Welcome to the Hertford Art Society Website

For information about the Art Society and how to become a Member click here.

Prizerwinners 68th Open Exhibition

– 68th Open Exhibition 2021 open July 17th to 24th 2021

For full gallery over 43 images, click here for more details.

Award Winners

The prize winners this year were as follows:

  • The John Goss Award for the Best in Show was awarded to Colin J Clark for 'High Rise to Let 2 Wells-Next-to-the Sea'.
  • The Lady Laming Award for the best Abstract work was awarded to Rita Dare for 'Stay a While'.
  • The Bill Dale Award for an outstanding work by a Member of the Society was awarded to Anne McCormack for 'Fleeting Moments'.
  • Mayor's Award (sponsored by The Arts Society East Herts) for the best 3D work was awarded to Heather Jukes for 'String Woman'.
  • Edward Mason Brushes award for the best Watercolour painting to Donna Chamberlain for 'Dance in the Sun'.

John Goss Award - best in show
Colin J Clark for 'High Rise to Let 2 Wells-Next-to-the Sea'.

Lady Laming - Abstract prize
Rita Dare for 'Stay a While'.

Bill Dale Award
Anne McCormack for 'Fleeting Moments'.

Mayor's Award for 3D
Heather Jukes for 'String Woman'.

Edward Mason award
Donna Chamberlain for 'Dance in the Sun'.

For full gallery, click here for more details.

Summer Programme 2021

Hertford Art Society Members have traditionally enjoyed painting and sketching out of doors on Tuesday evenings during the Summer months at various venues in the Hertford Area. These events could not take place in 2020 due to Covid restrictions but it has been possible to plan an exciting Programme for 2021 as detailed below, commencing on Tuesday 18th May as groups of up to 30 will be allowed outdoors with effect from 17th May 2021. Should the Government Guidance change a revised Programme will be published on this site.

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 except for those restricted to Members of the Society, as indicated.

Landscapes in PanPastel - On-line Demonstration by Les Darlow

20th April 2021


Les Darlow trained as a Technical and Scientific Illustrator, and now paints expressively and creatively, producing paintings that are based on feeling, light, energy and movement. He paints in many mediums, runs extensive workshops and his book “Absolute Pastels” details his approach to this medium and contains 5 workshop projects. He has a love and passion for weather and landscapes as light and weather change the subject continuously.

For full report, click here for more details.

“Try a new format” - Untutored Online Workshop

16th February 2021

“Format is traditionally used to describe the shape or proportions of the support, for example the canvas, of a painting or other essentially flat work of art such as a relief.” (Tate website)

In creating a picture, the shape of the paper or canvas is an important part of the composition. Most pictures are traditionally rectangular or square, but there is no rule to say that a picture cannot be any other shape.

For full report, click here for more details.

The Philosophical Painters Group

The Philosophical Painters Group (often referred to as the PP’s ) Which I joined in 2011 was started by Stella Hunt with the idea of pushing the boundaries of the members work and hopefully breaking new ground by being inspired by each other and trying different techniques. The consequence of which would be improving our standard of work. The Philosophical element in the name reflects our ideas on the subject set, rather than the object(s).

When it started there was a mix of artists from Enfield area and Hertford Art Society but now the members are all members of Hertford Art Society. We keep the membership to approx. 16 as this means we have time to learn from one and other. We are given 2 weeks to think about and prepare between each meeting where we proceed to produce a painting. We meet for 3 hours on a Friday and at the end of each session we spend 30 mins looking at and discussing our piece of work. The following images were on the topic of “Patterns in Nature” and illustrate the broad range of ideas resulting from this initial theme.

Because Stella Hunt has found it more and more difficult to manage, we have become a loose collective, where we all take our turn, where we can, to help run the group.

Because of Lockdowns we have moved onto the internet with the same programme except once a fortnight we send our work to the designated member, who assembles them and sends the collection out to all members.

In the absence of a discussion, we send our comments over the internet so are still learning.

It has worked so well for all of us that it is the highlight each fortnight to receive the collection. June Pickard

Many Hertford Art Society Members work with other local groups and we hope to feature these in the future.

