The Hertford and Ware Flyer

26th March, 27th April and 28th May 2024

We are delighted that The Hertford and War Flyer magazine has chosen to feature paintings by Members of Hertford Art Society on recent editions. “The Wine Lodge” an oil painting of Ware High Street by Mike Lawrence was on the cover of the 26th March 2024 edition, “Hertford Bridge”, a watercolour by Michael Radley features on the 27th April magazine and Michael has had another painting, “All Saints Church, Hertford” chosen for the cover of the 28th May edition. A number of other paintings by Members of Hertford Art Society of local scenes – portrait format, especially with a seasonal theme - may feature in future issues.


Mono-print Workshop at the Hertford Museum led by Geoff Bennett

10th May 2024


Each year the Art Society is invited by Hertford Museum to run a series of workshops at the Museum. The first this year was Sally Hunter’s collage session in March. A second workshop, in May, was on mono-printing, led by Geoff Bennett.

‘Mono-print’ is a bit of a misleading description since one can make multiple copies; one can also chose to vary both the arrangement of prepared stencils and the colours inked onto the them between each print to create a group of different combinations of figurative and abstract images.

Members of the workshop created stencils from thin polystyrene sheets rather than the more traditional lino sheets. Cutting polystyrene with scissors or a Stanley knife is a lot quicker than gouging out Lino with a special Lino cutting tool, and gives more time to experiment in the 2 hours of the workshop.

The result was a lovely collection of quite different treatments, as can be seen from the accompanying photos.

A third workshop will be held at the Museum on 13th September, creating 3D figures from a plaster-impregnated fabric called Modroc.

Hertford Art Society 71st Open Exhibition

April 27th to May 5th 2024

“Wonderful. So much talent.” “Superb Exhibition” “A joyous visit” “We always enjoy this Exhibition – the paintings are so very good – and varied.” “Beautiful work” “Fantastic range of artworks – very inspiring” “Wide selection of skillful and absorbing pitcures, especially portraits”

These were among the 60 comments kindly left by visitors to this year’s Exhibition. The selection of work for a place in the Exhibition is made by a panel of eminent, practising artists who are completely independent of the Society. This year we were pleased to welcome Paul Curtis, Joanna Pearl and James Willis as judges. The style of the Open Exhibition varies year by year. The range of expertise and opinion of the judges and the wide variety of work submitted, ensures that a unique mix of artworks is displayed each year. This year 108 artists submitted 422 items for consideration. 287 2D works were selected for hanging and these, together with 27 sculptures and 3D items provided visitors with a colourful, diverse and exciting Exhibition at Cowbridge Halls.

There was something for everyone: atmospheric landscapes, townscapes and seascapes, abstracts, figures and delightful portraits, still life images, flower portraits and a large variety of animals, birds and some interesting beetles. The exhibits included oils, acrylics and watercolours; lino and screen prints; digital images; pastel, pencil, charcoal and ink drawings; collage and 3 D works in a variety of materials. Some works were rich in colour and boldly executed, others delicate. Many, this year, were in monochrome, ranging from large pen and ink scenes to mysterious abstracts. One drawing by Colin J Clark so impressed our judge James Willis that he awarded a prize for Best Drawing. Additional works were displayed at other venues in Hertford.

The exhibition attracted many visitors from a wide area. In addition to the prizes awarded by the judges, visitors cast their votes for their favourite exhibit - the winner was Hertfordshire Scene 4/4 by Fiona White and the runner up, Girl in a Black Dress by Jill Elliot.

Thanks go to all the people who contributed to making this Exhibition such a success - it was another popular and exciting show.

Award Winners

  • The John Goss Prize for Best in Show awarded to John Jarratt for 'Finished'
  • The Lady Laming Award for best Abstract awarded to Judith Moule for 'Beneath the surface'
  • The Bill Dale Award for best Member’s work awarded to Angela Roberts for 'Tulips and masons china'
  • The Mayor's Award for the best 3D work sponsored by The Arts Society East Herts awarded to John Speilman for 'Offcuts'
  • Best Watercolour sponsored by A S Handover Ltd Brush Manufacturers awarded to Jill Rolfe for 'Dark over Bill’s Mother’s'
  • Drawing Prize – Special donation by James Willis (judge) awarded to Colin J Clarke for 'The outgoing tide, Pembrokeshire'
  • Visitors’ Choice Award awarded to Fiona White for 'Hertfordshire Scene 4/4'
  • Visitors’ Choice Runner up awarded to Jill Elliot for 'Girl in a Black Dress'

