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Portrait of a Dorset Artist – Sally Pinhey

Portait-of-a-Dorset-Artist-August-2014-Sally-PinheySally Pinhey lives in Upwey, near Weymouth and was drawn to art as she wanted a career that would allow her to bring up her young family

She is now considered to be one of the foremost botanical artists in the United Kingdom and five years after becoming a professional artist Sally was elected a full member of the Association of Illustrators in 1990.

“It was the most adaptable thing I could do with small children and moving every few years for my husband’s work,” she says. Sally adds that painting does not run in her family although her grandfather was a ship designer.

Although she has now made her home in Dorset and teaches both at her home studio, at Kingston Portait-of-a-Dorset-Artist-cropped-bearded-irisMaurward College and The Kingcombe Centre, Sally enjoys travelling, which provides much inspiration. One of her career highlights was spending three years in Italy. “Everything was a joy to paint, both plants and ancient classical ruins were my main subjects, and exhibitions were well attended,” she recalls. “I sold everything I painted.”

Since that time five books have been published that have been entirely illustrated by Sally. “The fifth ‘The Botanical Illustrator’s Handbook’ was launched by Crowood Press in July.”

Watercolours are her medium of choice and with a readily recognizable style of translucent washes to shape a subject, followed by more detailed overpainting Sally has sold thousands of paintings. Prestigious clients include: Sainsbury’s, Dorling Kindersley, Crabtree & Evelyn and the House of Lords.

“My interest in trees and land use has led me down the path of supporting water harvesting projects first in Africa,” explains Sally. “The charity ‘Excellent’ not only helps individual self help groups to build sustainable ‘sand dams’, but also hosts groups from other parts of the world to teach them how to use this simple but effective technology.”