I left straight from work and the drive took a little over an hour. The Gallery is off the beaten path to say the least but fortunately they had excellent signage so I didn’t get lost. It’s a beautiful gallery and gift shop and it was packed full of people.
My Dad joined me about half an hour after I arrived and we joined the line up – I purchased a 2013 calendar I wanted autographed. Much to our delight, Mr. Bateman came out into the main gallery where we were waiting and did a talk about his work and took questions from the crowd.
He’s an incredible man….would you believe he’s 82 years old? He talked about a few of his paintings and gave the stories behind them. My dad, always the artist, asked about his use of gray in many of his paintings and would he perhaps share the recipe? He said that for him the worst weather is bright sunshine at noon, he much prefers to have ‘weather’. He gave his recipe – lots of white with Payne’s Gray and Raw Umber. The amounts change whether he wants a cool gray (more Payne’s) or a warm gray (more Raw Umber). He also said that he uses a sponge to create the mist or snow in many of his paintings.
My Dad left after the talk but I stayed in line for the opportunity to meet him. It took two hours but I finally had my turn! He asked if I was an artist because I looked like one and I said that I was and gave him my business card. This got a laugh from the people behind me in line but I wasn’t going to let this opportunity go by! He signed my calendar and I had my picture taken with him and he signed that as well.
I told him that I saw the documentary on him and that his candidness about how painting can be a struggle really stuck with me. He asked if that happens to me and when I said yes he told me I was a true artist.
He generally works on 4 or 5 paintings at a time because he’s excited when he starts one but he gets to the point where he doesn’t like it. Then he starts another one to cheer himself up and then he doesn’t like that one either. By the time he gets to the 5th painting the first one doesn’t look so bad any more so he’ll go back to it. I mentioned that I generally have 3 or 4 paintings on the go at any given time and he said that it shows that I’m serious about my art and that I must be successful. Wow!!!!