The John Goss Prize for Best in Show - Finished by John Jarratt

The Lady Laming Award for best Abstract - Beneath the surface by Judith Moule

The Bill Dale Award for best Member’s work - Tulips and masons china by Angela Roberts

The Mayor's Award for the best 3D work sponsored by The Arts Society East Herts - Offcuts by John Speilman

Best Watercolour sponsored by A S Handover Ltd Brush Manufacturers - Dark over Bill’s Mother’s by Jill Rolfe

Drawing Prize – Special donation by James Willis (judge) - The outgoing tide, Pembrokeshire by Colin J Clarke

Visitors’ Choice Award - Hertfordshire Scene 4/4 by Fiona White

Visitors’ Choice Runner up - Girl in a Black Dress by Jill Elliot

Craig Morton presenting set of watercolour brushes from A S Handover Ltd. to Jill Rolfe for Best Watercolour

Diana Dale presenting The Bill Dale Award for Best Member's Work to Angela Roberts

Lord Laming presenting special Award for Best Drawing donated by Judge James Willis to Colin J Clarke

Lord Salisbury presenting The John Goss Award for Best in Show to John Jarratt

Hertford Mayor Vicky Smith presenting The Mayor's Award for best 3D Work to John Spielman. This Award sponsored by The Arts Society East Herts.

New HArts Fest 2024 at Hertford Castle

Saturday 13th April 2024


Members of Hertford Art Society set up a new branded gazebo on a glorious sunny afternoon on the main lawn at Hertford Castle, for the first annual HArts Fest organised by Hertford Council. This one-day free family event celebrated art and culture. Visitors were able to enjoy a series of art and craft stalls, arts and culture based activities.

Angela Roberts, Mike Lawrence and Ray Ward set up their easels to paint en plein air and created a great deal of interest from the visitors.

A very popular children’s workshop was organised by Members of the Art Society based on drawing or using collage to create images of their own faces. Their imaginative and varied artworks were hung on our gallery wall in the gazebo.

There was a lovely interaction amongst the various groups, vendors, and societies with connections being made in a relaxed and friendly setting. Visitors were encouraged to visit our forthcoming Open Exhibition which will take place later this month (27th April – 5th May) at Cowbridge Halls, Cowbridge, Hertford, SG14 1PG and to consider joining our Society. Greetings cards donated by members were sold during the afternoon. The event was very well attended and a great success. The weather certainly helped! The new gazebo hopefully sets up many more opportunities for Hertford Art Society to become a more regular presence in local activities.


Running from Saturday, April 13th to Saturday, April 20th, HArts Fest will promote art and cultural events, activities and exhibitions within Hertford and the local area.

Chair of Hertford Town Council’s development and leisure committee, Cllr Ann Woodward, said: “HArts Fest 2024 is set to be a fantastic celebration of art and culture in Hertford. We are lucky to have a wide range of organisations and businesses delivering cultural activities in the town, and Hertford Town Council will be working in partnership with them to ensure the HArts Fest delivers a programme that can be enjoyed by people of all ages this spring.”

Frederick Handel’s “Saul”

Performed by Hertford Choral Society
23rd March 2024


On Saturday March 23rd Frederick Handel’s ‘Saul’ came to St Andrews Church, Hertford, in all its majestic glory. Accompanying the splendid singing by some very talented soloists and the full might of the Hertford Choral Society eight large pictures by the Art Society hung from the pillars of the central aisle.

They depicted a dramatic episode from the Old Testament: David, a shepherd lad, has won the admiration of Saul, first king of the Jews, by slaying Goliath. Saul’s affection for David changes to rage however as he realises David is now more popular than he is. Saul orders his son, Jonathan to kill David, but Jonathan loves David and refuses. The action continues downhill, ending with the death of Saul and Jonathan, and David succeeding Saul as the leader of the Jews.

For full report, click here for more details.

Creative Collage Workshop at Hertford Museum

22nd March 2024

There was a good turnout for Sally Hunter’s Creative Collage Workshop. Ten participants enjoyed exploring the challenges of making an image with torn or cut coloured paper from magazines. Fortunately they were allowed to stay a little longer than the allocated time, so that extra detail could be added to their masterpieces!


This was a new skill for many but the use of collage in art goes back to the early 20th Century with Picasso and Braque pasting pieces of “Found” materials into their artwork, followed by many other artists using collage in various ways - Matisse’s cut paper and Hockney’s photo collages, for example.


As can be seen from the photos, the resulting images show great originality. All works were taken home in a cardboard mount, ready for framing. Sally Hunter was warmly thanked for running such an enjoyable workshop.

