The last day of the old year

By Sally Pudney on 31st December 2016

Was it Charles Dickens who started one of his novels, ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ ? Well this year has been a bit like that for me! The best ‘Art’ year I’ve ever had, starting with excellent sales at the Geedon Gallery, followed by my solo show at the Naze Tower gallery, and excellent sales at Essex Women Artists exhibition at the Haylett’s Gallery, and then a really fun couple of weekends for Open Studios, with some private picture sales happening all through the year – all good. The cancer diagnosis, and major op in the autumn – not so good. But I am completely cured now, and really looking forward to 2017.

My ’12 Months in an Essex Wood’ project this year has been hugely rewarding, and I feel I have really made solid progress with it. Of the ten large paintings I have completed so far, I have already sold five, and plan to have the last two on show at Lexden Arts Festival this year. I am making progress with Essex Wood: November – this is how far I’d got yesterday afternoon.


I have plans for a lovely new project for next year, as well as some other exciting ‘arty’ plans which I will share tomorrow.

I wish you all a very happy New Year, and hope that 2017 will be a healthy year for us all, filled with exciting new opportunities, new friends, new interests, and lots of GREAT ART!! 🙂

Happy Christmas!

By Sally Pudney on 23rd December 2016

The Christmas plants are flowering madly . . .


. . . and my Christmas jigsaw is well on the way (it was fairly easy despite 636 pieces!) . . .


. . . and I have been having a lovely time catching up with old friends the last few days.

So I will wish you, lovely blog readers, a joyful and peaceful Christmas, and I’ll be back here in a few days! 🙂




By Sally Pudney on 22nd December 2016

Three paintings are going off to new homes this Christmas . . .

essex-wood-septemberEssex Wood: September is off to Norfolk . . .


Essex Wood: October is just going a few roads away, here in Lexden . . .


. . . and Dinghy on Still Water is going to Buckinghamshire.

It has been lovely to be back in my studio for short painting sessions over the last few days. I’ve made a start on Essex Wood: November – I’ve got some catching up to do!


I’ve also been planning my art goals for next year. I’m not quite there yet, but I’ve got lots of ideas which I will share with you soon.

Hope you are enjoying your preparations for Christmas, and taking the time to enjoy the quietness of the December countryside if you can. 🙂


Winter Solstice

By Sally Pudney on 21st December 2016

Hello again, lovely blog readers! I’m glad to be back in time to wish you a very happy Winter Solstice, after a long, and unexpected blogging gap.


My Advent Candle is almost burnt down, just three more days to go before Christmas Day. This is what it was like on December 1st . . .

advent-candle-1The days in between have been spent recovering from a major operation, for the last three months did not go at all how I’d planned! Far too many visits to the hospital. Ultrasound scans, ECGs, blood tests, an MRI scan, a hysteroscopy under general anaesthetic, and then a cancer diagnosis on 19th October! And that led to a total hysterectomy on 14th November, and the good news a couple of weeks later that I needed no further treatment and was completely cured! During this difficult time I have had an enormous amount of support from a great many people, particularly Graham and my sister, and I’ve had lots of people praying for me which I have found very strengthening. I am so grateful to them all. My GP, and the consultants and nurses, particularly my clinical specialist nurse,  were all brilliant. We read so much in the press complaining about the NHS, and yet from the time I first went to my GP to the time I had my operation was less than 2 months – I think that’s pretty impressive. Since the op I’ve been making a remarkably good recovery.

I started driving again on Monday, and felt well enough yesterday to make my December visit to the wood.


The sun came out while I was there! The wood seemed very quiet and open and bare, with green moss on many of the tree trunks. I saw several robins, and heard the harsh cough of pheasants. Some of the bracken was still green, and the brambles showing wonderful rich colours.


The Woodland Trust had evidently been doing some work in the wood, and a lot of the bracken was cleared from under the big trees. I could really see the forms of some of these great oaks.


My two aims in recovery were – to be well enough to walk round the wood before the end of December, and to get back to singing before Christmas. And I was well enough to sing for the Carol Service at St Mary’s at Wivenhoe on Sunday evening.

So, although Christmas will be rather quiet this year, as I am still getting quite tired, when I think back over the last few months I am amazed at how well I am – it could have been a very different story.

AND from now on the light will start to come back, little by little . . .  Happy Solstice 🙂

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