About Michael Batey
Born in 1963 and raised on a farm in Welton, Cumbria, Michael Batey has never been a stranger to rural life and natural beauty.
His teachers at school recognised early on that he had an aptitude for art, and tried to convince him to go to art college to develop his talent. However drawn by his love of the great outdoors, Michael always wanted to be a gamekeeper so left school at 16 to embark on his chosen career which would last for over 35 years.
Following an accident in 2006 where his leg was trapped under a tree, Michael was forced to take four months away from his day job. He used this time to re-awaken his passion for art. 14 years on and self-taught, Michael is now a full time professional and successful artist.
His early work gradually evolved from mainly watercolours and chalk drawings (predominantly portraits) to impasto landscapes, in the impressionist style of the Scottish Colourists.
His first exhibition was in 2010 at High Head Sculpture Valley, near Ivegill. Since then his work has been shown at numerous exhibition spaces on both sides of the border. View recent, current and past exhibitions here.
It is only in recent years that Michael developed a desire to loosen up his style, and shift to a more muted palette. He had always been deeply impressed by the work of Turner, and felt he would like to introduce some influences into his work. He began to experiment with different mediums using varnishes and thinners, until he felt at home.
The ethereal land and seascapes he creates in his studio are often imaginary vistas, inspired by feelings and emotions he gathers from nature. Michael deliberately omits any sign of contemporary life from of his work to encourage a timeless interpretation of nature in its rawest form.
"People may feel they recognise my paintings as somewhere they know, but they are often from my own head. They can simply evolve from the years spent outdoors."
“I’m out there every day and I feel the elements, see the light changing, feel it on my skin. That can really affect my moods when I’m painting. When I’ve had a right battering from a storm my paintings are quite loose and fluid.”
Ex-Gamekeeper + Artist Michael Batey works with a variety of mediums and is always exploring new techniques in application, as well as different surfaces.