Spring Celebration Still Life Workshop with Spring Flowers

19th March 2024


This was an untutored workshop. Members could choose to paint or draw in a medium of their choice. Some lovely spring flowers were contributed for this Workshop including hellebores in various subtle shades, hyacinths, daffodils, winter jasmine and a branch of magnolia flowers. The displays were mostly in vases, some clear and one with a bold flowery motif.

This was a very enjoyable workshop which resulted in some delicate, colourful studies in a variety of mediums.




Balance and Composition in Art Talk and Workshop with Jean Noble, Abstract Artist

27th February 2024


We were delighted to welcome Jean Noble, a local Abstract Artist, for an illustrated talk on balance and composition in Abstract Art followed by a workshop on creating an Abstract painting or drawing.

For full report, click here for more details.

Demonstration by Roger Dellar

A Street Scene in Oils
20th February 2024


Roger Dellar is a self-taught artist with a keen interest in people and their behaviour. He is fascinated by the way the play of light transforms a subject; either working in the studio or plein air. He is a member of The Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour, The Pastel Society, and The Royal Institute of Oil Painters and an active member of The Wapping Group. He is a regular visitor to the Hertford Art Society and his demonstrations are always popular and very well attended.

Roger paints on hardboard, primed with 3 coats of a dark white Gesso which appear lighter as he starts to paint in his initial dark tones.


He sets out his palette and mixes his colours on the palette before starting work on the picture. He puts out two whites – one to mix in with his colours, the other to use as a source of pure white. During the painting he would hold up a palette knife with an intended paint against what had already been applied to check he was getting the right contrasting colour.

Roger started by making a very rough drawing with a brush and a heavily diluted orange/brown paint, then picking out some of the darker tones in an ultramarine/brown mix. He looked for connections between different areas of the image that had common tones, dabbing, smudging and blobbing the paint on, and avoiding straight lines.

Rogert made the initial darker spaces larger than would ultimately appear so that he could subsequently cut into those areas with his lighter tones. He constantly searched for opportunities to break up areas of paint with complimentary colours.


His figures were very small and lightly defined but he was still able to distinguish between a person walking towards the viewer from someone walking away by the amount of light in the head/face area – someone walking towards the viewer will have a greater surface of light around their head. He did not attempt to put in all the detail (e.g. windows) present in the photograph he was painting from. But he did concentrate on introducing tonal variety into the mass of foliage in the photograph.

Towards the end of the painting he used a palette knife to scrape vertically the paint for added movement.

In less than 2 hours Roger produced a beautifully balanced, subtle painting, full of light and shade, and a limited range of lovely complimentary tones.

This was a very enjoyable and instructive demonstration. Roger was warmly thanked for outlining his approach to capturing the atmosphere of an outdoor scene with hints and tips as he worked from sketch to finished painting.

Figurative Painting Workshop with Liz Loxton

6th February 2024


Figurative Painting Workshop - from reference material to large painting - facilitated by Liz Loxton, a talented artist known for her expressive and abstract paintings. Liz works out of her studio in Hertford, creating large and small artworks in which she aims to convey the feelings experienced in the creative process.

For full report, click here for more details

Emotions in Clay Portraiture with Jo Pearl

23rd January 2024

A sculptor based in North London, Jo Pearl works in clay for its tactile plasticity, its ability to record expressionist mark making and its transformation when fired. Jo is fascinated with the six emotions Charles Darwin saw as fundamental to human evolution: happiness, sadness, fear, surprise, disgust and anger and showed a stop-frame animation of her work in clay which allows her to create an illusion of life and explore these emotions. She has exhibited collections of heads on this theme.

For full report, click here for more details.

Still Life with a difference

9th January 2024


This practical session was a last minute change from the programme and there were five still life setups around the hall but with a difference.

Members had only half an hour at each still life before moving on to the next setup. These were quick half hour sessions with no time to fiddle in the detail. It was suggested that a different approach should be used on each setup and that different mediums should be employed. The time allocated could be used for one piece of work or for numerous quick sketches from different angles.

For full report, click here for more details.

“Underwater World”

Workshop in watercolour with Bridget Tomkins
21st November 2023


On Tuesday 21/11/23 we hosted local artist Bridget Tompkins and enjoyed a bumper turnout at Cowbridge Hall! Bridget is a well-established local artist who specialises in both life drawing and watercolour painting, embracing a variety of subjects. She runs classes in the St. Albans area. Bridget is known for her trademark loose and energetic style, using bold washes of intense colour which are often splashed across the paper. These random effects then become an essential part of the composition. Bridget strongly believes in trying to capture the 'essence’ of the subject or scene rather than concentrating on exact detail. This method is used to convey freshness and light by leaving plenty of areas unpainted.

