Art Society Members’ Art Show and Sale

27th - 29th October 2017

This was the 20th Members' Show and the third to be held at The Cowbridge Hall in Hertford. It was open over three days from 27-29th October (with a preview on the 26th) and showed work by 64 artists. Twenty two framed works were sold, also 11 unframed and 110 cards.

This is a show which is always a joy to visit, as our visitors regularly tell us. There is such a wide variety of subject matter and painting styles and the standard of work is high. So much to see - so difficult to choose a favourite (the Visitors' Choice voting box held over 225 votes!). The tea stall (offering home made cakes) at the back of the hall was a good place to sit and admire the paintings. There were portraits, like Anthony Parke's masterly 'Edward Lucie-Smith' and Sharon Wright's gentle and delightful portrait of an elderly person, 'Blue'. Glorious landscapes such as Rosemary Tinney's ' Burnham Overy Staithe' with its luminous sky, and Linda Radford's glowing watercolour scenes (she sold out!). Animal paintings, like Malini Croxson's extraordinary red and white zebras, 'Tangled' and Margo Ward's colourful and lively 'Hens in the Snow'. There was finely painted work such as Paul Swinge's 'Goldfinch and Pot' and Christine Flintham's 'Rosehips' and more expressionist work which describes the scene in a few expert brush strokes and colours such as David Quantrill's 'Carlton Marshes'. June Pickard's sculpture 'What on Earth' used an abstract form to describe the many textures and features found on the planet - fascinating: I wish we had more sculptors exhibiting! An unusual entry this year was a 3D miniature train layout with the countryside depicted (by Gillian Harman) in the style and colours of David Hockney, which created a lot of interest. At this stage I have to stop and apologise to all those artists who remain unnamed here. Their work was certainly appreciated.

Our prizewinners were as follows:

The May Bennett Annual Award for the best still life:
'Stella's Pots' by Sandra Edney Lynch.
A still life with harmonious colours and a rich surface.


The Most Intriguing Work Award, selected by Mark Ely:
'Abstract' by Maureen Emerton.
Another very rich surface which drew you in to explore the shapes and colours.


The Visitors' Choice Award:
'The Quiet before the Storm' by Alyson Sharpe.
A little girl on the beach, her back to us - a lovely image, beautifully painted.


The Members' Choice Award:
'Tabletop with Mosaic Vase' by Kathy Burman.
Kathy is a master of the mosaic-like collage and this was a lovely example.


The Marie Goldsmith Annual Award:
for a Member with a consistently high standard of work who has served the Art Society well without formal recognition of their work or service: 'Tunnel at Stapleford' by Geoff Bennett.
This strong and colourful image graced our posters this year.

Of course, none of this would be possible without the help of so many Members of the Society, who worked long and hard to make the show a success. If you missed the show this year, make a note in your 2018 diary. We will be back again for the last weekend of October.

Frances Stevenson
Members' Show Co-ordinator

East Herts Decorative and Fine Arts Society

Each year for the last 6 years EHDFAS has sponsored the 3D award at Hertford Art Society's Open Exhibition.

In 2017 the prize was awarded to Nigel Earle, a local ceramicist. The winning piece is titled ‘After GR’. This alludes to a living artist, Gerhard Richter, whose paintings and textures inspired Nigel to translate Richter’s 2D work into a 3D format. The images are Nigel's work, and one of the pictures that inspired his piece.

Nigel has a studio in Hertford where he creates highly original table-top ceramic pieces ‘that explore layers, recesses and hidden spaces’.


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.

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

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.

Next to take my notice was “Holkham Bay, Norfolk” by John Rhoda. He had submitted two pictures in this style, which were very eye catching. These pictures brought to mind a likeness to that of Edward Seago, with its bright, high contrasting colours and very relaxed and free brushstrokes. Then not far from John’s picture I found Gillian Flack’s “French Farmhouse” which just oozed a wave of Mediterranean warmth. It provoked thoughts of eating French bread and drinking wine in the sun. The colours were harmonised and subtle and pleasant to look at.

