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
Valley Mists (work in progress) – Mixing real colours on the page

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 – 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 © 2021 catherine beale swa. All rights reserved.