When I began studying art, I was drawn almost exclusively to the natural world -- I wanted to paint the flowers in my garden, or the vegetables I eyed in the market. My art teacher wisely steered me to botanical art classes. I quickly discovered that I had found my home in the art world, and I haven't strayed. 

I always work with the actual flower, vegetable or plant in front of me, which means that at the beginning of a piece I have to work in a very focused way to get the drawing done before the rose wilts or the cantaloupe is past its prime. Once I have a good drawing, I can use different samples of the same species to match for color and texture. Drawings and paintings take a long time to complete because the graphite or color is built up slowly, layer upon layer, in a gradual and controlled way. Pencils and pen drawings can take 40-50 hours; watercolor paintings take 80-100 hours. Every minute of creating is a pleasure; I hope the finished art provides the same measure of pleasure in viewing.



A Los Angeles-based artist, Sally Jacobs studied botanical art at Otis College of Art and Design and the New York Botanical Art Certification Program. She has taught botanical illustration at the Otis College of Art and Design and the Los Angeles Arboretum. Her early education included a BA from Cornell University (biology), MA from Harvard University (science education), and an EdD from UCLA. In addition to teaching, she has developed educational curriculum and was a partner for many years in a successful software business. Since selling the company, she has devoted most of her time to art.

Her work was selected for the 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th ASBA/Horticultural International Juried Botanical Art Exhibition in New York City; the 1st American Society of Botanical Artists Western Region Juried Exhibit, 2003, Denver, Colorado; Brand 32 Annual Juried Works on Paper, 2003, Glendale, California; Focus on Nature VII: Natural and Cultural History Juried Illustration Exhibit, New York State Museum, 2002; Art Imitates Life: Botanical Art in 2002, ASBA International Juried Exhibition at Johnson & Johnson World Headquarters, New Jersey; and the 5-8th Annual Botanical Art Exhibit at Filoli. In 2002 she had a solo show at Forbes Hall in Santa Monica, Calif. She is a member of the American Society of Botanical Artists and the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, and is vice president of the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California. Sally was selected by the National Endowment for the Arts to be a panel member to review grant applications. In 2004 her work was featured on CNNfn in a segment of "Your Money" about the "new collectibles."