View Full Version : Robert Bateman & Me!

05-11-2003, 03:54 AM
I'm Home!

Artbreak at Salt Spring Island was just wonderful. The guest speakers were Robert Bateman (see photo) David Goatley, Catherine Moffat, Kathryn Amisson and Robert Genn.

Robert Bateman spoke for 2 hours on the Friday night, which was followed by a wine and cheese party. He talked a lot about how he got started, showed slides of his work from early on in his life, (including some of his abstract work). right up to what he is presently doing to help protect wildlife habitat. The next morning, he started speaking at 9:30 am and didn't finish up until 12:45pm!During this time he spoke of what it meant to be an artist today. He gave advice and tips on doing wildlife in acrylics (yeahhhh!), took questions from the audience and ended with a critique of several astonishingly good high school student's work. He touched on working from your own photos, (which he does), composition, etc. One noteable line he said and I quote, "If you want to be a nobody in art, target the market." His main message was to "paint the truth" in our art. He was very inspiring and totally a warm and generous person. He also showed us 3 of his current wip's one of which I will post. He said he usually has about 5 on the go at any given time.
Bateman and a wip (looked finished to me!)

David Goatley, primarily known for his portraits, did a demo with a live model and finished it in one afternoon (except for some minor tweaking, he said) . Catherine Moffat showed slides and explained how she does her still lifes. Kathryn Amisson also showed slides of her work.

Robert Genn was a great speaker and spoke of how to get motivated. He said we should all get up in the morning and ask ourselves "What do I want to do today?" Then go and do it. He also did some one on one mentoring, offering to critique the work of anyone who brought their portfolio. (I didn't know this was going to happen and didn't have mine, darn it all!)

None of these artists were paid for their time and were all extremely generous with it, including Bateman.

It was a very memorable experience for me, meeting the artist who made me want to paint wildlife and attending this event. (and that's a real understatement!!!)

Monday morning my friends and I moved on to Victoria for some serious gallery touring, sightseeing and shopping. We stayed at a lovely little bed & breakfast right on the beach. The beach was covered in wonderfully shaped driftwood, seagulls (of course) herons, crabs, and I even saw an otter. (Lots of picture taking here)

Tuesday, we went to the world famous Butchart Gardens. Absolutely heavenly!! I took about a million pictures of flowers.

Wednesday, we went on a whale watching boat ride. What a blast!! Three and a half hours on the ocean in a Zodiac boat and we saw Ocras, dolphins, seals and a few otters. My pictures didn't turn out very well, I was wishing I had taken my SLR instead of the digital. The whales and dolphins were so fast that my photos only showed the splash afterwards!

All in all I took 445 pictures, most of which would mean nothing to anyone but me. (I took a lot of closeups for ref. of rocks and trees and stems, etc.) Most of the animal ones and the flowers I will post in the ref. Library.

I came home late Wed. night (to snow!!) and tried to catchup on my sleep. Sat. was an Art show I was in. Happy to say I sold one of my scratchart pieces (I posted it here a while back..Called "Precious")

Now I just have to get settled back into "normal" life and get on with painting. I missed this place and thought of it often, thinking "I have to remember to tell you all about this or that"

I hope you enjoyed the saga of my trip!

05-11-2003, 06:03 AM
Wow, I really enjoyed your report! Sounds wonderful and interesting ... also inspiring.

05-11-2003, 07:57 AM
Lorna, what a fabulous little holiday you had! I really enjoyed your trip report, and would love to see your photos. I spent a few days in Victoria a few years ago, and did both the gardens and the whale-watching tour too. Fantastic on both counts! And I can't imagine how exciting it would be to see, hear, and meet all those wonderful artists. . . .

05-11-2003, 09:10 AM
no doubt an inspiring time for you....

something you'll look back upon as a pinnacle moment for you.

Of course, if you are not painting for the market...then passion alone drives you which includes finding your own visual voice and then learning to give yourself permission to be you. Sometimes it is difficult after meeting important persons not to want to be just like them. Finding your own aesthetic voice is one of the most difficult things for an artist since we often are the last to come face to face with hidden motives in our own hearts that for years proved to drive us.

It is especially interesting listening to an artist who is up in his/her years having had time to separate what matters in hindsight aside from things that mattered for so long to bring them to that point. There is often a lot of wisdom to glean from their words. I imagine there were many things said to ponder upon. Very cool....thanks for sharing.


05-11-2003, 11:03 AM
Oh I'm green with envy! That sounds like So much fun.
I was lucky enough to meet Robert Bateman when I was still in art college. Some of the things he had to say helped me to realize that I needed to get OUT of that college and fast.

Wow I think I need to have an artist get away!

05-11-2003, 02:16 PM
What an inspiration! I remember talking with Robert Bateman in Wausau over several years at the opening of the Birds In Art at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, and he, like many other of the most successful 'wildlife' artists, was most generous with time and answers to questions.

Sounds like a great opportunity for you! Good advice, too about not painting for the market, but to paint your truth. It's hard not to try to paint to sell, I guess, but the most success I have had in selling has been from pieces that I just had to do, just had to get 'out of my system' so to speak. Seemed to resonate with at least the person(s) who purchased!:D


Paul Hopkinson
05-11-2003, 02:29 PM
Lorna it's good to have you back with us! I am sooo jealous of you being able to meet Robert Bateman! Your so lucky.
I'm glad you had a great time anyway, this is something that I'm sure most of us just dream of doing.

You have had loads of good comments on the Challenge Thread as well.


05-13-2003, 12:46 AM
Sorry it took me so long to get here, to read this.
Sounds like you had a great time. Hope to hear more this week.


Congrats on the sale of "Precious"

05-13-2003, 10:40 AM

Thanks everyone, I'm glad you liked my little report, thanks for reading it.

I have been inspired by this whole trip and have been madly painting! I was going to do a wip, but got so caught up in it that I forgot to scan or take pictures. I'll post it when it's done which shouldn't be too long, now.

05-13-2003, 11:31 PM
Just read this..Wow, Yes I am envious as well, but am so glad you enoyed it so much. I know I would have...will remember it with you since you did such a wonderful job of sharing & describing it! Thank you!