I was commissioned to do "tree" for a private event in Halifax. Over the years this client has generously commissioned various artists to make a centerpiece for the event. This year was the 25 anniversary of their Christmas party. Canada was the theme for the night, my contribution depicted Canada from coast to coast to coast. 10 feet tall and 60 inches in diameter. I created the structure to be canoe like. Strips of spruce tacked to a form, I then stretched canvas over the shape.
l have painted this body of water several times. The most significant painting would be one of my father paddling this canoe. As times change and dad's legacy takes shape some things are passed on from the family to the public. This canoe is a Minto, made in Minden Ontario, it is now in the Canadian Canoe Museum.
Two new paintings completed and heading to Secord Gallery. Since our neighbour started keeping sheep on our land we have watched the seasons change as they keep the pasture short. I can see our back pasture from my spot in the studio; it's a beautiful, ever changing vista.
About a 10 minute drive from our home is Scots Bay. Famous for it's beautiful hiking trail that runs out along cape split (seen in the background of "Scots Bay Evening") With a great view of the northern sky, a few times a year, we spend evenings with friends watching the tides and sky.
Holly and I are having our spring open house on the weekend of May 23-24th. Come and have a look at where we work and see how are studios are setup. We will be offering snacks and refreshments. Admission is always free. Along with small works available we will also be introducing our contributions to this years Uncommon Art. Here is the concept: "A seasonal environmental art project. Our gallery is all of Kings County, Nova Scotia where artists create site-specific art installations for everyone to discover, explore, and learn from." I am stepping outside of my painting practice and doing a quasi curatorial piece presenting a Robert Frost poem along a path behind our house. Holly will be installing a over-sized nest and egg.
Working on my first sheep painting. We had 50 sheep in our back field last fall and will have them back again in the spring to lamb. Our neighbour, who farms a bit of everything, used to own the house we now live in. We are happy to have him pasture in our back field.
The other painting is a moon rise on the east boundary of our property. I have painted this willow hedge in several work, and will probably paint it many more times.
A professor of mine at art college confessed that he wasn't sure if what he was creating was art. He was a very smart man and far better versed in art philosophy and history than I ever have been. I have been down the rabbit hole of defining art many times, and I now have decided to stand outside the warren and paint. I have on occasion been asked to write an artist's statement.
How do I sound like an artist? It turns out that I am not that kind of artist. I don't mind attempting an artist statement, it's an enjoyable exercise to try and communicate to others why I paint what I paint, but my paintings are meant to be looked at, not read about. I don't need recognition or acceptance from any one group or institution to drive me to paint. When people look at my paintings I doubt they think "he must know a lot about art," and if you buy my art people won’t think that you must be really clever for making that purchase.
Is my art important, as in "Alan Bateman is a very important contemporary artist"? No. I am not a part of a movement, but I am part of a long tradition of realist artists. Some may propose that even within realism there is a shiny gold-plated point of ground-breaking realist artists who should be exalted above others. That doesn't interest me.
So who would I align myself with? Probably the person who made your great-grandmother's blanket box. The person who planted the row of pine trees along a lane.
The biggest compliment you could pay my work is to keep it on your wall where you see it every day and leave it in your will to someone who has seen it every day.