Online Life Workshop - 30th January 2021

One of our regular models, offered to undertake our January 2021 Life Workshop via Zoom from her home which made it possible to reinstate this Workshop. The model did an amazing job in structuring a very challenging and enjoyable workshop. These are comments from some of the Members who took part together with a selection of images of their work.



“An excellent model. She organized the session very efficiently with a great variety of poses. I would be very happy to have her again.” Pat Mann

For full report, click here for more details.

From Reality to Abstract

Online Workshop with Nick Harrison Jones - 26th January 2021

Nick Harrison Jones studied Graphic Design and has won several awards for his paintings. In his work he focuses on a combination of observed architectural, landscape and abstract elements, based on drawing and technical experimentation.

Observed scribble drawing  Sections of imaginative landscapes - 300gsm not watercolour paper
Work by the host, Nick Harrison Jones.

For full report, click here for more details.

Winter Programme 2020 - 2021 / Update

2020 was a very difficult year although many of our Members have been able to lose themselves in their imaginary world of creating artworks as a temporary respite from the real one outside. It looks as if this is an escape route we are going to need for some time yet.

Our two annual Exhibitions in 2020, the Open Exhibition in April and the Members’ Show in November, took place on-line. It was rewarding to be able to see such varied and exciting works displayed in this way. It was possible to meet for sessions at the start of the 2020 - 2021 Winter Programme in September and October, with appropriate measures in place, and to hold some Life Workshops. Zoom sessions were a great asset and enabled further sessions in November and December.

We plan to keep to our Winter Programme as far as is possible. Forthcoming Tuesday evening events will, where this can be arranged, go ahead via Zoom. Members will be sent links via email. Please click on link to Calendar for details of these sessions.

The Life Workshops scheduled for 30th January, 27th February and 27th March 2021 will go ahead as Zoom sessions and Members will be able to draw and sketch our model during the morning session, from 10am to 1pm. There will be no charge. The Saturday Life Sessions are only available to Members and prospective Members who should contact the Workshop Manager in advance if they wish to join the class by emailing [email protected]. A link will be sent via email. Please click on link to Life Workshop details. Life Workshops at Cowbridge Halls will resume in September 2021.

It is hoped that the Society will be able to hold the 2021 Open Exhibition from Saturday 17th - Saturday 24th July (Handing-in on Saturday 10th July) at Cowbridge Halls, Hertford SG14 1PG. In the Autumn it is planned to hold our Members’ Show on 29th, 30th and 31st October, also at Cowbridge Halls.

New Members are always welcome so if you would like to participate in the forthcoming Zoom sessions and submit work to future exhibitions please click on link to Membership details.

Children’s Book Illustrations

On-line Talk by Michael Radley - 17th November 2020

In response to Lockdown Mk 2 the Art Society held its first ever on-line Winter Programme event on November 17th: a talk given by Michel Radley on Children’s Book illustrations. He based it on material supplied by Annemarie Parker, who was originally scheduled to give the talk, but supplemented it with considerable additional research of his own.

Beauty and the Beast by Walter Crane 1847
Beauty and the Beast by Walter Crane 1847

For full report, click here for more details.

Suspension of Hertford Art Society Winter Programme

The Hertford Art Society Winter Programme was suspended from 5th November 2020. This comprised of Tuesday evening sessions and Life Workshops at the United Reform Church Hall, Cowbridge, Hertford SG14 1PG. It has been possible to continue many of the scheduled talks etc. online via Zoom. It is hoped that the Saturday Life Workshops at the end of January, February and March 2020 (Reduced hours - 10am - 1pm) will be able to take place possibly via Zoom. The situation will be monitored and the Tuesday evening sessions will resume when such gatherings are allowed to take place. When meetings resume the following Guidelines will apply:

Covid-19 guidelines

Meetings will follow Covid-19 guidelines agreed with the church, the main points of which are:

  • On entering the hall you should make use of the hand-sanitiser. Inside the Hall you are asked to wear a face covering, at least until you are seated.
  • To ensure social distancing chairs will be set out at 1.5m distance intervals and the number attending a meeting will be limited to 30 Members. To avoid Members turning up on a Tuesday evening only to discover the Hall is at capacity you will need to book a place - by contacting a nominated Council member by noon of that Tuesday. Members will be advised of this by email.
  • Tea/coffee will not be supplied at half-time but we will have a short interval, and Members are very welcome to bring their own refreshments.
  • You must not attend if you or anyone in your household has had COVID-19 symptoms in the last 7 days. If you develop symptoms within 7 days of visiting the premises, you MUST get the names of Members attending the previous Tuesday’s meeting from the nominated Council Member to pass to the Test, Track and Trace system.

