My childhood idol, Robert Bateman, only seemed to live in books I collected over the years. While many of my friends admired the Backstreet Boys or Pearl Jam, I collected Bateman books. My first encounter of Bateman's work was in the Sears catalog. Somehow Santa Claus knew that I had circled his books for my wish list...thanks Santa! Over the years I would flip, page by page, to admire his many, many great paintings, escaping into the beautiful world of nature.
As an adult and artist, I bravely mailed a letter to 'Bob' on the opposite side of the country. Not long after, I received an email response with a request for a telephone conversation to critique my artwork and a personal invitation to his Master Artist Seminar in beautiful British Columbia! Great start!!
After more than 20 years of admiration it was time to meet 'Bob' and embark on a new adventure. After 17 hours of travel, including 2 flights, 1 rental car, and 3 ferries, we finally made it to the destination on the remote northern island. We ate lunch with Bob, took nature photography walks, received art tips, critiqued art, watched him paint AND on the last day of the seminar listened to a 'Laura' song he sang to me while signing my books.
Once you meet your idol, how do you explain it to others? Luckily, my best friend was with me on the trip...my husband. He's the only one who could relate to the WOW factor of this occasion and how much this really meant to me. To add to the surreal event, the resort was in a beautiful remote location on Cortes Island and we met some incredible people from around the world who took part in the adventure.
I've met other 'famous' artists over the years who are also inspiring and do great things for the environment but there is just something calming about Bateman's art that pulls me in. Is it because at a young age I fell in love with his paintings or maybe it's because he paints with mysterious luminous brush strokes that coincides with the mystery of nature? Or maybe a it's a combo of both.
Did I mention I was lucky enough to take home a signed sketch of a bird from our lessons? Talk about icing on the cake!!
Isn't that what life is about?
Inspiration combined with adventure equals happiness.
Hmmm..who's next on my list...hopefully Jane Goodall!