Salt Spring Reads is an online book club/review. For this column I try to find books that you might love to discover, books with a Salt Spring connection. Reviewed books are available at the Salt Spring Library and in local bookstores. Feel free to share your comments. Life Sketches, by Robert Bateman
This gorgeous, inch thick book is packed with intimate details of one of Canada’s most famous artists.
The fascinating read gives us a close look at how a boy in Toronto fell under the spell of nature by playing in the wild ravine behind his house. Through loving parental guidance and through books read aloud at bedtime, Robert Bateman’s appreciation for nature was sparked and kindled. As a 12 year old he joined a group of young naturalists at the Royal Ontario Museum and learn to carve birds. Over the years, his interest in nature and art only increased.
Bateman became a world traveler, sketching animals as he explored foreign countries with friends. The book outlines his family life and allows us an understanding of how he and his family adapted to different work and living situations.
His art evolved, attracting the attention of a huge, world wide audience. Thanks to advancing technology, more and more people were able to admire, enjoy and even own a Bateman print. His art shows took the world by storm. People lined up in New York, London, Toronto - anywhere his art was on display.
Robert Bateman’s art, now so familiar to many of us, evolved as he grew and developed as artist. Working in cubism, …. , he eventually emerged as one of the world’s most admired realistic painters. His work was presented as Canada’s official wedding gift to Prince Charles and Princess Diana. He has been recognized by the Order of Canada.
Life Sketches will resonate with Salt Springers as he describes how our local environment impacts his art every day, even as he turns 86 years of age.
Happy Birthday, Robert Bateman. We’re proud of you!
Simon & Schuster, ISBN 978-1-4767-8297-3
About Margriet Ruurs
Margriet Ruurs is a Salt Spring Island author of over 30 books. Her latest book was one of five finalists for the TD Canada Book Award. She runs Between The Covers, Booklovers’ B & B.