Judith Moy (b. 1927)

Flowers (Helleborus Orientalis), 1982, Watercolour on paper, 14 ½ x 11 in, Signed and dated

[CAS 41] Acquired in 1982



Judith Moy was born in Belfast and brought up in Cheshire by parents, both amateur painters. As a child she spent many holidays in North Wales, an area she remains attached to. She attended Sir John Deane's Grammar School in Northwich, Cheshire then studied at Bedford Froebel College specialising in art. She taught in Colchester and London before marrying Arthur Webb in 1951 and moving to Park Farm in Great Bromley. Arthur became chairman of the Tendring Hundred Show in 1954 and that is when she began the tented exhibition of art. This continued for ten years, gradually widening its base to include amateurs as well as many professional artists. When Arthur became ill in 1965 she handed it to Prue Bird and then Jean Harding. Arthur died in 1966 she and the children decided to leave the farm and build a house a short distance away. In 1967 she married Peter Moy and they lived at Michaelmas House, Great Bromley.

She was a frequent visitor at Benton End and regularly visited Lucy Harwood (q.v.) who lived nearby and painted her portrait. While in North Essex Judith joined Colchester Art Society and became a committee member in the 1970's. In 1989 she moved to Rutland where she helped to run a House of 70 girls at Oakham School. In 1984 she had joined Mike Goldmark in Uppingham until it moved to larger premises at the Goldmark Gallery. In 1990 Judith moved to Shropshire to paint full time. She was a committee member of the Shropshire Art Society for more than ten years and also a committee member of the team that runs the art exhibitions at the Gateway in Shrewsbury, an adult education centre. She continues to teach and is one of a team that holds classes for the Shropshire Art Society and her main galleries are at Ironbridge and Criccieth, North Wales, her favourite part of the world for painting. She has been coming to Criccieth for more than 80 years.


While in North Essex Judith loved painting the beautiful coastline, the creeks and the fishing boats and had special affection for Wivenhoe, then a charming fishing village. Now, she still paints coast lines but also buildings of interest such as parish churches, barns and farmyards and has introduced all kinds of farm animals as well as machinery. There are always people in her paintings because, in her own words, she is “interested in what man has done to this earth”.

Having begun as a watercolourist Judith moved on to gouache but did not use oil until the 1970s when she devoted some seven years to oil paint before moving to acrylics in 1990. She now works in mixed media consisting of acrylics, collage, pen and ink. As a keen gardener she has painted many flower compositions such as this one, exploring particularly the botanical structure of plants, and her style is possibly influenced by Cedric Morris whose garden at Benton End with its magnificent collection of irises was one of her favourite haunts. Here she met the famous gardener and writer Beth Chatto.

This painting illustrates Helleborus Orientalis flowers which the artist much cultivated in her garden at Michaelmas House, being among her favourite plants. These are not the true petals but bracts which last a long time while the seeds develop in the centre. The flowers are very varied in colour, the seedlings being anything from the palest green to pink and dark mahogany. Some of the flowers, like here, are near white with “the most delicious spots” and markings some in deep red.

Selected Exhibitions

1982, The Minories, Colchester, Judith Moy (watercolours), Connor Barrett (sculpture and drawings) and Sidney Eshelby (paintings), Colchester Art Society sponsored exhibition

The Albany Gallery, Cardiff, Wales

Anderson Gallery, Broadway, Gloucestershire