Exhibition update

By Sally Pudney on 16th June 2023

Just a quick update that our Anglian Arts Project exhibition at Little Bentley, due to have taken place this weekend, is not now going ahead for various reasons. We intend to have a long weekend there next year.

Instead I am having a two day Summer Open Studio event on Friday 14th and Saturday 15th July at my home, The Anvil House, 45 Heath Road Lexden CO3 4DJ. We will be open each day from 10.30-4.00, and I hope to see some of you there instead.


The Family History Project

By Sally Pudney on 10th April 2023

You may remember in my New Year plans I explained that I was going to paint all the places in North Essex where my Pudney family, and those who had married into my family, had lived, since the first record of the name in 1372 . . . .

I’ve made a start with the first two paintings, both of Fordham.

Fordham Barn and Church

The first record of my family in Fordham is the marriage in 1752 of my 6x Great-Grandfather’s in this church. He was William Pudney, and he married Susannah Sawyer on 19th December that year. They had a sad start to their marriage, as they had three baby boys, in 1755, 1756 and 1758, all called William – and all died in infancy. Their next child they called James – and he is my 5x Great-Grandfather, baptised in 1766, although I think probably born earlier, as on that day they had another son, not a twin, also baptised. It was quite common for families to get their children christened in batches!

The family stayed in Fordham until my Great-Grandfather, James Edward Pudney, moved to be a shepherd at Frating Hall Farm on the other side of Colchester, sometime in the 1890s.

In the 1891 census, James Edward was living in Colne Road, Copford, which is now part of Eight Ash Green, with his wife Rebecca (nee Firmin) and their four children, Ada, Walter Berned, Bertha and George who became my Grandfather. Their cottage was next door to Jubilee Cottage, near the Brick and Tile Pub. His brother Joseph was living in Porter’s Lane, which led then, as it still does today, to Great Porter’s Farm. I think it is highly likely that Joseph worked at this farm, and fairly likely that James did, too. So my second painting is of the fields of Great Porter’s Farm looking across the Colne Valley. You can just see a glimpse of the river to the right of the little white fence in the middle distance.

Certainly at the time James was working as a shepherd, and the farm still has sheep – including many rare breeds – so this is a good example of the farmland in Fordham where they lived and worked.

Great Porter’s Farm

As my Pudney family lived in Fordham for about 150 years I am planning on one more Fordham painting before I move on to Wormingford – back in time  – to where William was born.

New Year – New Plans

By Sally Pudney on 1st January 2023

Firstly, may I wish you all a happy and healthy new year!

Well, my 2022 painting project is almost done. I just need to finish the very last painting, and then I can start putting the Twelve Months on an Essex Island  book together.

I have some exciting plans for the coming year, which I hope you will enjoy sharing as the year goes on.

My BIG project is a painting AND writing one. As some of you may know I have traced my Pudney family history, and it’s ‘off-shoots’ back to the early 1700s, and prior to that, fairly certainly back to Tudor times. They have all lived in North Essex, mostly in a twenty mile radius of Colchester, in many different villages. I intend to paint all these different places, choosing a representative view of each, and put the images of the paintings with the stories of all the people together into a book. I’m sure this will take more than a year! This is probably a two year project, and will involve a lot of research, maps and exploring!

Alongside this, I am going to do a painting project on Rural Buildings . I rarely paint buildings, so I am keen to get better at them. This will focus on barns, mills, farmhouses, pubs, maybe some churches, too. Some of these pictures will be in soft pastel.

We also have three Anglian Arts Project exhibitions planned for 2023. In May we will be at the Craft House, Woodbridge, from 24-30 May; at Little Bentley Church Hall again from 16-18 June; and at the Sentinel Gallery Wivenhoe again from 12-17 September.

There is a possibility that I may be involved in another exhibition in July as well,  and I will be having my usual Christmas Open Studios in November. I also have work exhibited at the Buckenham Galleries in Southwold all the time, and have been approached recently by another gallery wishing to show my work – more news on that when I’ve been to visit them.

Lots to look forward to! 😄


Website by John Wheal

All images © Sally Pudney 2024