In 1937 Bateman wrote: 'I would like to paint a quite serious picture; one that did not depend on any comic situation to make it appeal...the picture I have in mind is quite a simple one. A landscape perhaps, with just the way the light falls on a house or a tree, almost anything would do for a subject so long as it expresses the beauty of earth and sky and water, so that it would charm you'.
Having painted in much of Europe he finally discovered, in 1965, the Maltese islands. There he found the climate and unspoilt charm ,
that he was looking for. Settling eventually in Gozo he spent the next five years painting tirelessly, struggling modestly to master the art of
colour and light, continually experimenting with different painting techniques. He painted what he saw; the boats in the harbour, the donkey carts in the lane, the village bars and local inhabitants, churches and landscapes.
When he died on the roadside whilst out for a walk in Mgarr in 1970 he left behind bundles of paintings and drawings, often executed on the backs
of envelopes, nearly all unsigned.
Since the recent research into his paintings by Bateman's granddaughter, who tracked down several people who remember him and discovered the
locations he depicted, there has been a sudden interest in Bateman in Malta itself. He has been taken into the hearts of the Maltese
and Gozitans and in 2012 a series of commemorative stamps was issued by Malta Post.