The Arts in Harpenden

and St Albans            Autumn/Summer                                              



What is style?

We are all compartmentalised by the way we dress, where we live, what we eat - and that is the same for the style of artists.

Most people will be familiar with The Mona Lisa - Leonardo’s style - The Sunflowers - Van Gogh’s style or the delicate ballet figures by Degas.  Whether professional or amateur all artists have a style.

My pencil sketches have always been immediate, free and loose - but as much as I tried my paintings always resulted in conservative and lifelike representations.

I attended a weekly  Life Drawing and Painting class at Hertfordshire University - one of the students was using a long willow stick and ink  to sketch - her results were fascinating - free and full of life. I decided to experiment and loved this medium from the first mark I applied to the paper.  I loved the way the ink dripped down the paper - how each mark could be interpreted in a new and exciting way and when I began to use oils within my sketches the paintings came to life - at last I have found my style.

Contact me via:


Public Halls, Southdown Road

To purchase tickets click here

Membership entitles you to:

£1.50 reduction in the price of a ticket for each film.

voting rights at our AGM;

the chance to take part in on-line voting for film selection

You can buy membership here or from the ticket desk when you attend a film

Films will usually be shown at 8.00pm, but do come along from 7.30 and you will be able to enjoy a drink from the bar in the foyer of Harpenden Public Halls.

Harpenden Public Halls (Our venue), Southdown Road.
Mon-Fri, 9am-1pm
01582 767 525

W.H.Smith, 29 High Street, Harpenden.There may also be tickets available on the door but due to high demand, and to help us plan for the evening, we recommend buying in advance.Films will be shown at 8.00pm, but do come along from 7.30 and you will be able to enjoy a drink from the bar and, sometimes a savoury snack, available in the foyer of Harpenden Public Halls

Buying TicketsFrom the website
Using Paypal or credit card. You will then be sent an e-ticket.

Or from WH Smith on the High Street

Local artists donate paintings at ‘Celebration 2014’

This years ‘Celebration 2014’ event by The Harpenden Society on March 26 culminated in a free prize draw for paintings donated by two local artists.

Drew Wilson and Haydn Dickenson.

Painting 1.(top right)  By Andrew Wilson, the owner of

A & K Wilson Galley in Station Approach and an artist in his own right.

‘Spirit of March ’58’. Oil on laid linen.

Painting 2. By Haydn Dickenson, an accomplished local artist and musician.

 'Blue Horizon'. The media used are Collage, Acrylic and Oil on Canvas.

The draw was announced by Ron Taylor, committee member of The Harpenden Society who presented both winners with their prizes.


‘Suffragette’ filmed in Harpenden.

The Factory in Highfield Oval was selected as the perfect place to film part of the new movie featuring Carey  Mulligan  who stars  alongside  Helena  Bonham-Carter,  Brendan  Gleeson,  Anne-Marie  Duff,  Ben

Whishaw and Meryl Streep. Carey was just one of the top stars who were filmed in Harpenden.

SUFFRAGETTE is an intense drama that tracks the story of the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement, women who were forced underground to pursue a dangerous game of cat and mouse with an increasingly brutal State as

they fought for the right to vote.

These women were not primarily from the genteel educated classes, they were working women who had seen peaceful protest achieve nothing.  Radicalised and turning to violence as the only route to change, they were willing to lose everything in their fight for equality - their jobs, their homes, their children and their lives.

MAUD was one such foot soldier.  The story of her fight for dignity is as gripping and visceral as any thriller, it is also heart-breaking and inspirational.


Sarah Gavron said:

“No major film has ever dramatised the extraordinary fight of the Suffragettes for the right to vote.  It’s easy to forget that British women only gained that equal right in 1928.  And in some parts of the world that right is

still denied.  That is why I am delighted to announce on the eve of International Women’s Day th

at our film has gone into production.”

The film is produced by Ruby Film for Pathé, Film4 and the BFI in association with Redgill Productons.

Over 1,000 entries from Harpenden Primary School Children

Over one hundred children, parents and teachers attended The Harpenden Society 2014 Primary Schools Arts Competition Awards event at Rothamsted Conference Centre on Wednesday March 26. The winners were presented in true ‘Oscar’ style with certificates for 3rd, 2nd and 1st places, plus a number of commendations and Special Awards for truly outstanding work. Hosting the event were committee members Ron Taylor and Eric Midwinter who created the concept ( Hail Harpendonia) then liaised with the Primary Schools from the launch in November to the judging on March 19. All the nominated works were on display around the conference centre for all to see.

33 Awards were announced on the afternoon with another 800+ certificates to be given out to the all the school children who submitted work. In most cases the work was from individual children, however there were several entries from the combined work of two to four children and in three case complete classes.

All ten schools who participated have been awarded £40 WHS gift vouchers and goody bags with art items. This thanks to the joint sponsorship of the Society and Harpenden’s WHSmith via their manager Allan Roberts.

“Thank you to you and all of your team who made the awards ceremony so lovely.

I know that the children and parents were very proud to be part of it, as were the teachers!