Intriguing additions to the exhibition were three entries by Paul David Bell, “Alcalali”, ”Jalon Church” and “Lafranca”, all of which produced memories for me of works by Paul Gauguin, with their use of bright reds and oranges contrasting with the different hues of green all composed around large areas of light and dark. Continuing on as I moved around the screens I immediately noticed “New York”, by Carol Mountford, a well-produced picture that contained lots of colour, busy movement and imaginative thought provocation; typical of a busy city centre, all set in a semi abstract format that was none too heavy on the imagination.

Moving round to the large wall I saw another, very atmospheric John Rhoda picture, “Setting Sail, Snettisham, Norfolk. What an atmosphere, I felt as if I were to get soaking wet at any moment. I looked forward to entering the rear room where yet again there were a fine selection of exhibits. Immediately I took a shine to Anne McCormack’s, “Foreign Affairs”. Although the title sounded formal, the composition and style were definitely relaxed and pleasing to the eye. I almost cleaned my glasses as if mistaking them for producing a subtle image.

It was a joy to see Craig Alan Lee’s, “Spring is Near” this simple yet effective picture brought out all the pleasing colours of spring, in a nice simple format. It was becoming very obvious that simplicity in art can produce some of the best works. On seeing “Sunlit Harbour” by Ronald H. Johnson I felt as if I wanted to don my sun hat and sunglasses and kick my shoes off, because of the warming seaside feeling it portrayed, nicely bright and cheerful.

Denise Allen has entered a totally colourful picture with “Cosmic”. This picture draws the eye into a swirling cosmos of light and colour that keeps one affixed for a long time. This style of picture is fast becoming a must have and always draws attention. The picture “Urban Dusk” once again showed the keen and inventive mind of Kathy Burman, with meticulous attention to detail and a corresponding view to colours and composition. Full of hectic urban life.

John Killens, “Shed with the Blue Window” showed a mix of detail and impressionism, again a picture that required some serious studying. I then came across a very surprised rabbit that looked as surprised as I did, and then he gave me that steely look with just a glint of mischief and I knew straight away we were friends, lovely picture by Martin Payne, “Caught in the Headlights”.

The next works to take my attention were the two pictures by Anthony Parke – “The Jewels of Ms Kingfisher, Preened” and “The Strange Face of Mr Owl in Delightful Flight”. These were very precise and the colours intense but so realistic they could be mistaken for photographs. The amount of work put into these pictures must have been enormous. I next spotted the detailed and what seemed the most contentious picture, that of “Coke” by Brian Young, I thought this a masterful piece of art work in keeping with modern poster style pictures. It would appear that some visitors, though very, very few, did not think this picture appropriate. All I ask is – in the art world, what is appropriate?

I would like to touch on the abstract exhibits. These are not my forte, but there are some that do take my notice. “Forest Floor” by Malini Croxson was a fine example of abstract art being understandable to the ordinary person. It was bright and colourful with the titles meaning being in plain sight and an enjoyment to behold. On the other hand there is Jean Noble’s, “Spirit of Autumn”. One had to use one’s imagination and back this with the wonderful autumnal colours and behold a view which did appear though the mists of an autumn day.

I must touch on the 3D collection, as is good to see, the numbers submitted were up on last year and the standard is still persistently high. The two items that took my eye were “The Zebra Crossing” by Maria-Luisa Wilkings, this is a follow on from last year’s entry and very joyful to look at and admire. Also, of interest was “Dancing Smoke (Indiana Limestone)” by Mary Spencer, impression giving forms of fluid movement and sweeping shapes, very pleasing.

The prize winners were true to form and represented the best of the forms and styles submitted. Well done to those winners; Roger Dellar, Stella Green, T. John Jarrett, Nigel Earle and Trevor Chamberlain.

In conclusion this was yet again a very successfully arranged and organised exhibition (well done Michael Radley) that was full of variation, colour, size and subjects. A delight to see, perhaps it would be even more pleasing to see some new names appearing in future catalogues, to add more spice to this already “spicy” exhibition.

Paul D. Swinge