Meet some of the Salisbury Florilegium Society members and what inspires them.
Sally enrolled on the Botanical Painting course at the Chelsea Physic Garden in 2009 and graduated with distinction in 2011. She now teaches Botanical Painting in Salisbury, Beaconsfield and the Chelsea School of Botanical Art.
She is a member of Amicus Botanicus, the Alumni Society for graduates of the Chelsea School of Botanical Art and the South West Society of Botanical Art and has been awarded three silver-gilt medals from the RHS, two Certificates of Botanical Merit and a prize for composition from the Society of Botanical Artists
With Nick Stiven, Sally is a founder member of the SFS.
Nick Stiven has lived in Salisbury for over 25 years. Now in semi-retirement, he has the time to indulge a long-held delight in drawing and watercolour painting—when he is not choral singing!
He started botanical painting in October 2015, under Sally Pond’s guidance. A founder member, with Sally, of the Salisbury Florilegium Society, he has now contributed over a dozen paintings to the project. In addition, he has completed a number of private portraits of family members and their pets.
Childhood holidays visiting the South Downs gave Caroline a great love of the countryside and wildflowers. She returned to an earlier love of watercolour painting in 1994 to relieve the stresses of Hospice management! Art classes in Ringwood followed for a number of years during which time she exhibited with the Society of Botanical Artists in their Open Exhibitions. She continued exhibiting for many years with the Society of Floral Painters and was the Hon Secretary to the Society from 1999 until its closure at the end of 2016.
With her long association with Salisbury Cathedral and love of the gardens of the Close and she looks forward to further contributing to the project.
Nicola Bell is a self-taught botanical artist who lives near Salisbury. She is a passionate gardener and horticulturalist, sourcing many of her subjects from her large garden.
She was a founder member of the now defunct Society of Floral Painters and is also a member of the South West Society of Botanical Artists.
Anne moved to Salisbury over five years ago and, having been impressed by Sally's botanical painting, has been studying with her since she started the classes—she has now contributed a dozen paintings to the Florilegium project. Her attempts to replicate what she sees, with botanical accuracy, have sometimes been frustrating but always absorbing!
Having tried to find time for watercolour painting over the years, while juggling the demands of work and family, Elizabeth attended a few one-off botanical painting days at Hilliers Arboretum, with tutor Siriol Sherlock, and later with Audrey Hardcastle, but one day here and there was never enough. Finding Sally Pond's regular class here in Salisbury was both a turning point and a real joy. As a keen gardener and plant lover she wishes progress were faster, however if there is one thing she has learned, it is that botanical painting is not to be rushed.
Sally lives in the village of Enford in Wiltshire and has enjoyed painting for as long as she can remember. In her final year at school, whilst doing GCE Art, she was invited to attend a part-time course at Ealing Art College, which made her even more enthusiastic about the subject. She enjoys most mediums but her favourite is watercolour.
Diana was told to take Art for her School Certificate but refused because she was convinced she couldn't draw or paint. She did no more drawing or painting till she retired, at which point she started going to an art class. Having had the benefit of several teachers and a few Art holidays, she now loves it. She feels she still has a long way to go; but the point is doing it because she loves it.
Jenny Monds was until recently Director of Learning Resources at Sarum College. She has always enjoyed drawing and now mainly uses pen and ink. She has attended a number of art courses over the years, including botanical drawing classes at the Moreton Arboretum in Illinois.
Carolyn had never painted before she retired, and started because she was given a set of watercolour paints and a place on a botanical art workshop. She loved the finished paintings the other course members produced and has been working ever since to reach their level. She saw Sally Pond's work at the RHS and loved it. She has been attending Sally’s classes since then and benefits greatly from her helpful and sympathetic teaching.
Sue studied horticulture at Sparsholt College for three years. She had no experience of painting other than for garden design but had a lifetime’s love affair with plants and flowers. She says her life changed when she met Sally Pond, who brought out what latent talent she possessed—two years later she was invited to exhibit at the Salisbury Florilegium Society.
