Under Construction – Cliff Swallows


Under Construction – Cliff Swallows by Robert Bateman

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Under Construction – Cliff Swallows – 9 x 12; Offset Paper; Edition Size 1500; $85.00 U.S.

“The summer days of my youth were spent at a cottage on a lake which bordered northern forest
and southern farmland. This was the perfect interface for a young artist and naturalist. The barn
was only yards away from the cottage and was a source of endless pleasure … hide and seek,
jumping in the hay, watching the pigs and sheep and cattle and chickens. It was the warm
and complex world of the traditional family farm.

The barn also provided habitat for wildlife. The most obvious denizens were the barn swallows.
Their cheery “peeta peeta” notes were blended with the barnyard sounds. Then one summer
some of the swallows were uttering a more melodious chirp. Young Bateman, the budding
birder, was thrilled to notice that some of the swallows had little creamy patches on their
foreheads as well as square tails and orangey rumps. My Peterson field guide told me that
these were cliff swallows. Before the arrival of Europeans [to North America] these birds
would have nested under protective overhangs of cliffs but for the last couple of centuries
the eaves of barns provided equal protection and barns were more abundant than cliffs
in most areas. Barn swallows build a simple cup attached to the wall or ledge but cliff
swallows create gourd shaped orbs from little blobs of mud. I see fewer and fewer
barns in my travels and it has been some time since I saw a cliff swallow but when
I do my heart goes straight as an arrow to those days of my youth.”
Robert Bateman


Robert Bateman has been called the most famous living artist. He continues to paint and tour the world to promote conservation and preservation of nature. We have represented Robert Bateman for decades and are now the sole publisher and distributor of his reproductions. We are so honored to work with him and witness his success. He has made such a massive contribution to the art world and the natural world as an artist and educator of the earth’s most important resources.

Nature as a subject is becoming more and more popular as our environment is in peril. What better subject is there than the beautiful creatures we share this world with? Robert Bateman’s appreciation and understanding of nature are apparent in his paintings. He is able to paint flora and fauna the way your eye would perceive it in real life. It is important that the animal takes full attention. The background becomes muted, and therefore it doesn’t take too much focus away from the subject. His paintings seem effortless and masterful all at once.

Bateman’s eye for composition is unparalleled. Each painting is a composed like a symphony, leading the eye to wander. From the backyards of North America to the sprawling plains of Africa. Robert Bateman captures nature the way it should be enjoyed. Above all he is a champion of wildlife. For this reason he has become a household name for art collectors.