six paintings were sold and also many cards (always a popular feature of the show).

Left: 'Spirit of St. Pancras, Renaissance Hotel' by Bob Boenke. Right: 'Shed Window at Walberswick No.1' by John Jarratt.

As always, the subjects of the paintings were many and varied but I did notice that the effects of light on the subject, be it landscape, portrait or still life, were a strong feature of this show. Atmospheric lighting was evident in all the award winners' paintings.

Left: 'Autumn Glow' by Rita Dare. Right: 'Lunch' by Craig Lee.

Award winners were:

  • John Godden Award (Members' Choice): 'Autumn Glow' by Rita Dare - a painting which lived up to its name with glowing colours.
  • Visitors' Choice Award: 'The Soloist' by Chris Baker - a moment of stillness as a ballet dancer pauses, beautifully lit and in a restrained palette.
  • May Bennett Award (Still Life): 'Lunch' by Craig Lee - a little gem of a painting of bread and luscious cheeses which looked positively edible!
  • Mark Ely Award (Most Innovative/Intriguing Work): 'Spirit of St. Pancras, Renaissance Hotel' by Bob Boenke - a fascinating digital monochrome image with the famous spiral staircase and ghostly images - very appropriate for the Hallowe'en weekend.
  • The Marie Goldsmith Award (for a Member who has not received formal recognition but continues to show a high standard of work). A new award in memory of a much missed Member: This goes to John Jarratt for both past work and his painting 'Shed Window at Walberswick No.1', a masterly painting which drew crowds of admirers in the show.

'The Soloist' by Chris Baker.

There was great variety of paintings, in a range of media - something to suit every taste. In addition to the framed paintings, artists contributed unframed works and some 3D items. Our 3D artists are encouraged to contribute more of their work in future shows as the Cowbridge Halls is an ideal space to display sculpture and other 3D items.

Finally, our thanks go to all those Members who worked hard for their Society's Show, whether setting up or dismantling, stewarding or making teas (and cakes!). You are too many to name but we all know who you are and we all appreciate the time you put into making this show such a success.

Demonstration in Acrylics by Hashim Akib - 11th October 2016

Hashim Akib originally worked as an illustrator. This gave him valuable experience in developing drawing skills, conceptual ideas and various painting techniques. Throughout his career he has won many awards and exhibited in many prestigious galleries. His first book entitled ‘Vibrant Acrylics’ was published in 2012, has been translated into French, German, Italian and Dutch and includes a companion DVD of the same name. He has further books - ‘Cityscapes’, ‘Absolute Beginners’ and ‘Portraiture’ - in the pipeline. He contributes feature articles to many art publications and runs regular workshops.


Hashim asked the audience to choose from three portrait photographs and had prepared a large canvas with a turquoise ground in acrylic. He prefers to work with a vibrant ground colour on his canvasses, always has a selection prepared and chooses one to compliment the subject. He uses Daler Rowney System 3 Heavy Body acrylics for his demonstrations. Having worked with them in their relaunch of these paints he finds them most suitable for his style of painting. He has a palette prepared with a range of vibrant colours in deep pans and works with large flat Daler Rowney square head brushes and Liquitex paddle brushes.

For full report, click here for more details.

Pastel Workshop - 27th September 2016

Following Les Darlow’s pastel demo the previous week we all set-to on Tuesday evening to emulate his bold, confident wielding of bright and dark colours. A large skyscape was projected onto the hall’s end wall and the lights dimmed at that end. Of course this had the side effect of making some of us work in near darkness with difficulty choosing colours. A couple of sensible members next to me got by with the use of torches!

Despite this and in the better lit end of the hall much excellent work was done including other references. Complete silence reigned for most of the session. The standard of work was quite excellent and, hopefully, much was learned from the exigencies of having to use a medium possibly rarely attempted.

Light, Energy and Movement - Demonstration in Pastel by Les Darlow - 20th September 2016

Les Darlow trained as a technical and scientific illustrator (with a 5 year diversion playing in a rock band!) and produced photorealistic images. His art was transformed when someone bought him a set of pastels. He found this medium perfect for painting freely and expressively, creating paintings based on light, energy and movement. He now considers himself an impressionist and loves the medium of pastel for its colour and intensity.

He showed us some examples of recent paintings, introduced us to his chosen materials and announced that he would be producing three paintings over the course of the next couple of hours. The audience was intrigued.

Many artists struggle with pastels and Les feels that this is, to a large extent, due to inferior materials. He often teaches groups where most of the painting ends up as dust on the floor. Having experimented with many different brands he now recommends Rembrandt and Jackson (hard pastels) and Unison (soft pastels) together with Canson “Mi-Tientes” pastel paper containing more than 50% cotton (which reduces absorption of pigments), comes in 50 colours and has one smooth surface and one with an “orange peel effect”. This also comes in a micro abrasive surface, Canson “Touch” (like fine sandpaper). Coloured backgrounds can be created on this paper using inks. He also feels that there is a temptation to use pastels too thickly - in his view “less is more”. The chosen background colour is important as, using his technique, this will be an integral part of the painting, setting the mood.

For full report, click here for more details.

East Herts Decorative and Fine Arts Society

For the last five years sponsorship of the award judged to be the best piece of 3D work at the Open Exhibition has been provided by EHDFAS – East Herts Decorative and Fine Arts.

The 2016 winner was "Queue of Life" Bus Stand - 7 Figures 7 Stories by Maria-Luisa Wilkings. Actually it’s 8 figures, I think Maria got carried away when she was submitting her figures. Each one comes with a short back-story documented in a mini-booklet accompanying the figure. Their future stories have yet to unravel: Maria says we may well be seeing what happens to at least some of them at a future exhibition. This saga could run and run.

EHDFAS Members enjoy monthly talks at the Spotlight Centre in Broxbourne on a wide range of arts subjects well beyond the decorative and fine. Among other things we also go on visits to outstanding buildings and galleries, hold Special Interest days and sponsor Young Art in local schools. Our most recent success has been this batik abstract (‘Lollipops’) entered by a 14 year old Sele School pupil into a National competition where the subject was ‘Edibles’. It won first prize in the 14-16 year age group.

Several members of the Hertford Art Society are members of EHDFAS. For more information on EHDFAS please visit their website.