Cecilia Pienaar

Botanical Artist

Born in Belgium, Cecilia’s parents immigrated to South Africa (Durban) when she was two years old. From a young age, she was immersed in a world of music and art.

Her parents, both professional musicians, opened their home to many young musicians and artists, including Selby Mvusi and Eric Ngobo.

As a toddler, watching them at work, Cecilia’s own artistic creativity was ignited. She qualified with a Fine Arts Diplomas from the Natal Technikon and subsequently moved to the Cape where she obtained a diploma in stage management at Stellenbosch University (Drama Department). She joined CAPAB (Artscape) as Set painter, working with top international designers on major opera and ballet productions. During this time she was commissioned to paint a mural on the fire curtain of the PE opera house. Always keen to broaden her horizons, she joined the Michael Petit School of Oil Painting. Her home is adorned with several of her oil paintings and water-colours. While bringing up three school going children, she completed a teacher’s diploma course and took up a pre-school teaching post.

In 2000 she was introduced to Botanical painting at a UCT Summer School workshop presented by Vicky Thomas, followed by courses given by Gillian Condy and Dr John Manning. Since then she has followed her passion and exhibits regularly at the Kirstenbosch Biennale. She was commissioned by Dr Odette Curtis to paint a new species Moraea Elegans for publication. Cecilia was selected to exhibit at the Botanical Arts Worldwide Exhibition in May 2018 where some of her work was sold internationally.


Cecilia's painting of Strelitzia reginae in Strelitzias of the World - A Historical and Contemporary Exploration by Himanshu Baijnath and Patricia McCracken.

In her spare time Cecilia volunteers as a carer for Hospice. Patients thoroughly enjoy participating in her regular arts and crafts sessions. She enjoys reading and treasures family time with her children and grandchildren.