Pat Martin Bates was born in 1927 in St. John, New Brunswick. At the age of 12 she began art classes under Professor Stanley Royle at Mount Allison University. In 1957 she completed a Fine Arts diploma with honors at the Royal Academie des Beaux Arts in Belgium, and over the next several years went on to graduate studies at a number of institutions including the Sorbonne in Paris.
The artist is known for pioneering work in Canadian printmaking and has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as a professor at the University of Victoria since 1965 and as an acclaimed printmaker and arts advocate. She was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts in 1975 and now serves as the Chair of the Pacific Region. Her highly innovative printmaking has won her many awards in the international arena. She won the Grand Award of Honour for Canada in the South American Biennial of Fine Prints, with artists Harold Town and Yves Gaucher, and was the first Canadian to win the "Yugotexil Prix" in the International Graphic Biennial in Yugoslavia. Other awards include the "Kulterstyre Prix", Norway, the Zachenta Medal, Poland, the Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal, and the Gold Medal in the 8th International Print Art Biennial of Norway.
Her work is represented in most of the world's finest art museums including the National Gallery of Canada and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Bates continues to be invited to represent Canadian visual arts at international art congresses and exhibit worldwide in Europe, Japan and Australia.