‘Preparation for a large scale commission’

Sculpture Demonstration by Rodney Munday

27th October 2020

Rodney Munday is a local artist who created the sculpture of Alfred Wallace and a bird of paradise adorning the outer west wall of Hertford Theatre. He is renowned for sculpting the human and animal form in an impressionist /expressionist style and works in clay or wax for casting in bronze or resin.


For full report, click here for more details.

Workshop - An Evening of Heads

13th October 2020


This proved to be a most enjoyable evening. Still life often presents the problem of how to make it interesting and challenging. An assortment of borrowed stone heads from a rather grand garden did the trick together with a few hips, berries and teasels for good measure. Many Members brought further varied and interesting heads and indeed there was almost one each.

The still life groups were set up beautifully with proper lighting etc. and the colourful display of artworks below illustrates a wide range of media and technique.

For full report, click here for more details.

Lockdown Diaries

Artworks and comments by Members of Hertford Art Society

2020 has been a memorable year. With the UK in lockdown from March due to Coronavirus Pandemic and the balance of the Winter and Summer Programmes 2020 of activities cancelled, leisure activities became restricted. Members of Hertford Art Society were invited to contribute photographs of artworks and comments to the Society’s magazine in order to share their experiences. As things stand, it has been possible to launch the Winter Programme 2020-2021, with appropriate restrictions.

This is a selection of the work produced over the Spring and Summer by a number of our Members together with their comments on the impact of the lockdown.

47 image gallery, click here for more details.

London Road Underpass, Hertford Murals

by Members of Hertford Art Society - Formally opened 8th October 2020

Ten Hertford Art Society artists have helped the transformation into an art gallery of the London Road subway near the fire station in Hertford. Their pictures, considerably enlarged, line one side of the subway. This project supports the Hertfordshire Year of Culture 2020.

This mini-show was formally opened on 8th October by Hertford Mayor Bob Deering, seen here with Mitiko Murata and her picture ‘Mother Earth.

The other artists and their pictures are:

  • Porto - Kathy Burman

  • Mother Earth - Mitiko Murata

  • The Mount - Diane Loan

  • Water Lily 3 - Sally Steele

  • Poppies - Lynne Lawrence

  • Calm Glade - Diane Warburton

  • Towards Ware - Chris Hewitt

  • Colourful Bird - Laura Blight

  • Venice - Oksana Melenevska

  • Relaxing - Angela Roberts

Congratulations to all ten artists.

Lining the wall opposite the HAS pictures are works by Alan Davie, an internationally acclaimed artist who for 50 years lived and worked at Rush Green, Hertford.

The refurbishment of Hertford’s subways is part of a County Council led programme to encourage more walking around Hertford.

Pastel Demonstration by John Tookey

22nd September 2020

East Anglian artist John Tookey resides in the picturesque market town of Saffron Walden, Essex. John trained in Graphic Design and Fine Art at the Sir John Cass School of Art in London during the Sixties. He is justly famous for his dynamic, bold watercolours and pastels that sparkle with light. He has exhibited work with many prestigious galleries, is an author and tutor and a Member of the Pastel Society. John works in all mediums and trys to capture the essence of the subject rather than a very topographical likeness. He will frequently work on-site or from sketches completed at the scene, the effects of light and atmosphere on a subject particularly interest him.

For full report, click here for more details.

Saturday Life Workshops

WHY LIFE DRAWING AND PAINTING? – Some may say it is old fashioned, but practising Life Drawing enhances observation and accuracy. Interpreting the shape of the human body trains the artist to see almost every curve line and subtle undulation found in nature. The satisfaction of producing an acceptable image can be quite intense. It does not happen immediately and demands a great deal of practice to achieve.

Hertford Art Society runs Life Workshops in Cowbridge Halls, Hertford, SG14 1PG on the last Saturday of 9 months during the year. Although these are primarily run for Members we welcome enthusiastic visitors at £17.00 per session (£9.00 per half day), this includes coffee, tea and biscuits, available all day. The sessions are untutored and last from 10.00am – 4.00pm with a break of 1hr at lunchtime. We work in in all mediums including prep work for sculpture. Bring whatever medium and equipment you require with you. The photographs below illustrate the exciting variety of work produced by the artists.

