The First All Saints Arts Festival

By Sally Pudney on 31st May 2018

Well, the first ever All Saints Arts Festival in Maldon is now over. And it was wonderful! We had such a fun weekend, with lots of lovely visitors, lots of sales, some fascinating evening events – and marvellous weather as well! What more could we have hoped for.

It was quickly obvious that this was a SO much better venue than St Leonard’s at Lexden, where we ran our previous Lexden Arts Festival since 2012. The D’Arcy room, where we staged the Art Exhibition, is huge.

The D’Arcy Room. Naomi Brangwyn’s stained glass is visible on the left, and Anne Townshend’s prints on the right, with Sheila Wright’s crocheted throws and Jonathan Trim’s mixed media landscapes visible on the extreme right.

Looking in through the door of the D’Arcy Room from the café. Jonathan’s Trim’s paintings show up well at the far end of the room.                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Even at the Private View, when it was heaving with people, there were no bottlenecks, and our visitors were able to circulate and view everything freely – although we did end up with an enormous ‘buying’ queue!

The Festival Café in the South aisle led naturally into the exhibition space with no steps to negotiate, so that the two areas felt much more connected. At lunchtimes we were entertained by three talented pianists playing the grand piano in the café – one at a time, I should explain –  and on Saturday and Monday we had the Maldon Hand-bell Ringers playing in the mornings.

The Festival Café looking through into the D’Arcy Room

Many of the exhibitors, who have shown with us before, commented on the beautiful light in the D’Arcy Room, and the spaciousness of the whole church.

Miranda Chapman’s etchings on the left and Clare Kiely’s alpaca textiles on the right. This gives a good impression of the  light!

The Vicar of All Saint’s, Revd Canon Stephen Carter, at Sunday evening’s Community Songs of Praise service – he did everything he could to make everyone welcome and help us to make the Festival a success. (Photo Credit: Mike Ovenden)

We are really hoping that the PCC at All Saints will allow us to carry on and do another Festival next year – because we’ve already started planning . . . . . 🙂

Bluebells again!

By Sally Pudney on 13th May 2018

Getting started over the last few days on another bluebell wood painting. This one will be going to the Haylett’s gallery at the end of June.

There will, as you’ve probably guessed, be bluebells in the foreground – LOTS of bluebells. And still lots to do on this one. It’s been a very busy week and I haven’t had much time in the studio!

On Thursday, which was Ascension Day, we started the morning at 8.30am on top of the tower of the Moot Hall in Maldon High Street – singing!

It was a rather overcast morning, but the views out over the Blackwater Estuary in the distance were fantastic. If you look very carefully you can just see the masts of the Thames barges down on the quay. And from this height I really appreciated the rows of large Georgian houses which line the High Street, which now have shops in their ground floors. What grand dwellings they must have been 200 years ago . . .

The Moot Hall bells started chiming the three-quarters while we were up there – very loudly. And there is a good view of the spire of All Saint’s church where our Festival is being held – and how wooded the countryside is further inland!

Festival News: Most of the artists have sent in their work lists now. It is really exciting to see what they will be exhibiting. Tickets have started selling for the evening events from our website –

Only 10 days to go! 🙂

Dedham: Spring

By Sally Pudney on 6th May 2018

The next painting in my Four Seasons on the Stour series is up on the Gallery 2018 page today.

Dedham: Spring

This is the view of the Stour that you get if you walk down to the Mill. . . take the little footpath which allows you to cross over the lock gates . . .  turn left on the far bank of the river . . . walk along until you come to a gate . . . go  through the gate . . . and look upstream . . .

My next river Stour destination, for late spring, is Stratford St Mary. This will be an interesting one, as although I have driven through it countless times on the A12, and long ago I went bell-ringing in the church there, I’ve never actually been down to the river at this point. So it will be a bit of exploring!

Festival news: getting quite close now! Only 18 more days till we open to the public on 25th May! This last week I priced up the work of textile artist Sheila Wright, who has already given me most of the work she will exhibit. Sheila lives in King’s Lynn in West Norfolk, and she produces wonderful knitted and crocheted blankets and throws. The ones she is showing at All Saint’s Arts Festival are all crocheted. As Sheila does not have an on-line presence yet, I thought I’d give you a little taster of the lovely designs and colours that she uses.

Sheila uses mostly pure wool, often extra fine merino wool, sometimes with mixed yarns including alpaca!

The 14th artist to be exhibiting at the Festival is me . . . . I will be showing the first two of my Landlines series, Path and Track; some of my Fingringhoe Wick paintings – July, August, June and November; the first four of the Stour paintings, Wrabness, Cattawade, and both the Flatford ones; and three dinghies. They won’t all be displayed at once though, as some are to fill in the ‘gaps’ which will hopefully appear! So if you come and particularly want to see one which is not on view, do ask! I shall be on the Reception desk all the time, with a name badge on, so you will know it is me!

Don’t forget tickets are available from our website  for the evening events.

If you’d like to come to the Private View on Thursday, 24th May, just drop me an email at  with your postal address and I’ll send you an invitation in the post.

Hope you are enjoying this wonderful Bank Holiday weekend weather! 🙂


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