Hello Everybody! I am Robert Bateman, artist, naturalist and environmentalist. AMA!

You may want to ask me about my own art, my views about art and art history, conservation and, being 87 years old, pretty much everything else! I am happy to answer any questions you have and will start at 1pm EDT. Two of my sons are dictating questions and typing my answers while I paint on this rainy morning on Saltspring Island, BC.
EDIT: Great questions so far! Feel free to ask questions about my views of art history, my trip around the world in a Land Cruiser, my thoughts on consumerism or anything else.
EDIT 2: Looks like things are winding down. Any more questions?
EDIT 3: Thank you all for an enjoyable morning and afternoon. I guess we are done now.
[You can also ask me in person at the following events in the next few weeks.] (https://batemancentre.org/events/) I will be signing my latest book, [“Robert Bateman’s Canada] (http://www.simonandschuster.ca/books/Robert-Batemans-Canada/Robert-Bateman/9781501163432).
[My Info.] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Bateman_(painter)
[Proof.] (https://imgur.com/gallery/dz6ch)
[Bateman Centre Webpage] (https://batemancentre.org/)

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  • Who is your favorite artist, and what artists have given you inspiration in your own work?

  • Oh man, I LOVE your work. I was in Jackson, WY and decided to stop by the National Museum of Wildlife Art. After I bought my admission tickets, I saw my favorite painting ever. Chief! My dad has also had a copy of The Air, The Forest, and The Watch in his office and I love it, too. My question is what got you into wildlife art?


  • Hi Robert. Huge fan of your painting and the art of your talented artistic family! I am a musician. Do you listen to music while you paint or do you prefer a quiet working atmosphere? If so, what do you like to listen to?
    Jason Ferguson
    Brother of Jocelyn Bateman.

  • Thanks so much for your AMA!

    My great-uncle was Frank Smith, who I know you spent some of your youth learning from. He passed away before I was born, but I have always heard so many stories about him. I was wondering if you had any stories of Uncle Frank you would share, and whether or not you ever had any of his carved birds?

    I know Uncle Frank lamented, even over 50, 60, 70 years ago, about the loss of habitat for our native birds and animals, and I’m sure you would echo his sentiment. What do you think are some of the things we can all do to help fight the habitat loss for the species that make our cities, towns, and country home?

  • Mr. Bateman, thanks for this opportunity.

    I find your photo-realism to be haunting as well as inspiring. Many of your subjects are placed in the middle of actions that would be difficult to even capture with digital photography. So your research process must be fascinating.

    Please tell us a little about your general research process and how this has evolved over your career. Are you still as fascinated and inspired by the subject matter as your work seems to indicate or is it more of a process? Or both perhaps?

  • I love your art, Mr. Bateman!

    1) Do you have a favourite painting of yours?

    2) Do you have a favourite animal?


  • Do you fear that digital technologies will damage fine arts or do you see it as adding to art?

  • Hello Robert,

    I have one of your coffee table books and thoroughly enjoy looking through the images. Do you have a gallery anywhere that displays your originals?

  • What is your favorite kind of cake?

  • Hi Robert! Great to see you here.

    I’m currently studying music composition, but want to make a difference environmentally. How can I incorporate music into saving the planet? My first instinct is writing music for documentaries tackling climate change, and other environmental topics, but what is your take on it?

    Do you listen to music when you paint? What kind? Does it differ from music you listen to for pleasure?


  • How was painting when you first started (did it come naturally and if not how much of a struggle was it at first)? Did you have a favorite medium when you started?

  • Hello Mr. Bateman. Have had many of your calendars grace our house’s walls over the years.

    Understanding you use reference photos, what’s the story behind the most challenging photo you took for one of your paintings?

    Thanks for the AMA.

  • Bob, when you are using oils, do you panit from dark to light colors or the other way around? Thanks

  • If painting were not your primary medium, what other artform would you work in?

