Robert Bateman

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There are some artists who paint to make a living, some artists who paint because they are lured by the fame and fortune of the art world and those who simply paint because for them painting is a labor of love. Celebrated Canadian artist Robert Bateman fits into the last category perfectly well. Apart from being an internationally celebrated wild life artist, Bateman is also Canada’s most famous living artist and one of the most commercially successful artists of all times. There are not many artists who can boast about having three high schools, a foundation, live website and an entire harbor in Victoria, Canada named after them. Bateman’s remarkable real life naturalistic paintings of wild life hasn’t exactly been embraced by the artistic ‘snobs’ but for him that doesn’t really matter. Bateman is that rare breed of artists who chose to paint because it’s their true calling.

Robert Bateman was born in 1930 in Ontario, Canada in a solid middle class family. From an earlier age on Bateman developed a strong connection with the outdoors and nature. He would often spend hours at an end just wandering through parks, streams, lakes and hills devouring everything in his sight especially the wild life he used to come across. Soon Bateman started sketching bears, eagles, wild cats and rabbits and his artistic flair became apparent. Despite his interest and talent Bateman opted to study Geography at university, a factor which helped him further branch out his love for the wild life and incorporate it into his paintings. Bateman started teaching art and geography at a local high school but side by side he continued to paint rigorously and gradually his work started getting noticed. For Bateman his definition of what makes a painting qualify as a masterpiece is not necessarily something which is pitch perfect in composition and colors but something which comes straight from the heart. To this day Bateman can found around the Canadian wilderness with his camera intact taking pictures of the wild life and nature and transforming them into something remarkable on the canvas. Bateman’s 1987 art show held at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington DC drew in large crowds – a record for any artist during that time. Due to his love for the wild life, Bateman also happens to be a devout environmentalist, another factor which hinders his position amongst the art ‘snobs’. Due to his unconventional paintings style and choice of subject matter in his works Bateman is considered by many to be a bit of an outsider in the art world. But quite a successful outsider at that for he has sold millions of his works in the form of posters, books, magazine covers and illustrations.

Bateman is a strong crusader of preserving the natural environment and works tirelessly with local communities and youth groups in promoting awareness about the importance of nature and its habitats. Robert Bateman has countless books devoted to his style of painting and his works and is also a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and was awarded with the Order of British Colombia (OBC) in 2001.

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