For full report, click here for more details.

Urban Architecture

Demonstration in watercolours by Alex Hillkurtz
14th November 2023


Alex Hillkurtz was born in England and grew up in California where he is a renowned storyboard artist for feature films, television, and commercials. He currently lives in Paris and enjoys discovering the hidden corners of the city. He uses the language of cinema to inform his images, moving beyond what one sees, and depicting what he wants others to see. He had brought along various sketchbooks and paintings to illustrate his style. Alex runs plein air workshops at beautiful locations in Europe and around the world and has recently published a book on his approach to painting architecture. For this demonstration he has chosen a photograph of a favourite corner in Paris which features a café with a bright red awning – one of his favourite motifs. The photo was taken at mid-morning with some dramatic shadows.

For full report, click here for more details.

Expanded weaving session

Experimenting with mixed media
Workshop with Elizabeth Murton
31st October 2023

Tutor's resources

Elizabeth Murton is an award winning multi-media textile artist. She works in a creative and dynamic way – researching, drawing, crafting materials, talking with project partners and engaging people through events. She has a studio in Digswell and offers tutorials in various techniques on the internet. Elizabeth opened the session with a very interesting introduction to her work and practice – one intriguing example involved a huge warp weighted loom set up with fibres anchored with stones (ancient technology = contemporary sculpture).

Many of Elizabeth’s projects involve unorthodox weaving techniques and materials but this workshop focussed on teaching the basics. Members had brought a variety of frames and materials (yarns, textiles, paper) and Elizabeth had brought along resources to get everyone started on a simple piece of weaving.

For full report, click here for more details.

Hertford Art Society 25th Members’ Show

Cowbridge Hall, Cowbridge, Hertford SG14 1PG
Friday 27th - Sunday 29th October 2023

  • “Brilliant Exhibition – as usual”
  • “Beautiful Work”
  • “Lovely artwork. Well done once again.”
  • “Excellent paintings”
  • “A pleasure to visit every time. Lovely”
  • ”Thank you for another interesting and enjoyable exhibition"
  • “Beautiful and inspiring exhibition, well done HAS”

These are just a few of the comments made by visitors during the course of this year’s Members’ Show in Cowbridge Hall, a light and airy venue which shows work at its best. All Members are invited to contribute to this Show and this year 56 artists exhibited 197 works. There were atmospheric landscapes, townscapes and seascapes; lots of boats; still life images (one of two fried eggs!), delicate flower paintings and bold leaf prints; engaging portraits and figures; abstracts, and a lovely variety of animals (including a sleepy Alsatian, a curious chimp, two portraits of fluffy tabby cats, mother and baby elephants, a herd of sheep and lots of foxes this year). Some works were colourful and bold, others subtle and elusive in a wide variety of mediums. There was 3D work in ceramic and a display of carved translucent alabaster shapes in the form of a calm Japanese garden.

A childrens’ quiz kept children (and their parents) engaged as they explored the hall for solutions. Vibrant greetings cards were also for sale.

Grateful thanks go to all the Members who worked hard to set up this 3 day show. It was a great success – over 160 votes were cast for the Visitors’ Choice prize. There was something for everyone and the opportunity to relax with coffee, tea and homemade cake while admiring the artwork was appreciated by many.


Marie Goldsmith Award for a Member with a high standard of work who has served the Art Society well without formal recognition

  • Mardlebury Farm by Ted Walsby – Oil

Stephen Lowe Award for most intriguing work

  • Orange-blue Contrast Piece by Lucy Dale – Mixed Media

Visitors’ Choice Award

  • Old Wave Breaker by Michael Lawrence – Oil

Enid Fairhead Award for best work chosen by Members

  • Royal Gate, Green Park by Bill Dean - Watercolour

Mardlebury Farm by Ted Walsby – Oil
Mardlebury Farm by Ted Walsby – Oil

Orange-blue Contrast Piece by Lucy Dale – Mixed Media
Orange-blue Contrast Piece by Lucy Dale – Mixed Media

Old Wave Breaker by Michael Lawrence – Oil
Old Wave Breaker by Michael Lawrence – Oil

Royal Gate, Green Park by Bill Dean - Watercolour
Royal Gate, Green Park by Bill Dean - Watercolour

Painting the Mayor

Untutored Workshop
17th October 2023

Each Autumn we are delighted to welcome the Mayor of Hertford for a portrait workshop. This year’s Mayor is Councillor Vicky Smith and she was an excellent model for our painting workshop. Members often try to complete these portraits in their studios and are invited to display these at Hertford Castle at the later date.

