Sometimes the beauty is transient like the shifting shadows on the water of a bath in an oasis, the reflections on a lake or a waterfall or the rippled desert sand sculpted by the wind. Then there is beauty more permanent like the doors of an abandoned barn, the weathered shutters on a stable wall or the timeless bell atop Mount Sinai.
My exhibition Near and Far includes both new paintings and previously exhibited works. I concentrate on painting as a photorealist and enjoy the challenge of transforming a flat blank canvas into the illusion of a three dimensional space that a viewer feels that they could step into. I try to recreate every line, shape and colour from my photographic models and favour balanced compositions combined with intense light and dark shadows. There are also works of realism and my first works of an expressionist style.
Photorealism, itself, has a range of sub styles. "Tiers of Water", one of two exhibited works of scenes not in Egypt , is an example of pure photorealism. This painting represents in precise detail what a person standing next to the waterfall would be seeing. I used techniques to give the illusion of the life or movement of the waterfall frozen in time. The image is a close-up of a small waterfall from a royal teak mansion in Thailand , with the viewer, "near".
Face of Sinai, is a representation of a "far" scene, which is still photorealistic, in complete detail and fully in focus, as a person would see it from a distance. Compare these works to "Days in Aswan ", where the scene is both near and far, and both distances are in focus.
I hope my photorealistic paintings allow viewers to feel as if their experience of seeing a painting is the experience of being in the place, whatever their emotional reaction may be.From another perspective, this exhibition includes works of art and works of emotion. Sometimes to my dismay, I realize that becoming a full time artist did not reduce stress and anxiety in my life. I want to present some impressions of the range of frustrating and challenging emotions that I have faced in striving for excellence and creativity.
These are paintings which are both near and far to me. They express some of what is down deep inside of me - and perhaps all of us - hidden far from public view.
Batte hopes her photorealistic paintings allow viewers to feel as if their experience of seeing a painting is the experience of being "in the place" whatever their emotional reaction may be.
But the life of an artist surrounded by, seeing and creating beauty is not always as gentle and simple as we might imagine. Batte says she places very high standards on her work and has been reticent to paint in a freer more impressionistic style. She decided to take what she considers as artistic risk with a set of works in "Near and Far" that deal with the darker side of her struggles as an artist. "I wanted to present some impressions of the range of frustrating and challenging emotions that I have faced in striving for excellence and creativity."