New Work, 2015

Sally Pettus painting, Untitled 7These are enigmatic paintings which have predictably evolved from the previous still life series. More to come in 2017.



Work, 2014

Sally Pettus painting, OraangeA continuation of the two previous still-life series, the work now portrays fruit and vegetables as solo players in a type of drama. The human hand is evident in this portrayal; the orange is torn apart, the apple cut, sliced, and eaten. The watercress spills, as it will, in a tangle of stems. An abstract background provides the subjects a place under an unseen spotlight. Reflections and shadows add an element of dance.

Kitchen Paintings

Sally Pettus painting, DishwashingA series following the "Still Lifes" group of 2012. The aspects of cooking (melting butter, melting ice, boiling water, simmering stew, dishwashing suds in pot, rinsing in sink, etc.) I am focusing on the small familiar events of everyday life in the kitchen. No figures, just the animated and sometimes static elements critical to the cook: elements that take on form, action, drama, and color as they are explored in small format (oil on board, 8"x8" 2012-2013).

Still Lifes

Sally Pettus painting, 2 Blue CupsFormal studies in the Flemish manner of familiar objects, predominately about reflections. Silver, water, glass, and mirror, provide complex echoes of light and color (oil on board, 2012).


Paintings From The Perimeter

Sally Pettus painting, Paintings From The PerimeterA body of work executed in the year 2010-2011, were prompted by the Rising of the New World Trade Center. They are also meant as a view of our resilience in the face of an unspeakable horror. I wanted to capture the optimism, the reflections of upward motion on the facades of buildings and cars around the site. The works were exhibited in New York on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, and are also shown in book form with the same title, now being sold at the 9/11 Memorial and on the Paintings From The Perimeter book section.

Encounters in the Natural World

Sally Pettus painting, Forty-Five LeavesAnimated close-ups of certain Moments in the keen observation of landscape elements. Shadows on a Beech tree, falling leaves in motion, water at the point of freezing, knarled ancient tree trunks, ragged bark of the paperback maple.


Anthropomorphic Leaf Drawings

Large graphite drawings of Leaves in action. Resembling the human form in many instances, especially the large "Mephistopheleaf".


A large commissioned bronze fountain, "Quantum Leaf" has been featured in downtown Des Moines since 2007. It is a manic 15' diameter 12' high Leaf that forms a pool which pours water into another pool, located in a park designed to showcase it. It is owned by the Des Moines Art Center, and is leased in perpetuity to the City. It was commissioned in 2004 by Melva Bucksbaum. "Lightning Tree" 84"x37", bronze with gold leaf, commemorates a 200 year old white Ash tree on our property struck by lightning, which has miraculously survived.

Smaller Leaf Sculptures and Strange Critters

Preceded the Fountain. I began doing them in 2000.