Demonstrating at the SWA Exhibition, London Mall Galleries 2019

I am a painter now specialising in light-filled watercolours. My painting practice began in Singapore in 1996 when I returned to my love of portraiture, creating family pencil drawings. I was also drawn to the City’s disappearing heritage shophouses and my small oils on paper (below) sold out at exhibition. Some images were made into a print collection displayed in shops, galleries and at the airport. Architectural commissions followed, including from the US Embassy, British High Commission, British Club , banks and others.

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

Moving to Malaysia, I continued selling oils but began to develop watercolours. On my return to the UK in 2006, I could see that they are uniquely suited to capturing the atmospheric British weather and landscapes. I soon opened a studio/gallery in the World Heritage City of Bath, England (pictured below) and now continue to paint watercolour portraits and landscapes to commission and exhibition from my hillside studio.

Former Studio/Gallery in Bath

For a decade and a half, I have been absorbed in experimenting and exploiting watercolour behaviours. I have found that cascading pigments within water encourages them to mingle and react to create delicate veils of colour and colliding effects. I call these techniques “gravity painting” and explain them to art groups and magazines, as well as in my own intensive Bath Watercolour Workshops.

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.

Fragile (detail) – pigment chemistry on clay panel

My paintings hang in private collections worldwide. I have exhibited with the Royal Watercolour Society and Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and I am a Member of the Society of Women Artists, exhibiting regularly at our annual summer exhibition in London’s Mall Galleries. You can find my exhibition archive here.

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 (visitor workshop packages)
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 © 2021 catherine beale swa. All rights reserved.