howtheduck (howtheduck) wrote in binky_betsy,

We Asked Lynn: “Who Are Your Favourite Artists?”

We Asked Lynn: “Who Are Your Favourite Artists?”

I will copy the text and comment after the cut:

Lynn has had the privilege of meeting many artists during her lifetime; for our ongoing Q and A session with her, we wanted to ask this question because we knew the answer would be interesting: “Who are some of the artists you admire?”

Technically, that is not the same question as what was in the title, because we know that the answer would be Charles Schulz and Lynn would be off on some Sparky tirade.

Robert and Birgit Bateman

It’s been wonderful fun, and a great privilege, to have become friends with Robert Bateman (website) and his wife, Birgit (website). The first time I went to their home, they were living in an oceanside house in Fulford Harbour on Saltspring Island.

Bob showed me around his hand-crafted Japanese style garden. A painter with a green thumb! Their house was warm, welcoming, and the perfect roost for a creative and down-to-earth family.

An interesting feature of the house was the alcove underneath it. Just below the guest room, a family of otters had made a nest–and from the windows upstairs, you could see them sliding down into the water. It was charming, but Birgit wanted them to move elsewhere. Bob liked their company. The pros and cons of leaving the otters to live under the house made for funny-but serious-running commentary, and I think the Batemans eventually moved inland, to avoid dislodging them.

Lynn actually has mentioned the Batemans before about 4 years ago. They are relatively close to where Lynn lives now and it's easy to see why Lynn might want to mention them now.

In their new home, Bob still works in a spacious, well-lit studio with big windows. The last time I was visiting, he was working on a large commissioned piece; a mountain scene. It was interesting to see his work in progress, to hear him talk about what he would change, what he would add. We always see his work in galleries, or in books, and we never think about the journey behind the images; how they are designed, worried about, and changed. I could see the materials he was using, the way he wiped his brushes, and the way he sat as he painted, and I felt very much at home.

Robert Bateman art
Vancouver Island Elegy: Painting by Robert Bateman
Robert Bateman Art
Birgit: Painting by Robert Bateman

Birgit Bateman is also a talented fine artist. She is a photographer, and her work makes you stop in your tracks. Birgit sees images in things another artist would casually walk past. Her photographs have been shown in galleries all over the world, and she has several books in print. To enjoy Bob and Birgit’s company on Saltspring Island, away from the pressures of publicity is a treat…and I look forward to seeing them again this summer.

Birgit gets more of a mention this time than she did the last time Lynn talked about this couple.

Here are some of Birgit’s Photographs:

Photo by Birgit Bateman
Tourists on Foot of Grand Buddha: Photo by Birgit Bateman
Photo by Birgit Bateman
Frenzied Koi: Photo by Birgit Bateman

Keith Campbell

Keith Campbell (website), a world-class potter and creator of some of the best political Canadiana, is a great friend. I admire his work, and his work ethic. He is an exceptional teacher whose knowledge, experience, and great sense of humour have inspired students from coast to coast. Every time I am in his studio, I am able to see works in progress, pieces he has discarded, and materials ready to be put to use. It’s an inspiring place.

I met Keith, his wife, Terry, and their daughter, Alex, when he asked me if I’d do a comic art workshop for “Artsperience”, a summer art program he had spearheaded at Canadore College in North Bay. I agreed. Our friendship was instant. For over 35 years, we were connected through classes, events, and community work.

For some reason, Lynn feels the need to fudge the number of years. She moved to North Bay in 1984 and 35 years from then is 2019. Lynn could say it was over 30 years and be perfectly accurate, but she just can't stop herself. Below is the link to the North Bay Pergola leaf on Keith Campbell and it does show that he started the Artsperience program and Lynn did work that program at least once. Important to Lynn is that Keith is a founding member of the WKP Kennedy Gallery which is going to show Lynn's touring show The Comic Art of Lynn Johnston in the fall, so it's good to keep in touch.

When my daughter, Katie, studied pottery at the Emily Carr College of Art here in Vancouver, she was (and was not) surprised to see Keith Campbell’s work in one of her textbooks; an example of craftsmanship in porcelain. Keith is another treasure in my life; a fine artist and very close friend.

Some of Keith Campbell’s Work:

Keith talks about these pieces:

The first image is called “Cat Woman Of The Senate” (Senator Pamela Wallin) and the other images is called “Never Enough For The Duff” (Senator Mike Duffy). Lynn was the one that came up with the title for the Duffy piece and suggested I should do a piece on Pamela Wallin. Both works are of porcelain, thrown, sculpted, photo stencil airbrushed with stains, draw, painted, with clear glaze over fired to C/6.

The Duffy work is 38 cm high and the Cat woman work is 22 cm high. My works are usually about Canadian History Myths and Legends. These works are present day political/social statements! They were made in 2015.

Cat Woman Of The Senate" (Senator Pamela Wallin)
Cat Woman Of The Senate” (Senator Pamela Wallin)
Never Enough For The Duff" (Senator Mike Duffy)
Never Enough For The Duff” (Senator Mike Duffy)

Oddly enough Pamela Wallin and Mike Duffy are both former Canadian television journalists who had to leave political office due to corruption and scandal.


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