Robert Bateman has given a Master Class on Cortes Island for a number of years. This year he decided to do the workshop in Victoria close to the Bateman Centre.

Maureen Bader
Robert Bateman on Art on the Island

Mr. Bateman believes artists are born, and says he has always been an artist. But how to do that and still put food on the table? Bateman studied geography to get free field trips into nature, as he considered himself a Group of Seven groupie. He spent 20 years as a teacher as he didn’t want to paint for the market. Mr. Bateman advises artists to get a day job to be independent of the market, and wait for the market to come to you.

Mr. Bateman talks about the how and why of his success, how his exploration of different styles made him a better realist painter, and which event marked his Road to Damascus.

After starting to paint full time in the 1970’s Mr. Bateman’s style has remained consistent. He explains the type of style suitable for a naturalist, given what he considers important for a naturalist. He talks about his reference material and locations for subject matter, different visions, and different ideas. He has an unending list of commissions and is currently working on a three-piece (4×4 foot each) commission that includes 111 Sandhill Cranes. This is the second largest he has ever done.

Mr. Bateman advises to paint from the heart.