character, Creating, Robert Genn

A mentor gone

Robert Genn – artist and writer whose twice weekly articles died yesterday.  I shall miss him for his humor, wisdom and practical tips – not just about art but about creating.  Rest in peace, Robert.  Your legacy is in your writing and example.

Beauty, Creating, Innovation, Pausing, Reflection, Robert Genn


Thanks once again to Robert Genn – here is something worth watching. You need 10 minutes.

Innovation, Reflection, Robert Genn, Seth Godin

A couple of good suggestions

One from Seth Godin – Write down what you delivered this year. He even uses the word “shipped” to make it specific. It might be a nice surprise if you thought you hadn’t done much. But whatever it is, it describes where you are now.

The other from Robert Genn. Make bets on what is on the way out. Genn cites newspapers and paper paper books for a start – fewer trees disappearing – and he lives in BC so it takes some imagination to imagine how many trees are disappearing from there when there are still so many. He likes the fact that authors still get paid – in fact they may be paid more. Paper mail is also lessening. Notice how your holiday cards are already down this year. But the good news is that fine art is up.

So what other things will go? Video stores, obviously. I’m prepared to bet that social networking will be in for a change when one of my sons threatens to leave Facebook. What will grab him next? The good thing about a new decade is that change is in store – and open to possibilities. May yours be great ones.

Creating, effectiveness, Innovation, planning, Reflection, Robert Genn


Robert Genn is a highly successful visual artist who has written a twice weekly newsletter for many years. Recently when he was painting on Moraine Lake in the Rockies, some American visitors noticed him and remarked that his style was very like the celebrated artist Robert Genn. Had he ever heard of him? Yes, he thought he had and actually thought he might still be alive.

But today in response to a visual artist who complained about her addiction to internet images, he offers some advice for artists of life as well as other media:

“It’s all about procrastination. Hanging out at a cabaret or hanging on to a computer, artists will do anything to avoid going to their room and going to work. Fear of failure and fear of success are just two of the issues that lead to escapism. With the quality and variety on the Internet, today’s painters face a hazard like never before.

Net Junkies are the new alcoholics. Artists who allow the Internet to take them where it will, throw in the towel of creative individualism. Too much non-directed exposure to the work of others humbles, discourages, and sullies our own best efforts. The result, if you stay at it long enough, can be rudderless dilettantism. But there’s help. It’s called NJA.

Net Junkies Anonymous knows that artists procrastinate in the name of research. They get hooked. The solution is to make research a process-driven activity. It starts with the easel station. Attend to your easel before you go near your machine. As you think of your needs, put notes beside your easel. Let your work tell you what you need to study. When the time is appropriate, take your list to the machine. Be efficient and cagey. The Internet is a great slave but also a cunning master. You have to go there on your own terms.”

And yes, of course I allow Robert’s regular communications to enter my world. But it is very rare when they are not worthwhile. You can catch him at the Painters Keys or on Facebook.