Jeni Bate


“I paint the skies with peace and passion, because that’s the way they paint me.”
Jeni Bate lives in Salton City, California – though she grew up in Wales. As a child, she enjoyed
painting, but as a teenager art gave way to academics.
In 2001, Jeni was working on photography but soon had an epiphany: “Now, you have to paint!” . She
subsequently studied in evening classes and at a teaching studio to hone her skills. One of the things that
allowed Jeni to develop her voice quickly was having teachers who taught materials handling and
composition, but not style; why, not just how. These are important aspects of her own teaching.
The sky is her primary subject – both now and in childhood paintings.
Jeni began painting in watercolor, subsequently adding acrylics and oils. A series of errors progressed
into her signature refractured watercolor technique. She later met quilters who likened her reorganized
images to ‘refractured quilting’, so she stole the word.
As the years have progressed she developed her technique to meld acrylic with refractured watercolor and
frequently adding poetry, written for and included in the painting. Poetry was part of her Welsh cultural
heritage and this is one of three ways that she puts the two sides of her creativity together. Her work
continues to develop towards more abstract compositions. Occasional workshops and technique specific
lessons (e.g. learning how to use a jigsaw) have influenced her progress.
Jeni believes that her role as an artist is to make people think twice about the sky. How it works, how we
underappreciate and pollute it, and how it is ultimately, where we live.