what he terms the “disappearing world.” Someone said what we’re doing right now is a
“We’re seeing more phenomena of our form of grandchild abuse.”
natural and human heritage—things that had
lasted for hundreds if not thousands of Respect for nature
years—vanish, gone forever, than has ever Bateman says it comes down to respect:
happened before in history,” he says, expound- “It’s a question of respect for our natural hering on the topic that has become a mainstay itage and for our human heritage. Respect for
theme at his art lectures, and at his Web site other human beings and other creatures and
www.batemanideas.com. “At this rate, every- other things all over the world. Caring about
thing that is ‘disappearable’ will be gone.” them instead of self.”
What we are getting in its place, he says, is Still, he remains upbeat. “There’s hope.
an “instant-pudding world,” where variety There are growing numbers of concerned
and choice are replaced by increasingly people; it’s reaching a critical mass. Things
homogenized consumables—from furniture will change.”
and food to art and culture. In the meantime, he says, as long as he
“Variety really is the spice of life,” he can hold a brush, he will continue to paint.
declares. “And that’s what we’re losing: variety. “I can’t conceive of anything being more
“The real problems facing the Earth are varied and rich and handsome than the
not economic, they’re philosophical,” he con- planet Earth,” he says. “I want to soak it up, to
tinues. “I think we’ve become this way because understand it as well as I can, then express it
people have been trained since the time they in my paintings. This is the way I want to ded-were teenagers to be self-indulgent con- icatemylife.” C
sumers. And now the philosophy of unbridled
materialism is being challenged by events.
“Nature is no free lunch,” he concludes.
“You can pay now, or pay later. You are going
to have to pay. If you pay later, it’s going to
cost more. But we don’t want to pay now, so it
means we want our grandchildren to pay.
Sudden Move – Siberian Tiger, 1995
May Apple – Scarlet Tanager, 1984
Bateman communing with Gentoo
penguin, Antarctica, 1994.
THE NUMBER of Robert Bateman’s
paintings, sketches and drawings
is staggering in terms of sheer output and extraordinary quality.
His finished artwork can command hundreds of thousands of
dollars among collectors the world
over. His print reproductions sell
out as quickly as they are made
As Bateman celebrates his
75th birthday, Madison Press
Books is releasing a special-edition
box set, Bateman, to commemorate his nearly 50 years of work.
The two volumes, An Artist in
Nature and Natural Worlds, help
to illustrate the journey taken
by Bateman from a young boy
discovering the beauty of nature
in his backyard to the internationally known artist who is fighting
to preserve that beauty for future
An Artist in Nature is filled
with personal photographs and
taries. In Natural
regions of the globe—
from Canada’s west
coast to Central
America’s steamy rain
forest to the moun-
tainous regions of Asia.
This box set is
available at all Costco
can also find Bateman
prints at Special Events
road shows at select
BIRGIT FREYBE BATEMAN