member's show

Review of Members’ Show - 30th October - 1st November 2015

This year, for the first time, Hertford Art Society members held their annual show at their regular meeting place - Cowbridge Hall, Cowbrige, Hertford, SG12 1PG. In its new premises the Members’ Show took on a whole new look – lots of light flooding in, room for double the number of pictures of previous shows, and a layout that beckoned you around each set of panels like a garden full of nooks and crannies. This larger venue meant that were able to exhibit more and larger artwork and 68 artists contributed 230 framed and 3D pieces as well as browsers full of unframed work and an exciting selection of greetings cards.


Strewards offered coffee, tea and cakes and the result was a totally relaxed and friendly show enjoyed by a good stream of visitors each day. If they didn’t feel like buying a picture there was always a good selection of colourful cards to browse through.

Left: John Godden Award - Members' Choice - Dusk, Woolmer Green Pond by Andrew Clarkson - Oils; Right: May Bennett Award - Still Life with Fruit and Flowers by Maureen Batty - Mixed Media

Awards were made to Andrew Clarkson for his ‘Woolmer Green Pond at Dusk’ (Members award); Maureen Batty for her ‘Still Life with Fruit & Flowers’ (Best Still Life); Marianne Dorn for her galloping horse: ‘I fight the Demons’ within’ (Visitors Choice); and Fiona Pruden for her ‘Forest of Love’ (Most intriguing work). ‘I fight with Demons’ was also runner-up in the Most Intriguing work award and this image by Marianne Dorn and 'Forest of Love’ by Fiona Pruden were lessons in the economy of brushwork that reinforces the ‘less-is-more’ mantra. Maureen Batty’s ‘Still Life with Fruit & Flowers’ demonstrated the power of a good Ink Wash and Andrew Clarkson’s Woolmer Green Pond breathed a gentle Summer’s evening.
Visitors' Choice Award - I fight the Demons within by Marianne Dorn - Ink


Most Intriguing Work - Forest of Love by Fiona Pruden - Watercolour

Among the other exhibits, the following really stood out:

  • - June Pickard’s ‘Circus Acrobat’ was delightful – negative spaces emerging from the views between arms, legs and torso of the 3D model
  • - Amber Richards’ two ‘Fantasia’ models deserved to be snapped up at the modest prices she was setting
  • - Ray Ward’s watercolour of Hertford Basin was bought by Hertford Museum, no doubt to become part of the Museum’s pictorial record of Hertford; a splendid accolade.

35 pictures were sold - 27 framed and 8 unframed together with many greetings cards - all of which were respresentations of Members’ artwork or original images. This compares with last year’s figures of 22 sold (8 framed and 13 unframed).  So we did a lot better in the new premises.  This successful Show was made possible by the efforts of many Members and thanks go to all who helped put up and take down the show, baked cakes, dispensed refreshments or acted as stewards. 

Geoff Bennett

Review of the 17th Members’ Exhibition - October 31st – November 2nd 2014

The 17th exhibition of members’ work took place at The Millbridge Rooms, Hertford. Once again, the work was of an excellent standard, a fact commented on by a number of visitors, and we can be proud to showcase our work in this way.

This year we sold 8 paintings, 1 wall plaque and 1 3D figure plus 13 unframed works. This total of 21 works compares favourably with sales last year. Well done to those who gave their time to steward the exhibition. Card sales were good and my thanks go to all who managed the cards so well and to all those in the handing-in team, the hanging team and the handing-back team. The success of this exhibition is entirely due to willing volunteers who recognise that this is their own exhibition, showcasing, as it does, the work of the Hertford Art Society.

Peeled Orange by Lorenzo Rizze - Oils
Peeled Orange
Best Still Life
by Lorenzo Rizzi - Oils
Waiting in the wings by Chris Baker - Pastel
Waiting in the wings
Visitors' Choice Award
by Chris Baker - Pastel

Congratulations to our prizewinners:

  • May Bennett Prize (Best Still Life) - Lorenzo Rizzi for his oil painting 'Orange', a glowing little jewel of a painting.
  • Mark Ely Award (Most Intriguing Work) - Tony Freeland for his acrylic painting 'Squaring the Circle'. This almost monochrome study of men in hats gathered outside a café in bright sunshine has an odd sense of menace - are they planning something wicked or just discussing football?
  • Visitors' Choice Award - Chris Baker for his pastel artwork 'Waiting in the Wings'. A beautifully accomplished study of a ballerina, with a great sense of atmosphere.
  • John Godden Award (Members' Choice) - Marianne Handford for her acrylic painting 'Jandra's Pots'. Don't we all wish we could paint like this - a simple study of pots transformed into a harmonious and colourful composition with a fragmented surface which almost approaches abstraction.
Squaring the circle by Tony Freeland - Acrylics
Squaring the circle
Most Intriguing Work
by Tony Freeland - Acrylics
Jandra's Pots by Marianne Handford
Jandra's Pots
Members' Choice
by Marianne Handford

There were many more artworks worthy of special note, but let me pick out a very few: Janet Benge's witty pencil drawing of a bus queue: Geoff Bennett's 'Autumn', a very successful print in which a farmer ploughs a lonely furrow in a field: Nigel Earle's ceramic wall plaque of Aldeburgh Fishing Hut, quite rightly snapped up at the beginning of the exhibition so we hope he makes more: and a delightfully humorous portrait of a cow, 'Cathy the Cow', by a new member, Georgia Smith.'

The Friday evening party was, as always, a most enjoyable occasion in which the members could meet socially and enjoy the exhibition and the food so kindly donated.

Congratulations to all who took part in the exhibition this year, whether you exhibited or volunteered or both. This exhibition is all about offering a platform to the Hertford Art Society members in which they can exhibit their work. For some it is the only exhibition they enter, for others it is only the first exhibition they enter, with many more to come. It is clear that the visitors love this show and we must make sure we attract even more visitors next year!

Member's Show Awards

We are grateful to our Sponsors for the following Awards.

Each year the following prizes are awarded:

  1. The John Godden Award for the best in Show chosen by the Members, donated by the Godden family.
  2. The Visitors' Choice Award supported by Hertford's Art Shop, Hertfordshire Graphics.
  3. The May Bennett Award for the best Still Life, donated by the Bennett family.
  4. The Most Intriguing/Innovative Artwork - from 2010, the additional prize is a free website design & hosting for 1 year, donated by Mark Ely of

Members Show 14th Anniversary 2011