Sally Arnold



A lovely region in South Africa – at the foot of the verdant Amathola mountains, Eastern Cape – and the expanses of the Great Karoo were the childhood inspiration driving me to draw, model and paint. Nature’s forms and vibrating colours were my first teachers. I then trained in Cape Town, receiving a Diploma in Fine Art at the age of 20. Further studies in Antwerp, Frankfurt and finally a long sojourn in Rome definitively shaped my aesthetic. I have exhibited flower paintings and plant-like bronzes internationally since 1996. The recent Conophytum pencil drawings featured here are part of an ongoing series dedicated to the tiny ‘button’ plants of South Africa’s semi-arid regions.

My botanical work is based on drawing, is slow and artisanal, uses the very best materials and strives for technical mastery. I care about beauty, detail and excellence. Completing the SBA Diploma with Credit enabled me to attain higher levels of clarity, preferably presented with a poetical twist. I love depicting movement and specifically sculptural shapes. The sculptural qualities of a bloom or plant provide powerful inspiration. Given humans’ exploitative tendencies towards nature, drawing artistic attention to exquisite floral symbols of our own, transient presence on earth becomes more compelling as time passes. 

Recent work was exhibited (digitally) at the SBA Summer Exhibition in 2020 and 2021, and physically at ‘Plant’ 2023, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town. 
 It is also featured in the book ‘Cape to Karoo’ by Eric Sohl, Belgium, 2022, on Southern African foods and lifestyles.  
Sally Arnold M.A./Dip + Fellow SBA
M: +27 082 710 5909 (ZA)Email:   sallyparnold@icloud.comWebsite: @salliarnold