Artists in Their Studios: Where Art Is Born.


154 pages
Contains Photos
ISBN 978-1-894898-58-4
DDC 709.711'2






Reviewed by Patricia Morley

Patricia Morley is a professor of English and Canadian Studies at
Concordia University, an associate fellow of the Simone de Beauvoir
Institute, and author of Margaret Laurence: The Long Journey Home.


This handsome, richly illustrated portrait of West Coast Canadian artists at work affords readers an intimate look into how, where, and why they live, work, and create.


The artists are placed alphabetically. I began with two of the painters whose work I knew best: Robert Bateman and Emily Carr. Bateman, who lives and works on Salt Spring Island, is considered by many to be the leading wildlife artists in the world. In six, full-page spreads, we met the artists both inside and outside his home, and the friends who support his work: Alex Fischer, the self-described “dragon at the gate” who controls the nerve centre; Kate Carson, who handles business; and Birgit Freybe Bateman, Robert’s wife, whose colour photographs have been published in National Geographic. Bateman is blessed with friends and helpers, and we meet them both inside and outside his house.


Emily Carr had a difficult and impoverished life on Canada’s West Coast, but nothing could keep her from her passion to paint and record Canada’s northwest coast and the beauty of the Queen Charlotte islands. Carr wrote several artistic autobiographies, including Growing Pains. They caught her love of colour, her fascination with Native art, and her friendships.


Robert Amos has created striking panoramic collages of 33 artists: their lives, their painting techniques, and the scenes both inside and outside their homes that fascinated them. Amos, now a full-time professional artist, was born in Belleville, Ontario, and graduated from Toronto’s York University. He has focused his work on the city of Victoria, British Columbia, for the past 20 years. Amos has written four books about his paintings, and was elected in 1996 to the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts. Artists in Their Studios is a rich and complex study.


Amos, Robert., “Artists in Their Studios: Where Art Is Born.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 26, 2024,