Congratulations to Melodie Cook and Jan Munro, both of whom have had works accepted by the Pastel Society for their 2015 Open Exhibition. Read Julie Wrathall's recent interview in Hertfordshire Life.  Learn about Paul Rowbottom's involvement with the Odyssey Cinema project in St. Albans.  We also have the latest news from Connie Flynn via her 'Postcard from Shetland'. Last but not least, our 'Flora' Exhibition opens this month.



Melodie Cook has had a new portrait selected by the Pastel Society for their Open Exhibition, 24th February to 7th March at the Mall Galleries in London. "Nancy Trotter Landry and Bobby", is a pastel on board and measures 70 x 90cms

It is the first completed work of her new project,"The Circus Drawn", which will be exhibited later this year.

'Nancy Trotter Landry & Bobby', by Melodie Cook


All three pastel paintings that have been accepted by the The Pastel Society this year by Jan Munro are based around a Red Chair from her dining room.

Perspective is flattened and the picture plain is divided into different spaces, shapes and tones that balance the composition.

Jan Munro

Red Chair (pastel) by Jan Munro


Jan Munro - Further information and images


Delighted that another HVA Member has been approached to be featured in Hertfordshire Life Magazine.  Read the full article here

"I was contacted by Janice Walker on behalf of Hertfordshire Life, who having seeing my page on the Herts Visual Arts website, asked if I would be happy to do an interview with her about my wax work.   She liked my art, and the fact that it was different to the usual techniques, and was interested to find out more.    She told me the kind of questions in an e-mail, then we chatted on the telephone for the actual interview.   Janice asked me for some photographs for the article, which I didn't have, so Jeanette Lendon, a professional photographer came and took my 'at work in the studio' shots, which are great, and really help to understand the process visually." JULIE WRATHALL

You can see more of Julie's work this month at the Oxford International Art Fair


detail from the proscenium

"My long association with James Hannaway CEO Rex Cinema Berkhamsted was the starting point for my involvement with the Odyssey Cinema in St Albans.  After many false starts work began on the decorative interior & fittings for the cinema early in 2014 with a small team of artists/craftsmen in association with heating & lighting engineers, electricians & carpenters.  Andrew Dixon & myself tidied up the decorative iron work on the London Road back in 2011 and were set the challenge of sympathetic restoration of existing features such as the ceiling light trough, central lantern and art deco ceiling & exit lights, fibrous plaster grill panel from behind which is the PA for the old Compton cinema organ.

We also had the opportunity to create a new proscenium using digital technology to create fretwork panels, not an easy installation working at 60feet on the scaffold. The art deco fern/palm leaf motif is echoed on the bulkhead wall to the front of the projection box visible from the rear two rows of the balcony. Many hours of designing and planning were involved as we only had one opportunity to do it right.

Ongoing work such as finishing the foyer bar and the downstairs bar, backlighting panels on the London Road which highlight the original 1931 ironwork. Another avenue for exploration is the “The Guardian Angel of the Odeon” as reported in the Herts Advertiser and viewable on You Tube :

'Ode to the Odeon',  See also Odeon to Odyssey  is it a Banksy or isn't it....


Proscenium Relief Panels
Material: MDF (fire-rated) cnc fretwork 1960x1260x18mm (60m2).

From the initial sketch outline selected, my key contribution was to interpret this design, prepare it for structural realisation as fretwork panels (in fire-rated mdf 1960 x 2960x18mm), and provide the method of setting out and installation. The fretwork design in fire-rated mdf has been created by the panel fabricators using a large-bed cnc. routing machine from a cad file. Each panel has been assembled in-situ from two separate panels with concealed lap joints giving the appearance of a whole unified panel. The 3D effect of repeat panels across the 60sqm above the proscenium was completed once the fixing points were filled and the panels painted in gold relief on a black background.


HVA Member Connie Flynn records her experiences whilst studying for a degree in Contemporary Textiles in Shetland via a monthly 'Postcard'.

Photograph by Connie Flynn
Click here to view the series of postcards to-date


Herts Visual Arts Members  June Faulkner,  Fiona Gaskwell,  Linda Gifford, Gerry Langton, Jan Langton,  Jan Munro,  Roger Reynolds,  Donna Roche,  Eleanor Sidaway,  Janet Tranter & Gerry Wilmer are exhibiting a collection of 'Flora'  work in a variety of media - paintings, illustrations and photography, contemporary to botanical.  Here is just a selection ...

Thank you for everyone who assisted with the hanging.  The exhibition continues to 26 February 2015.  Further details.