Georgina has lived in Mere for the last 10 years. She took up botanical art after a chance meeting with Sally Pond at an exhibition, and particularly enjoys the juxtaposition of science and art. She works as a Finance Director for a manufacturing company in Andover, so took up painting to aid relaxation, only to find a new cause of stress - the blank page!
Veronica started botanical painting three years ago after moving to Salisbury. She is a keen gardener and has worked as a floral decorator, designing flower arrangements for weddings and other functions. Veronica had hardly painted since leaving school but has always had a love of flowers, and Sally Pond has been an inspirational tutor.
Merilyn recently moved to Salisbury from London, and paints in various media, but predominantly in oils. Her work is mostly semi-abstract, formed initially from a sketch or figurative image. On her travels, she has been inspired to paint in watercolour in France, Spain and Greece, as well as continuing with her love of Life Drawing in charcoal.
She attended the National Art School in Sydney before returning to the UK for a further degree course in London to work as an architectural interior designer for many years. Her work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Mall Galleries with the New English Art Club, the Battersea Art Fair wit Rosvik Gallery, and at smaller independent exhibitions. Many of her paintings are in private collections in France, UK and Australia. In 1985 Merilyn was invited to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts.
Jean Howell lived until recently, when she moved to Salisbury, in the village of Teffont. She trained in Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, and has many years experience as an artist and designer, owning for a number of years her own business designing knitwear. Small wonder then, that she was called on to curate art exhibitions at Teffont Village Hall. It was there that she met Sally Pond, who held an exhibition of her exquisite botanical art in the hall.
Jean prefers to work in oils, using an alla prima (or wet-on-wet, direct painting) technique; her favourite subject is her beloved English countryside in all its moods.
Priscilla was born in Salisbury and has lived there for most of her life. She started to paint when accompanying her husband to conferences and has attended classes in Alderbury for many years. Botanical painting with Sally Pond is an exciting new direction. As a geographer, Priscilla is interested in the relationship of the environment to the flora of an area.
Elizabeth St John.
The daughter of a naval officer, Elizabeth St John attended the Northern Grammar School for girls and later the Portsmouth College of Art. After many years of motherhood in England, Scotland and Holland, it was in Indonesia that she revived her skill as an artist. She had great success and sold many paintings and cards to the expat community. She came back to England in 1990 and continued her career as an artist, which included publishing a children’s story for Lady Bird books. After a short spell in London and India, she and her husband settled in Lerryn, Cornwall where they spent 20 happy years and Elizabeth sold many paintings. In 2020, she was hoping to exhibit in the Bankside Gallery along with Hugo Grenville and his group of artists. Elizabeth was born on August 21, 1942; she died of cancer on May 4, 2019, aged 76.
Jean was introduced to botanical painting at a one day workshop and afterwards painted and exhibited with a small group in Bexley. Since moving to Wiltshire, she has taken classes with Sally Pond and also paints various subjects in other mediums with an art group in Durrington.
Margaret trained and worked as a doctor but was always interested in drawing. She trained late in her career with a BA and MA in Fine Art. She works in different media in a variety of styles and came to botanical art fairly recently. Perhaps the discipline of medicine has helped with the rigour needed in botanical work.
Carol Anne Brooks.
Carol has lived in Salisbury with her husband for over twenty years. She has two daughters and works in the NHS.
She has enjoyed painting flowers and birds in the past but has not painted for some time. One of her hobbies is movement and dance, and through this she met Sally and joined her botanical art class. It is a joy for her to get back to painting and learn new skills.
Lorena is a Spanish illustrator living in Salisbury. In 2014 she graduated from the INEDI Design School in Bilbao, Spain, in Fashion Design and Illustration. She specialises in children's book illustration and also loves drawing houses and nature. She enjoys working with watercolour, ink and coloured pencil.