There are many different approaches to life drawing which become very obvious during the sessions. We are a very enthusiastic group of artists and in a relaxed atmosphere we learn from each other different skills and methods of working, as well as experimenting with different mediums etc. There are normally 2 models unless the group is small, when there is only one. We do not have a set programme of poses, but usually include short poses, mostly in the morning and longer poses for artists who wish to produce a more finished piece of work. So why not join us if you haven’t already.

Workshops take place on the last Saturday of the month for nine months of the year. They do not take place in April, August and December due to the annual Open Exhibition and holiday periods.

Life Models Workshops within HAS Winter Programme for 2020 - 2021

  • Saturday - 26th September 2020
  • Saturday - 24th October 2020
  • Cancelled - Saturday - 28th November 2020
  • Saturday - 30th January 2021 (10am - 1pm) Available to Members via Zoom.
  • Saturday - 27th February 2021 (10am - 1pm)
  • Saturday - 27th March 2021 (10am - 1pm) Available to Members via Zoom.

If you are interested please contact [email protected] for further details.

Summer Sketching Evenings 2019

The 2019 Summer Evening Open-Air Sketching Programme opened on 21st May with a visit to an indoor venue. Hertford Art Society Members were invited once again to sketch at one of the Hertford Choral Society’s rehearsal evenings. This was an evening full of music and movement and was greatly enjoyed.

Evening, Folly Island - Trevor Chamberlain - Watercolour Billy and Friend at Westmill by Stephen Lowe - Oil

Stanstead Abbotts - Ray Ward The Hertford Allotments - Stephen Lowe - Oil

The following week saw us enjoying the bright evening sunshine on Hartham Common and the Folly Allotments. This particular evening turned out to be probably the best evening weather of the Programme.

Painting the villages of Bayford and Brickendon on 4th May was disappointingly cloudy, and the following week was no better at Sawbridgeworth Maltings with only 4 Members attending. However, the painting weekend at Aldeburgh on 7th to 9th June was enjoyed by about 19 Members.

For full report, click here for more details.

Summer Painting Weekend - Aldeburgh, Suffolk

June 7th, 8th and 9th 2019

In terms of numbers attending (17) the Aldeburgh trip was the best so far and I’m sure those who made it for the first time will join us again next year.

John Jarratt

On Friday it pretty much rained all day forcing most of us to sketch from our cars. Ever the brave souls, HAS members took it as an opportunity to get into the painting zone knowing that our reward would be “Fish & Chips” from the best chip shop in England. This certainly proved to be the case followed by a sociable evening in the put next door.

Stephen Lowe, Left: Aldeburgh estuary - Oil; Right: Aldeburgh Fish Hut - Oil

On Saturday, just as our enthusiasm began to be tested by the wind and rain, out came the sun followed quickly by the paints and for me two quick oil sketches went down - satisfaction at last!

That evening we all met up at the “Lighthouse Restaurant” where we had another delightful meal thus confirming the rumours that in reality we were just a bunch of gastronomes.

John Jarratt

On Sunday, under bright blue skies and a passive breeze, we made our choices of location, some on the beach and others, like myself, went to Snape where I tackled a large canvas which I hope one day to finish - where have I heard that before?

So what of next year? One suggestion has been put forward - Winchester - but we have not finalised our choice yet, however maybe Members could pencil in the first weekend of June 2020.

Happy painting friends.

Stephen Lowe

Society's aim

The Society's aim is to encourage interest in the visual arts and to provide opportunities to practice, study and exhibit art in Hertford and the surrounding area.

It is well regarded for the high standard of artworks on display at the annual Open Exhibition. Submissions are received from across Hertfordshire as well as other parts of the country.

Members work in a range of media and styles from traditional painting in oils, pastel, watercolours and acrylics to printmaking, collage, multi-media and digital – computer based imagery. Three dimensional work in wood, clay, stone and metal is also well represented.

This diversity and an approach to art which values traditional skills alongside contemporary art forms combine to make Hertford Art Society a leading light in the local art world.