20 1/2 years old, Hitch a ride to northern Alberta, wind chill factor 54 below zero, too cold to travel. During the summer, For a "few" dollars, I had modelled at the Banff School of Fine Arts, the Grande-Prairie Art Centre was looking for help, so, armed with nothing to lose, I pleaded my case and secured a position there. Grande Prairie was the Hub of Northern Alberta for anything Artsy. The centre Supplied materials and motivation for people across a large, semi isolated area, many would come once or twice a year or order by mail.Through the careful tutelage of the late "Busy" Bee Collins (Beatrice Collins), I quickly acquired a useful Knowledge of the materials used in arts and crafts of all kinds.
There was a lot of activity at the Centre, including Pottery and Painting classes, Supplies for Crafts and hobbies of all kinds, an enthusiastic and large model airplane club, and a weekly segment on a TV show in Dawson Creek , our local station. ( Dawson Creek is actually in British Columbia 80 Miles west of Grande Prairie). Through this media did we nourish the hunger of crafty people, with tantalizing" how to" and "whats what" in techniques and Materials. Mrs Collins was a tireless leader, full of ideas and good spirit, She is, and always will be, well remembered.
Twice a year the Centre would auction Arts and Crafts that came from all over. On such an occasion three drawings came into my hands , they were obviously by the same artist, only one was signed, "Robert Bateman", it was a sketch of wolf cubs, simple and marvelous , so impressed was I that I've been sketching ever since,I could easily carry pencil an pad, no matter how, or where, I travelled, and travel I did, but thats another story.
Custom portraits and Paintings