I am a painter specialising in light-filled watercolours and portraits in particular. 

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

My painting practice began in Singapore in 1996 where I was drawn to document the City’s disappearing heritage shophouses. My architectural oil studies on paper (below) sold out and a collection of prints were taken by shops and galleries, including Changi Airport. Architectural commissions followed from the US Embassy, British High Commission, British Club , banks and others. Meanwhile, I also drew family pencil portraits to commission.

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

I began to experiment with watercolours towards the end of my time in Asia. On my return to the UK it was evident that they are uniquely suited to capturing the atmospheric British weather and landscape. I set-up a Bath studio/gallery (pictured below) and now travel widely to clients and art centres explaining my enthusiasm for this mobile medium and creating watercolour portraits and landscapes back at my hillside studio.

Former Studio/Gallery in Bath
Hillside studio, Bath

In recent years, I have become 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 – 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.