HJ/EDEnterprise Dispatch, Jan. 9, 2006

Dassel man is painter, poet, author, and teacher

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Dassel has its own Renaissance Man. Daryl Bateman not only paints, but also authored a book, sold men’s wear, writes poetry, built a sailboat, and teaches.

Bateman, originally from Mankato, has lived along Lake Washington since 1987. He’s an avid fisherman and fished along the shore where he lives now, long before he moved into the house there.

Bateman started painting while he was in junior high school, although then he used watercolors, ink and color pencils. He still uses color pencil occasionally, calling them inexpensive and amazing.

However, Bateman’s favorite medium is oil paint.

“I think you get the finest quality from oil. You can’t really beat it,” Bateman said.

Oil paint seems to have more luster, he said.

“It’s a medium that’s a little more challenge to work with,” Bateman said.

Oil also dries slowly so the painter can add layers. “It does not change. It does not fluctuate in color,” Bateman said.

Bateman had two years in formal art instruction in 1964-65. He also leads 18 students in an oil painting class in Crystal River, Florida, during the winter.

Bateman’s favorite painting is “Pin Tails at Dawn,” he said. He gave the original away, but had 100 prints made of it first.

“It’s one of the best works I’ve done,” Bateman added.

The most challenging painting Bateman ever did is “One More Season.” It is a four-foot by eight-foot mural of pheasants scurrying across a snowy field. The original mural will be displayed in the Robert Wilde Studio in Dassel within the next few months, Bateman said.

The mural was difficult to paint because it was painted on Masonite board that had to be hung on the rafters in his basement. To get the depth perception accurately in such a confined space, he had to stand with his back up against the basement wall.

“It was by far the most challenging,” Bateman said.

The mural also contains an inside joke. A Federal shell box from 1945, that originally featured a duck on the front, was painted on the right side of the mural. Bateman was asked by the man who commissioned the painting to change the duck on the box into the pheasant shown in the center of the mural, Bateman said.

Later, Bateman had 100 prints made of the mural. On the prints, the shell box is too small to see the pheasants. On the mural, though, the pheasant on the box is obviously identical to the pheasant in the center of the painting, he said.

Bateman currently is working on an oil painting of deer being hunted by a grizzly, old hunter with a flintlock rifle. The painting is barely half done. One of the deer in the foreground is still only sketched in, Bateman pointed out.

Bateman said lay out and depth perception are the two factors he stresses with his oil painting class in Florida. Many of his students assume in the beginning they can’t paint because they don’t know how to start, he said.

Bateman urges his students to bring a photograph or picture from a calendar to the first session so they have a plan. He has the students draw a grid over the top of their plan, so they can see how the parts of the layout relate to the grid and create depth, Bateman said.

By the end of the first class, the students already are painting the sky down to the horizon. “It’s a fun thing,” he said.

Bateman then has the students put away their painting for a week and not look at them until the next class. By not looking at it for a while, they see the painting with fresh eyes for the next class. Bateman also tells them to hold their paintings in front of a mirror. The reverse image in the mirror also helps them to spot mistakes, he said.

“I know what it takes to learn,” said Bateman, who taught school for 26 years.

By the end of the six-week class, students have a painting good enough to frame. He recalled how one of his students had created a painting of an old car in the desert for her husband, and how well it turned out.

“The rewards are tremendous,” Bateman said.

Not only did he teach classes in men’s wear merchandising, and sales, marketing and management in a vocational school in Pipestone, and Hutch Tech, but also to adults at 3M. Bateman retired from teaching in 1995.

Bateman also sold men’s clothing for 10 years in Mankato and six years in Glencoe. In addition, he served in the Navy and traveled around the world in 1958, and worked for the US Forestry in Montana while he was in high school.

Bateman wrote a book about his numerous experiences called “Memories are Forever.” It includes stories of his life and his family, as well as photographs and poetry he has written as well.

He and his wife, Sharon, have three children, Mark Bateman of Brainerd, Eric Bateman and Marsha Schmidt, both of Hutchinson. What happened to his daughter was another reason he authored a book, he said.

Her heart had stopped during a canoe ride at a lake in northern Minnesota. She fell out of the canoe and was underwater for 20 minutes, Bateman said.

After a series of miracles that led to her rescue and a four-day coma, she survived and now is thriving, he said.

Life is Like a Snowball

By Daryl D. Bateman

Life is like a snowball, when you roll it down a hill,

It grows and grows more beautiful, until at last it’s still.

And as it grows and grows, roadblocks do appear,

Like the rock which stops the snowball, obstacles cause our fears.

But isn’t it just wonderful, as we face our challenges each day,

That our abilities, our knowledge, and confidence – lead us along the way?

Human intuition is really a tremendous thing,

It helps us to overcome frustration, encourages us to laugh and even sing.

For life is like a snowball, as it rolls on and on and on,

Our obstacles become the past, our fears the magic wand.

Build your life upon the dreams, that the snowball can provide,

The lesson is quite simple, don’t let your snowball slide.

Face your problems with inspiration, your obstacles with inner strength,

Let your life grow and grow more meaningful – each day it grows in length.

This poem, “A second Chance at Life,” was written by Daryl Bateman after his daughter nearly drowned in a canoe accident.

Too often we forget the little things and the value of each and every day; The beauty of a sunset or the sparkling waves in a small bay.

The birds that sing or the sound of a loon on a still night; The smell of new cut hay, meadow flowers, or a beautiful mountain sight;

The freshness of October air and frost upon the land; The aroma of fresh coffee and hickory-smoked ham.

The laughter of our children as they frolic and play: The warm satisfaction we feel as we watch them grow each day.

Life is full of difficulties, challenges, and obstacles it seems; However, it is also filled with joy, love, miracles, and dreams.

Marsha, as your mom and I have watched you grow throughout the years; We have had many rewards, blessings and a few tears.

But none can equal what we receive from your smile, kindness, and love; The near tragic experience you had, became a blessing from above.

The outcome was a miracle and a lesson for each of us to see: God has a plan for you...a path to follow where you’re supposed to be.

As I looked at you on the day we pulled your lifeless body from the lake; I was shocked...but reminded of you sleeping, and prayed you would soon awake.

The Lord provided answers to our many prayerful concerns; Every step of your progress was filled with positive returns.

You still face many challenges as you slowly heal to full health; But remember that the talents and dreams you possess are far richer than monetary wealth.

Marsha, you are important to all of us, and especially to the Lord; Look at your life as an opportunity to give and receive rewards.

Thanks be to God for your second chance at life; For you are our special daughter, a loving mother and wife.

Love, Dad and Mom

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