Robert Bateman and Brian Scott Fundraiser for the Hornby Island Arts Council



Robert Bateman donated a $35,000 painting of Helliwell Park as a fund raiser for the Hornby Island Arts Council. I took the opportunity to get my picture taken with Bateman as I had great respect for him. It was also fun to walk the bluffs in the park turn a bend and like magic you recognize where Robert Bateman got his image for his picture.
A white quartz intrusion from an extinct volcano passes through the rock formation at the and at the end is the focal point, an adult male eagle with a bright white head on a dark brown body.
I bet that painting today in the states would go for 250,000. At that time you could buy a house in Cumberland for
Bateman and his family purchased property on Hornby to escape the crush of tourists on their home Island, Saltspring Island. It was also a family vacation close to one of the best beaches on the Island and within walking distance of Helliwell Park.

Every summer he would do a lecture at the Hornby Hall. He would promote environmentalism, the preservation of nature. he was much younger then and quite fanatical. when I met him later for the fundraiser he was in his 80s and had mellowed. He helped one of the local businesses by showing up at Christmas to sign books. People would be lined up down the street to get a signed book. His paintings and stories of wildlife are popular around the world. Very few Canadian artists reach his stature.

He’s a smart man never letting his ego get in the way of the marketplace. He loves to rub shoulders with the common Mam my friend had an aircraft with balloon wheels that could land on a sandy beach. we had planned a trip with Bateman, Land on Cape Scott, photograph wildlife amongst the shipwrecks. there are an estimated 175 shipwrecks on the West Coast very treacherous waters. I remember a freighter that sink at Banfield with a full load of Toyota cars. Great scuba diving.

Robert Bateman must have good genes as he must be getting close to 100 years old. My art teacher at UBC Gordon Smith died at 100 a few years ago. This illustrates the fact that creativity and a healthy lifestyle leads to longevity. I’m not a big fan of wildlife art, but I certainly love his painting with the eagle perched on that cliff face and Off in the distance is the Beaufort Range on Vancouver Island.

Its interesting what’s happening on the Island in the 21 century. Since rich people from all over the world have been purchasing property on Hornby there fewer farmers. natures is taking back the land. Trees are growing on the old farm lands. Robert Batemans must be pleased. Nature is the Preservation of the World.

A Hornby friend came for a visit one Christmas. He looked across the street and exclaimed “you have water front property across the street from a liquor store!!” Everyone at one time had a view of the ocean on Hornby as all the trees had been cut down to make way for farming. Everyone had a waterfront view but there was no liquor store! I found out years later the fellow was one of the biggest pot growers on the island. I always wondered, he never seemed to work, his nickname was “Lazy Larry” his illegal grow op was well hidden and he was never caught. At one time there was an illegal grow op on most streets in Cumberland. A mini depression had hit and everyone moved to Alberta for jobs. Interest rates hit 22%. I was teaching part time and selling art so was OK.

Growers would let their egos get the better of them and show off their creation, a room plugged with grow lights and healthy pot plants. Inevitably the word got around to the RCMP and they got to do some jail time. Also losing the thousands of dollars they invested. Grow lights are not cheap.