"I paint the skies with peace and passion, because that's the way they paint me."
Jeni Bate works out of her studio in Salton City California – though she grew up in Wales. As a child
she enjoyed painting, but academia meant brushes were set aside for left-brain activities. A creative outlet
that fit in more with the society was that of poetry writing and that persisted into adulthood, including
frequent appearances on the spoken word scene when she moved to Southern California in 1995.
After moving to Malibu in 2001, Bate had an opportunity to work on photography skills. Another 5
months later she was having difficulty getting my mind off one particular photograph she had taken and had
an epiphany: “Now, you have to paint!” The step was also fuelled by the desire to not be limited to what
could be accomplished with the camera.
Bate then studied extension classes, art business workshops and a teaching studio in the Thousand Oaks
area. She was lucky to find tutors who taught only materials handling techniques and composition leading
to an early discovery and recognition of her voice.
The sky featured regularly in her early paintings, and gained ground as she found it to be one not only of
personal fascination and variety but of universal appeal. In the early 2000s, a photograph of her as a child
about 4 years old resurfaced – she had been painting at her little easel and the painting she had completed
was a sky. The photograph triggered the memory that most of her childhood paintings looked that way, a
massive sky with tiny mountains at the bottom: the passion to create skyscapes had been with her from the
start. She felt that it wasn’t so much as choosing skyscapes as a subject, but that skyscapes chose her.
Her tagline is “I paint the skies with peace and passion, because that’s the way the paint me”.
As she has made adjustments to her technique to add new possibilities and stretch new boundaries she
moved refractured watercolors, a method where multiple iterations of a painting are cut up and rearranged..
She enjoys mixing mediums and using a greater variety of her skills on each artwork. Another medium that
has been re-incorporated is poetry. Poems are sometimes written for and included in the refractured
watercolors. Another method of bring the two sides of her creativity together was to publish books of
poems and poetry.