Fred Bate carefully guided his daughter with her art. He recommended she attend the Slade School in London, and visited her later at the Contembo Ranch in Mexico. Fred Bate's close friend, surrealist photographer Man Ray, photographed her at different stages of her modeling career from Paris to New York.
Vera Bate Lombardi is said to have been the public relations liaison to the royal families of Europe for Coco Chanel between 1925 and 1938. Her grandmother, Rosa Frederica Baring (1854-1927) was a member of the Baring banking family, being a great granddaughter of Sir Francis Baring (1740-1810), the founder of Barings Bank, and Bridget Bate was therefore related to many British and European aristocratic families.
In 1943, Bate was a student at the Art Students League of New York and studying under Reginald Marsh along with her friends, the painters Paul Cadmus and George Tooker.Acquaintances have described Bate during this time as "striking", "glamorous", and a "long-stemmed beauty with large azure eyes and sumptuous black hair". She lived in an apartment at the Plaza Hotel and wore clothes by Manhattan couturier Hattie Carnegie. It was around this time that the author Anaïs Nin wrote about her infatuation with Bate in her personal diary. Bate was at a party in the Park Avenue apartment of photographer George Platt Lynes, a friend who used her as a subject in his photographs, when she met Lynes' assistant, Jonathan Tichenor, in 1943. They started an affair in 1944 when her husband was away and working overseas for the US government. She divorced Chisholm on December 11, 1944 and moved into an Upper East Side townhouse in Manhattan that she shared with art patron Peggy Guggenheim.She married Jonathan Tichenor in 1945, taking his last name to become known as Bridget Bate Tichenor, and they moved into an artist's studio at 105 MacDougal Street in Manhattan.Bate Tichenor's painting technique was based upon 16th-century Italian tempera formulas that artist Paul Cadmus taught her in New York in 1945, where she would prepare an eggshell-finished gesso ground on masonite board and apply (instead of tempera) multiple transparent oil glazes defined through chiaroscuro with sometimes one hair of a #00 sable brush. Bate Tichenor considered her work to be of a spiritual nature, reflecting ancient occult religions, magic, alchemy, and Mesoamerican mythology in her Italian Renaissance style of painting.
Having lived in varied European and American cultures with multiple identities reflecting her life passages, Bate Tichenor recognized the Pre-Columbian cycles of creation, destruction, and resurrection that echoed the events of the catastrophes of her own life mounted within the dismantling and reconstructive context of two World Wars.The openness of Mexico at that time fueled her personal expectations of a future filled with endless artistic inspiration in a truly new world founded upon metaphysics, where a movement of societal, political, and spiritual ideals were being immortalized in the arts.
In 1958, she participated in the First Salon of Women's Art at the Galerías Excelsior of Mexico, together with Carrington, Rahon, Varo, and other contemporary women painters of her era.That same year, she bought the Contembo ranch near the remote village of Ario de Rosales, Michoacán where she painted reclusively with her extensive menagerie of pets until 1978.
Bate Tichenor counted painters Carrington, Alan Glass, Zachary Selig and artist Pedro Friedeberg among her closest friends and artistic contemporaries in Mexico.
Between 1982 and 1984, Bate Tichenor lived in Rome and painted a series of paintings titled Masks, Spiritual Guides, and Dual Deities.Her final years were spent at her home in San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico.Wikipedia