AN EXPERIENCED botanical artist and tutor has seen her book hit the shelves after nearly 40 years in the making.

Sally Pinhey, who runs botanical art courses at Kingston Maurward College near Dorchester, says she is proud of her collection of illustrations drawn from a lifetime of experience in painting, exhibiting, teaching and studying that make up her Botanical Illustrator’s Handbook.

The work is designed to lure the reader in and improve their botanical art and is intended to follow on from a book called Botanical Illustration by fellow artist Valerie Oxley.

Sally has published three other books but her latest collection is the culmination of all her previous work and she said she was anxious to find out how it will be received by fellow painters.

The handbook features beautiful plant illustrations and aims to solve problems budding artist may encounter from mixing and handling greens, to correct Latin names, specialist techniques and event copyright law.

Sally said: “I’ve never seen painting taught this way before – it’s all my own techniques and they’re all in the book so it will be interesting to get a reaction from other painters.”

Having drawn since childhood, Sally began painting plants in around 1980 and has spent her career painting and teaching art.

She now hosts painting weeks and weekends at Kingston Maurward and even took a group of students to the Himalayas for a three-week trek and botanical art trip in 2008.

Having completed her book Sally is now embarking on a postgraduate course in Green Economy at Bournemouth University, as well as continuing her teaching at Kingston Maurward.

Sally’s other passion is Sand Dam projects in Africa – creating water reservoirs in areas of irregular rainfall – and she helped to build on them in 2012.

Sally said: “It’s the planting of trees, reforestation and the long term effects of the projects that appeals to me most. From the age of twelve I’ve worried about deforestation.”

For information about botanical art courses with Sally at Kingston Maurward College go to or call 01305 215215.