Robert Bateman
A painter, naturalist, and conservationist, Robert Bateman is one of the world's most celebrated contemporary wildlife artists. He was drawn to the wilderness as a child and further explored his love of nature and his study of natural ecosystems while working at a wildlife research camp in Algonquin Park, Ontario, Canada. With a degree in geography from the University of Toronto, he taught high school for 20 years, painting wildlife and nature in his free time. While Bateman began his career as an abstract artist, in the mid-1960s, he turned towards realism to capture wildlife in its various habitats after being inspired by the work of Andrew Wyeth. His work fuses a realistic style with dynamic compositions, and captures both the particularities of the natural world and his conservationist spirit. Bateman has become a spokesman for many environmental issues and uses his artwork and limited edition prints in conservation fundraising efforts. He features animals that face ominous challenges as humankind continues to abuse the natural world. "I can't conceive of anything being more varied and rich and handsome than the planet Earth," Bateman states. "Its crowning beauty is the natural world. I want to soak it up, to understand it as well as I can, and to absorb it. And then I'd like to put it together and express it in my painting."