Robert Bateman

AFC Conservation Artist of the Month for January, 2006

Robert Bateman's passion for the natural world is not only depicted in his books and artworks, but it is clearly in his soul.  His unwavering dedication to the preservation of the world's threatened and endangered species is further evidenced through his involvement and participation on numerous conservation boards and advisory committees.  He is steadfast in his conviction that "small is beautiful" and understands that growing too fast means losing some of the values that we hold so dear. 

"I can't conceive of anything being more varied and rich and handsome than the planet earth. And its crowning beauty is the natural world. I want to soak it up, understand it as well as I can, and to absorb it.... and then I would like to put it together and express it in my painting. This is the way I want to dedicate my life.

"From the age of twelve I was a serious artist. I never doubted I would always be an artist, but never expected to make my living at it. That is why I went into teaching as a meal-ticket so I could paint to please myself and not the market. I evolved through various phases in my 20's and 30's from Group of Seven to abstract expressionism, always depicting, even in the abstracts, nature and wilderness. I didn't sell anything until I was 35 and I was a full-time high school teacher until I was 46.
"In the mid-60's (in my mid-30's) I moved into my present style because of my reverence for the particularity of every square inch of the biosphere. The best things in life are not free any more. Clean air, clean water and the song of a bird (with all that this implies about our ecosystems) used to be free. Now these things cost money. If we want to have them, we have to spend. I couldn't show biological specificity in general globs of paint."

"A man is destroyed by the inner conviction of uselessness. No amount of social growth can compensate for such losses."

". . . the human being, defined by Thomas Aquinas as a being with brains and hands, enjoys nothing more than to be creatively, usefully, productively engaged with both his hands and his brains."
"Above anything else there is need for a proper philosophy of work which understands work not as that which it has indeed become, an inhuman chore as soon as possible to be abolished by automation, but as something

Previous Conservation Artists of the Month

(December, 2019)
(November, 2019)
(October, 2019)
(September, 2019)
(August, 2019)
(July, 2019)
(June, 2019)
(May, 2019)
(April, 2019)
(March, 2019)
(February, 2019)
(January, 2019)
(December, 2018)
(November, 2018)
(October, 2018)
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