About

I am a painter specialising in light-filled watercolours and in portraits in particular. My painting practice began in Singapore in 1996 where I drew family portraits to commission. I also documented the City’s disappearing heritage shophouses and my collection of architectural oil studies on paper (below) sold out at exhibition. Prints were made for galleries, hotels and Changi Airport and architectural commissions followed from the US Embassy, British High Commission, British Club and corporations.

Club Street Corner, Middle Road, Tan Quee Lan Street – all oils on paper; British High Commissioner’s Official Residence (early watercolour).
Kuala Lumpur Skyline, watercolour on paper

After my return to the UK in 2006, I set-up a Bath studio/gallery and now travel widely to clients and art centres explaining my enthusiasm for watercolours and creating portraits and landscapes in this lovely, mobile medium. From my hillside studio I have developed a loose watercolour style that I feel captures the subtle light of the atmospheric British weather and landscape (more details below.)

Former Studio/Gallery in Bath
Valley Mists (work in progress) – Mixing real colours on the page
Hillside studio, Bath

In recent years, I have become absorbed in experimenting and exploiting watercolour behaviours. I find that when pigments are cascaded within water, they are encouraged to mingle naturally and react together to create delicate veils of colour and colliding effects. I call these techniques “gravity painting” and explain them in my own intensive Bath Watercolour Workshops, at art centres, art societies and in art magazines.

Illumination (detail) – gravity painting laid bare

Here is a short YouTube video explaining my painting practice.

I am particularly drawn to larger-than-life head and shoulder portraits where there is space for cascading watercolours to flow and “sing”. By carefully controlling the way light falls on my sitters and adding photographic notes, I create dramatic but intimate records for families and individuals. In 2013 my portrait “The Butterfly House” won The Artist Editor’s Award at The Society of Women Artists Annual Exhibition. I am now a member, exhibiting and demonstrating at London’s Mall Galleries. My portraits have been selected for the Royal Society of Watercolours and Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and for the Holburne Portrait Prize and the Bath Society of Artists Open Exhibition. You can find my exhibition archive here.

Demonstrating in London’s Mall Galleries during the SWA Exhibition September 2022

Links:
Society of Women Artists – Member
44AD – my regular gallery space for my solo exhibitions in the heart of Bath
VisitBath – online events
Royal Crescent Hotel – details of our Paint Bath Package
Royal Society of Portrait Painters
Royal Watercolour Society
Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour
First View Gallery, National Trust Stourhead – gallery stocking my prints
Flamingo Gifts, Bath – gift shop stocking my prints
The Art Cohort, Bath – art space stocking my prints
Widcombe Art Trail – regular participant
Combe Down Art Trail – committee member
Wylye Valley Art Trail – regular participant
Wilson and Fay – book illustrations

Copyright © 2022 catherine beale swa. All rights reserved.