  • Good day Mr. Bateman, I just wanted to start by saying I came to see you at Kingsway Mall, in Edmonton, about this time last year, with a framed reproduction of the Dozing Lynx, you told me a story about how you got stuck once on some backroads and the people who were helping you were speaking french. Your signed work is still hanging in my living room and I look at it every day.

    A question I’ve wanted to ask you was: Do you look for anything specific in a nature scene before you use it as inspiration? What makes you take a picture of one thing as opposed to another? It’s hard for me to clearly explain my question, I hope you understand what I mean…

    Thank you for doing this, you were a pleasure to speak with, and I look forward to reading the rest of the questions people are asking you. [Here’s a picture my wife took of us the day I came to visit you.](https://imgur.com/a/fxrjq)

    Have a great day!

  • Hi Robert, you won’t remember me but about 15 years ago I emailed you. I was a young artist and I mentioned I wanted to serve my community with my art. I was seeking advice and to my great surprise you actually emailed me back 6 months later.
    You encouraged me.
    It was so meaningful and helped me in a moment I needed it.
    Since then, I have made a career out of service, sharing and teaching. I have grown to understand that everything is an art form in one way or another and we get to choose how to express our creativity.
    This week, I was fortunate enough to have been elected as a city councillor in my home town and I only hope that in the work I do with my life I can inspire someone the way you inspired me.
    The work continues and it always will. A life of creative service is the greatest thing I could have asked for and you are a great example of that.

    Thank you.

    Hiy hiy.

    And my question! Will we ever see a book with all your unfinished sketches and paintings so we can explore your process?

  • Have your art and your environmentalism influenced each other?

  • Do you ever get frustrated by the lack of praise or attention received from the artworld establishment. For instance, your work has been ignored by The National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario. Why do you think this is?

  • Love your work, I remember meeting you several years ago as a young kid on Salt Spring when our class went through the ducks unlimited place. I was the one who asked about that sweet eagle painting you’d been working on, though you probably forgot such a menial encounter.

    Still glad to have met you, hope your works continue to grow more stunning than the last. We have one of your works (probably a copy) from the shopping mall raffle things, probably my favorite of our decorations.

    As its an AMA I’d like to ask, what is the purpose you see in being an artist?

    Is it a desire to use art as a language to convey a truth that’s been forgotten? Like your animal paintings which have a clear air of “This is the beauty of our environment” and therefore carry the subtle message of environmental protection, or do you do it for some other reason, personal or otherwise?

  • Besides the obvious art, nature, and family – what are you passionate about?

  • Did you actually kill Paul Allen, or was that all in your head?

  • How do you think the content and style of painting (as a medium & genre of artwork) will change as we further rely on digital communications and digital photography?

  • I love you art and I have shared my Photography with you before. I hope to see you in Toronto next week at book launch. Will you be making appearances anywhere else?

  • Hello,
    Do you have any interesting stories to tell about teaching high school art in Richmond Hill in the 50’s?

  • Tell us your favourite Gord Downie story?

  • Hi Robert. Have you ever met the late Bill Reid? Any thoughts on his style?

  • Because you said…. “pretty much everything else!”
    If you lived in the states, would you moved to Canada? 🙂

  • Did you always plan on a painting career?

  • I love your artwork, thanks for doing this AMA!

    I have 2 questions:

    – How many wolves are in the ‘Arctic Cliff’ painting? My Dad claims he can see 5, but I have only ever been able to see 4 of them (one on top and 3 together on the left side of the cliff). Who is right?

    – If you could only paint one animal, or subject in natural world, what would it be?

  • giacometti or rothenberg?

  • Hello Mr.Bateman, do you have times where it’s hard to paint?

  • Can you please make a painting and then ship it to me? Thanks in advance Robert

  • Are you related to Jason Bateman?

  • What is your advice on what we can do as individuals to help the environment?

  • I’m a big fan of yours and I love your books. I actually have on I’m looking at now, an artist in nature. What’s your favorite geographical area to paint?

  • Hey Bob I was wondering if you remember that time you came in to my Moms bakery in Carnarvon, ON and you were a complete asshat to her because she decided to cut down a tree on her property?

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