“Most kids start drawing mammals and birds at three and quit before they’re ten. I never stopped. The habit of sketching the wildlife in my backyard took hold when I was very young.
On May 24th I will have my 90th birthday. After nine eventful decades I still feel the excitement of venturing outside and exploring the richness of nature. It’s hard to imagine all the massive changes that have affected our world, with the impacts of climate change being the most dramatic.
Saving our natural spaces has become one of my most important goals, along with getting our young people to willingly venture outside and enjoy its magic, now more than ever.
My life has been blessed with the many friends and connections I have made in both the art world and the world of environmental conservation. I happily look back over the last few years to see how these achievements have been celebrated through the charitable foundation and art gallery that bears my name. The Bateman Foundation’s Nature Sketch Program has succeeded in engaging over 3000 people across Canada: young and old alike exploring their backyards, pencil or ballpoint pen in hand, sketching the world around them. In 2019 we partnered with Anxiety Canada to deliver the program to kids who suffer from anxiety: it is a joy to help them experience relief and mindfulness, sharing the benefits of going outside and using art to highlight the beauty and magic of the natural world. It is a truism that you find yourself through losing yourself.”