I felt the venue was a great success and the children certainly loved it.” Charlotte Photiades. Teacher Sauncey Wood Primary School

Above: A special Judges Art Award ( year 3 & 4) to Roundwood Primary Class 34 (See large image on the right of the display wall) plus third place (year five and six)  to Olivia also from Roundwood.

Photo L2R. Roundwood teacher Clare Tookey, Roundwood teacher Suzanne Webb, Tom and Olivia

Below: Teachers from participating schools with art goody bags donated by WHSmith in Harpenden and presented by Harpenden manager Allan Roberts.

Visiting Harpenden OPEN STUDIOS JUST GOT EVEN EASIER. Sept 6th - 28th

Open Studios, the annual art event around the whole of Hertfordshire comes with a free 70-page county-wide brochure lists all studios throughout Herts, with brochure information also available on-line from Herts Visual Arts web site.

With a local focus, visiting studios in and around Harpenden has just got even easier with the release this week of the Harpenden and District Art Trail.  This handy leaflet, the size of a takeaway menu, has all the essential information needed to help visitors plan their visits and get around studios in Harpenden, Redbourn and Kimpton. 

The simplified map, surrounded by sample artwork, indicates where studios and other art displays can be found.  In addition, at-a-glance summaries identify studios open on any particular day, contact information and also highlight where visitors can find particular art forms.

For the increasing numbers armed with smartphones or tablets, the trail can be downloaded as a pdf from Herts Visual Arts and a number of other locations.  This pdf contains clickable links to further brochure information and artist web sites.  With a car essential for travelling between many studios, perhaps the most important component of the trail map are links that click through to on-line maps for ease of navigation.  The trail is also available (without the clickable links) as a jpg for social media and more.

“We are delighted with the positive feedback on the trail map” says Harpenden Area Coordinator and glass artist Opal Seabrook, whose studio is open throughout September “it went down very well at the farmers market in August, with an initial 100 copies snapped up very quickly.”

Create your own Harpenden Grand Tour

This year 27 artists open their doors at 16 locations in Harpenden, Kimpton and Redbourn.  It’s a long way from the European Grand Tour of the 17th or 18th Century, but the visitors are still guaranteed a wonderful journey.  Both regular and new participants are waiting to welcome you.

Launched successfully last year, the Harpenden and District Open Studios Art Trail leads you through the brochure with plenty to see on any tour day you choose.  Harpenden studios are complemented by the Kimpton painting and textiles weekend trail (Wendy Hyams and Barbara Weeks) and early opening/late finishes at Peter Brown’s painting studio on the outskirts of Redbourn. Much of the work is for sale, but browsing, chatting and watching artists at work is of course very welcome.

For paintings with the power to reinvigorate or update any décor, Fiona Gaskell creates still life oil paintings. Other individual studios include Paul Diggins with sculpture and more, Ben Shalom’s vibrant oil paintings and Anna Perlin’s contemporary landscapes.  Regular participants Patricia Thomason-Burnett and Justine Lois Thorpe also return this year with their distinctive paintings, textiles and drawings. New to OS2014, Karen Neill uses liquid crystal microphotographic images as one of her techniques.

One of 5 artists at Artscape, Sue Wookey’s work is inspired by nature, symbols, dreams and inner journeys. Between Sue, Teresa Newham, Judi Menges, Pauline Ashley and Hillary Taylor you can see porcelain raku, drawings, photography, water colours, print making, glass and mixed media. At Lourdes Hall, conveniently situated on the Southdown Road, you can see a big exhibition with a variety of professional work also by 5 artists. There will be painting, printmaking, textiles and drawing by Sally Miles, Lucie Green, Johanna Wood, Steve McGuinness and Mary Jane Jones.

Another large group is Mayfield Artists Debbie Knight, Jannah Britt-Green, Linda Smith and Katy Cook where the focus is on painting alongside other art forms. The final shared studio is Frog’s Folly - a  charming setting for the delightful ceramics and paintings of Elspeth Keith and Belinda Naylor-Stables.

The trail is available now from Herts Visual Arts, at participating studios and the Harpenden Art Hub facebook page (search Harpenden Art Hub - visible even if not logged in to facebook). It is also at various shops, eateries and other locations around Harpenden, Kimpton and Redbourn.

Visitors are very welcome any published Open Studios day or time. With so many Harpenden and district participants there are wonderful personal trail opportunities, whether you are looking for a day out, want to focus on a particular art form, or just want to see something new.

For Harpenden Art Hub, search HarpendenArtHub on facebook.  For the Harpenden and District Open Studios brochure and trail leaflet, go to: . Individual artists and some groups with their own facebook pages or web sites, and the pdf will also be available from them. The printed leaflet tri-fold leaflet will be available at studios, shops and other public locations throughout Open Studios. 

Harpenden Art Hub is an informal group of artists living or working in or around Harpenden, in association with Herts Visual Arts (, Art on the Common and a range of other local art events. 

Web: visible without a facebook login

To download the trail for tablets, smart phone or even ‘just’ a computer, please go to