I grew up happily in Fall River, a then rural area outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Most of my family still resides there. My childhood memories (good and bad) are common themes that run through my art. I live in a 200 year old farmhouse at the base of the North Mountain in the Annapolis Valley where I share a studio and gallery with my husband, artist Alan Bateman and until recently our grown children Jack and Lily. Nature is my therapy and I immerse myself in it as often as possible. Most days are spent painting, hiking and dreaming up new projects, not necessarily in that order. My career is multi- faceted, silk painting, my chosen medium, has supplied me with endless possibilities, which have included, performance, designing for theatre, gallery exhibitions, illustrating and building larger than life instillations. My work also has taken me away on a number of adventures. An artist in Residency in Hong Kong, across Canada tour live painting with Stuart Mclean and the Vinyl Café and a tour performing in Singapore to name a few. I wake up every day grateful for the life my partner and I have created and excited by the possibilities it has afforded us.
How did you know you wanted to be an artist?
The idea evolved. I didn’t have the confidence in my abilities as an artist but I was full of creativity. I was the idea person , even as a child in elementary school, kids would line up at my desk for ideas when we were presented with an art project. I explored many mediums, silk painting gave me the ability to visually translate my ideas.
What was the boldest thing you have done as a silk artist?
Hmm, it would be a cross between my hand painted installations and my live performance art. I feel the most nervous when I attempt large (up to 30 ft)+ live painting performances with musicians because others are depending on me to be successful. The bold projects, although stressful are the best part of my career.
You and your partner, Alan Bateman are both artists, what the best thing about being married to another artist?
You have someone who shares a common creative outlook in all aspects of life.
Art runs in your family, your farther in law Robert Bateman is the famous wildlife artist, does his work influence you?
When I was living in B.C. and first starting out I shared a studio with my father in law. It was inspiring to be part of a working studio, lots of exciting projects going on. Another influence would be his advice on drawing wildlife. I have always interpreted animals visually in my work. He would critique my work, not quite understanding the creative liberties I took with the subject matter in my paintings. I mostly found this amusing but years later (before we had access to the internet) when I was in my own working studio, he would send me sketches of crows in flight etc. at my request. His drawings were extremely helpful.
Best thing about being a mom?
Everything . They taught me about unconditional love, human nature and myself. Our children are the best thing I have done with my life.
Favourite city in the world?
Because we choose to live in the country it is fun to visit (not live in) cities. It would be hard to choose a favorite. I enjoy each city we visit for their unique qualities. Whether it be their diversity, theatre district, dining, quaintness etc. I am and always have been a fan of Halifax.
Teetotaler or something stronger?
I only tend to drink socially. So mostly a teetotaler but I love a glass of wine preferably a full bodied red.
Most recent indulgence?
An airplane ticket to France.
Walk, bike or drive?
All of the above. I am very active and enjoy hiking/ biking every day, but also enjoy long car drives exploring as we go.
Who is the one person in the world you would like to sit beside on a long flight and what would you ask her or him?
Hmm too many people to list that I would like to sit and have a long chat with unfortunately many of them have passed away. As far as a long flight right now I would probably prefer to sit with my daughter or son who now live away from home and just listen to them tell me everything about their new lives.
You are a big voice for women’s rights, would you ever consider running for office one day?
I can’t imagine ever wanting to run for office, too much red tape. As an artist I can be more impactful using my work. No one to tell me to tone it down..
“The possible’s slow fuse is lit by the imagination” Emily Dickenson
Last book you read?
Fire and Fury, Michael Wolff . When Donald Trump was voted in I was horrified, I still cannot believe it and find it stressful to watch him in the news. I thought Reading the book might help to desensitize myself.. it did not work.
Favourite cause, group or activist
The rights of women and children