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Carolyn Bates



I originally trained as a photographer and my career enabled me to work freelance in many areas including dance, music, sculpture, portraiture, landscape and to travel to far away corners of the world. These experiences created many exciting opportunities and commissions. As a photographer, I have always observed the quality of the light and how this plays such an important role, combined with colour, line and form in creating the mood and structure of a picture. Having decided to follow my passion further in paint, I studied under Robin Child at The Lydgate Art Research Centre and Jonathan Ellis at The London Sketch Club, Chelsea.

My work reflects my continuing exploration of the natural world. I aim to record the essence of what confronts my senses in the presence of nature at its most elemental. I am trying to convey through painterly language, a sense of place and yet evoke memories and personal interpretations in the viewer - an idea of a glimpse into a remembered reality. Sketching, taking photographs and documenting my subject and committing my observations to memory, I return to a more pared down approach back in the studio environment. Through improvised and sustained engagement with materials and mark making, I try to convey the sheer physicality of my original emotional experience together with a sense of the monumental and furtive in nature. I prefer to take risks with my painting - the scale, speed of application, directional emphasis and the way that one mark works against another all combine together in the dynamics of building an image. The ability of oil paint to express things, which cannot be explained in words, is a mysterious and fascinating process.

My paintings have been seen in a number of group shows, solo exhibitions and have been shown at various venues including galleries and unconventional spaces. A number of commissions have been completed and my work is included in collections in the UK and abroad. I live and work in Richmond and in Sussex. JMW Turner, John Constable, Nicholas de Stael, Ivon Hitchens, Joan Eardley - amongst more contemporary artists - continue to be important influences to me.


Rosvik Collective 2005/2007/2010 - Little Bedwyn, Wilts.
Hill Rise Gallery 2006/2008/2015 - Richmond, Surrey.
The Stables Gallery - 2008 - Twickenham. Middx.
Brian Sinfield Gallery - 2008 - Burford, Oxon.
The Cheese Art Society - 2008 - Chelsea, London
Vivatis Arts Festival - 2008/2009 - Wormley, Surrey.
AppArt - 2012 - Godalming, Surrey.
Guildford Arts Festival - 2014 - Guildford, Surrey
Sandon Bury Art - 2015 - 2018.
Richmond Open Studios - 2015 - 2018 - Richmond, Surrey.
The Little Art Gallery - 2018/2020 - West Wittering, Sussex.
The Dovedale Festival - 2020 - Dovedale, Derbyshire.
Webbs Fine Art Gallery - September 2021 - Clapham, London SW116SA.
The Gallery Little Bedwyn - September 2021.


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