61st Annual Open Exhibition 5th May to 18th May 2013
Running for two weeks each year, the Annual Open Exhibition is a highlight of Hertford’s artistic life and attracts hundreds of visitors. Over 300 artworks are exhibited having been selected by a panel of judges from the work submitted. The 2012 Exhibition featured paintings, collage, digital images, prints, sculpture and fused glass and visitors praised the high quality and great variety of exhibits.
Summer Programme 2013
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.
Members usually meet at around 7.00pm (or beforehand by private arrangement) for sketching & painting, then gather socially in the suggested public house when the light fails. Any local artists from these villages or areas are welcome to come along for the outdoor painting sessions etc.
Elijah comes to Hertford - Concert by the Hertford Choral Society – March 2013
Each year the Art Society is invited to illustrate the theme of Hertford Choral Society's Easter concert. A chance to lay aside the sable no. 2 and pick up a decorators brush and bang out a 2' x 4' pic that will adorn the pillars stretching down the aisle of All Saints Church in Hertford.
This year's concert was Mendelsohn’s Elijah. The prophet seems to have spent a frustrating life berating his fellow countrymen for worshipping false gods. Eventually he ascends to heaven in a fiery chariot, pulled by fiery horses - pretty much how I'd like to go, my ascent accompanied by some good looking angels and the scene illustrated by you lot in the Art Society please.
Ten members of the Art Society volunteered works so that as well as using each pillar we had paintings around the church. They looked great, and added pictorial interest to a terrific concert comprising 120 singers, a 38 strong orchestra, 4 professional soloists, and the Society's conductor, Derek Harrison, in cracking form. And as always an enthusiastic audience filled the church.
One of the bonuses of painting for this concert is that we are allowed to sit in on the final rehearsal and draw or paint the choir and orchestra as they go through their paces. With just hours to go before the performance, and an orchestra who have not previously met up with the choir, there is invariably a slight frisson in the air. At that point we who are painting are more relaxed than our subject.
Themes chosen by our artists were Elijah being fed by ravens (a Janet Benge collage); Elijah scowling at the townsfolk worshipping Baal (John Jarrat); fire descending from heaven (Paul Swinge); a cloud no bigger than a man's hand appearing from the water (Brenda Thompson); Elijah ascending to heaven in a whirlwind (Chris Benton, Geoff Bennett); exhortation to lift up thine eyes to the Lord, whence cometh help (Margaret Crooks); light breaking forth as the light of morning breaketh (Persis Limbuwala), a harvest that is over, the summer days gone, the rivers exhausted! (Stella Hunt); and 'Go up now, child, and look toward the sea' (Veronica Shaw).
Some epic themes, and a chance for two major Hertford Societies to come together. My thanks to all who took part.
Geoff Bennett (Pictures from John J)
“Every mark asks a question” - Demonstration of Abstract Art by Laura Reiter – 29th January 2013
A pleasing number of members attended a very informative and lively demonstration given by Laura Reiter on Abstract Art in Mixed Media. She had brought along a number of colourful, stylised paintings and illustrated books for us to look at, and to whet our appetite.
Working from photographs and a reference sketch, Laura began by putting a yellow & green watercolour & and ink wash over Bockingford watercolour paper already coated with a texture gel and a very feint drawing outline. She then stuck some handmade paper on with PVA glue and gave this a wash of ink. Buff Titanium and Cobalt Turquoise Light acrylic paint was applied next, and the shapes of the jug and birds outlined with Oil pastel. Flower shapes were made from a type of thin ‘’sponge’’ material to use as a stamp for coating in paint to add a pattern on the jug, and other shapes were made by using a Lego brick dipped in fairly dry paint.
After the break, Laura carried on with adding a few more shapes with the stamps and then outlined some of the objects with a gold UNIPOSCA pen. These are apparently available in lots of colours and would look as though they would be a great addition to any art box. Tulips were then added in purple watercolour (she uses St.Petersburg ‘’White Knights’’ ) and acrylic ink. A pipette used as a brush added the stems, also in acrylic ink.
The finishing touches were done by adjusting the colour of the birds and the jug with acrylic paint and again outlining some shapes with oil pastels. A very vibrant, colourful image was the result, and I am sure everybody present enjoyed watching the process.
Laura continued to work on the painting later in her studio and the final photograph is her completed work.
Demonstration by Jamel Akib, Illustrator – Portrait in pastel – 27th November 2012
On the face of it, pastel being a direct and immediate medium, it should be easy to use. To get the best out of pastel, however, experience and practice is needed to obtain the subtleties and tones which make it such a beautiful medium.
In getting commissions for magazines and newspapers, Jamel Akib had already demonstrated some skill with this medium whilst still a student.
The chosen subject for this demonstration was a portrait from a photograph. Jamel started by taking careful measurements with callipers and transferred them to the paper in a dark brown pastel. In doing this he made a framework on which he could place the colours.
The pastels were applied patiently and carefully, the tones and colours being built up by careful overlaying and blending. There are few straight lines in a portrait – the shapes of the features being suggested by the tones and blending one colour into another. All the time, Jamel was checking the proportions – it is easy to unintentionally change shapes whilst working.
Not all pastels are the same, even in the top makes there are differences in softness, pigments and handling. Jamel used a selection of makes to achieve the desired effects. When working from a photograph it is sometimes difficult to put in that little something which can be seen by observing the live model.
At the end of the 1 ½ hours of work Jamel Akib had produced an excellent rendition of the photograph and, during the extremely enjoyable evening, had perhaps inspired members of the audience to experiment with this delightful medium.
The 15th Members Exhibition 26-28th October at the Millbridge Rooms, Millbridge, Hertford
The 15th Hertford Art Society Members' Show opened on 26th October 2012 for three days in the Millbridge Rooms in Hertford. Sixty artists took part with over 100 framed artworks and pieces of 3D work and also unframed work and artists' greeting cards.
The primary purpose of this show, started 15 years ago by Enid Fairhead, is to offer Members of the Art Society an opportunity to exhibit their work without the constraints of its big brother Open Exhibition held in May each year. In this it was a great success, with a broad variety and high standard of work which would be the envy of many art societies and a most enjoyable Members' party on the Friday evening where Members could meet socially.
Tuesday sketching evenings 2012
All Winter, we look forward to Summer painting evenings, especially as we have a copy of the Summer programme temptingly given to us during February. After a frustrating start to Tuesday sketching evenings, due to “British weather”, i.e. rain, we managed a few glorious painting evenings – although some were beset with pesky mosquitoes or dull, cool weather. On the evening at Little Berkhamstead, I boldly asked permission for us to paint in the pub, as heavy rain was imminent. Our chosen area for painting during the Bengeo venue, proved problematical, as tractors were busy in the fields, raising huge dust clouds and insects! They even seemed to follow us to the pub later that evening!
Trevor’s selection of venues, as always, were excellent, the Summer season ended with the Summer painters meeting for a super meal, at the Axe & Compass, Braughing. Margo Ward
60th Open Exhibition prizewinners, 2012.
“Highly Commended” by the judges.