Sue paints in watercolours with a contemporary flair, Artist, watercolourist, watercolours, techniques in watercolour, wet into wet, saving light places, softening edges, washing out, clean water, no masking fluid, no pencil, vibrant colours, clean, clear, glorious, blowsy,Floral artist, flower painter, contemporary painter, following the paint, painting intuitively, no formal training, exploring depth of colour, areas of sharp focus, areas of blur, freedom to negotiate the image, large and loose, Dorset, Hambledon Hill, countryside, Shroton, Iwerne Minster, garden, studio, celery leaf green, willows, trees, iris, irises, poppy, poppies, hellebores, leaf studies, Stourhead Gardens, snowdrops, Wessex, Gallery on the Wey, Shaftesbury Arts Centre, First - View Gallery, Dorset Art Week, Dorset Visual Arts, New Dorset Art Group, Clare Shepherd, Cranborne Artist, Open Studio, Art Trails, Forum Framers, Demonstrations, exhibitions, cards, prints, originals, Homerton College, Footlights Revue Group, Overstone School


Sue Bates









Sue Bates





Sue Bates attended Homerton College, Cambridge and studied English and Drama. She was a member of the Footlights Revue Club and was cast in the 1967 Revue directed by Clive James. This early acting experience came in handy when she began teaching “down the Old Kent Road” . Later she moved to Cambridgeshire and was a Headteacher and Advisory Headteacher in Peterborough.

Her partner’s work brought them to Dorset and she began painting at the age of 45 with no formal training. She studied with local Cranborne Chase artist Clare Shepherd.

Sue loves the medium of watercolour. She uses no pencil in any of her works, preferring to dive in without the limits of pencil marks. This means she can truly follow the flow of the paint and adapt her techniques, subject matter and composition as she works. This shows in most of her pictures, the images can appear with movement or ghosting as the subjects emerge or disappear. She has diversified from her flower painting into landscapes, animals, oil painting and Lino prints.


Sue works mainly in Dorset in her studio where she can look out on her garden, or the ancient hill fort of Hambledon Hill.

Sue has been a regular contributor to Dorset Art Week since 2004, and has exhibited in galleries throughout the Wessex region. Her works have been pre selected by both the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour and the Society of Woman Artists for their Open Exhibitions in the Mall Galleries, London.

She is contracted to MGL Licensing who market a selection of her works in the USA.

Sue is a member of the New Dorset Art Group
















So here is my first layer of the next picture. Watch this develop!


There is a lot of work going on as we get closer to Dorset Art Weeks! Here are some of my works in progress, or just finished!



I started this on Thursday 13th March and will be working on this all weekend




This was an early version of a willow growing on a walk I take nearly everyday. I have done several versions of this tree. Recently I started "Cold on the Edge of Hambledon Hill" and realised how much I disliked this early version! I took it out of a frame and started to work on it again. I haven't finished the reworking but you can see how far I have got by scrolling down.



I am working on the branches and twigs to give a lot more body to the tree. I have strengthened the colour in the background and looked for spaces and shapes that will help me add to the composition.



This is the picture that set me off to re work the previous tree



Cold Winter on the Edge of Hambledon Hill Final Version



The original Broadstone Art Group poppies a stage further


There was more reworking to be done on this picture. I was invited to demonstrate by the Poole and East Dorset Art Society and took this picture along as something that could be worked with, but I had lost heart with it! I played around with some edges and tidied up some "scaggy" edges ( edges that are a bit scrappy) and the Group seemed so pleased with the effect that perhaps I will have another go later. It always amazes me what others see in my work when I have put it to one side in disgust or despair.


This is a bit of fun!




While giving the demonstration for Poole and East Dorset Art Society I began this very summery Cosmos picture. We had been talking about negative shapes,saving light places and painting really BIG. This seemed to fit the bill and I will be working on it right up to the start of Dorset Art Week. I wonder how far I will have got when the visitors arrive?





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