The photos below show the work in progress, in various mediums. The Mayor was warmly thanked for coming along for this portrait evening.


For full report, click here for more details.

Atmospheric Yorkshire Scene

Workshop with Mike Rollins
10th October 2023

Mike Rollins is a professional award winning artist, demonstrator and tutor based in Hertfordshire. His style of painting is a mixture of traditional and expressive techniques and though he uses a variety of mediums, he often finds acrylic paint better suits his needs. He trained as a scenic designer and often thinks of his subjects as though they were stage sets, open to rearrangement for dramatic purposes.

For full report, click here for more details.

Mindfulness with Clay

Workshop with Sarah Core
3rd October 2023


Sarah is an award winning ceramic artist who focuses on the physical and mindful process of working with clay. She works in community settings and runs Mindfulness and Well-being, Relax & Recharge and Pottery Wheel Experiences classes from her studio in Elstree and online.

Sarah welcomes us and gives each of us a slab of clay (about 1kg). We are asked to split this into half, put this to one side and then form 4 pieces of clay from the balance, one the size of lemon and three the size of walnuts. We put all these aside in easy reach and the session begins with meditation. We sit tall with feet flat on the floor, breathing slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth, focusing on the breath initially and relaxing, eyes closed. A calm atmosphere allows us to then take our focus though the body, beginning at the feet and working slowly through the body with the breath until our focus is on the head. With eyes still closed we reach for the large piece of clay feeling and responding to the cool texture with each relaxing breath. We allow our fingers to explore the lumps and bumps and begin to model the clay slowly into an abstract form with enjoyable nooks and crannies, our fingers and minds deciding on the shape. Then we open our eyes. The range of work produced was amazing. This was a very relaxing start to the evening.


For full report, click here for more details.

Collage Workshop - Animals

Led by Sally Hunter
19th September 2023



This workshop was led by Sally Hunter, a Member who has developed her own style of collage using photographs of animals and pets as a starting point. Her work has energy and personality; she often tailors the image to suit the pet’s owner. One portrait had elements of buildings and structures hidden in the form of the charming dog whose owner was an architect. Sally also enjoys creating portraits of people and landscapes in collage.

Members were asked to bring a chosen image and Sally kindly supplied paper, gluesticks, pencils, scissors and a stack of magazines.

For full report, click here for more details.

Demonstration – Head in Clay - Cast of finished Head

By Ben Twiston-Davies

The material is Crystacal Lamina, to which Ben added a little bit of Jesmonite brand Terracotta pigment.


Demonstration – Head in Clay

By Ben Twiston-Davies
12th September 2023

Ben Twiston-Davies has been a figurative sculptor since 2000. He has been a Visit-ing Lecturer in sculpture and drawing at the University of Hertfordshire, since 2014. His statue of Ebenezer Howard, the founder of the Garden City movement, was in-stalled in the centre of Welwyn Garden City in April 2021 to celebrate the city’s cen-tenary. Ben has recently completed a statue of Agatha Christie for her hometown Wallingford, in Oxfordshire.

Ben has visited the Society previously to demonstrate his approach to sculpture, to critique Members’ work and as a 3D judge. He was warmly welcomed back.

For full report, click here for more details.

Winter Programme 2023 - 2024

The Winter Programme 2023-2024 begins on Tuesday 5th September 2023.

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 with tutor-led workshops, from still life arrangements, or with a life model. The remaining evenings are taken up with talks, critiques of paintings brought along by Members or demonstrations from a professional artist. Visitors are welcome to enjoy the non-practical evenings (marked with an asterisk).

Saturday Life Workshops will recommence on 30th September 2023 and non-Members are welcome - see details on Life Workshops below. The Members’ Show will be held from Friday 27th to Sunday 29st October 2023.

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. The only exception is the October Session which is sometimes changed when it coincides with the Members’ Show. Although these are primarily run for Members we welcome enthusiastic visitors at £17.00 per session, this includes coffee, tea and biscuits, available all day. The sessions are untutored and last from 10.00am – 4.00pm with a break for lunch. 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. We do not have a set programme of poses, but usually include short poses 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 (except for October) 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 2023 - 2024 - 10am - 4pm at Cowbridge Halls, Hertford, SG14 1PG

  • Saturday 30th September 2023
  • Saturday 21st October 2023
  • Saturday 25th November 2023
  • Saturday 27thJanuary 2024
  • Satuday 24th February 2024
  • Saturday 30th March 2024
  • Saturday 25th May 2024
  • Saturday 29th June 2024
  • Saturday 27th July 2024

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