About The Painters Keys

Dear Artist,

Thanks for joining The Painters Keys. We sincerely hope you find the letters beneficial. By subscribing, you have connected to a worldwide community of creative people (if you haven’t, look for the tab at the bottom right of this page.) We are mostly painters, but also sculptors, writers, photographers and educators, as well as curators, collectors, art dealers and others who are just interested. Many subscribers are art students – often encouraged to subscribe by their instructors.

Depending on your time zone, your letter should arrive in your inbox Tuesday and Friday mornings. The letters can always be expected to be about the same length. Your time is valuable – if the subject of a letter doesn’t interest you, just delete it. The next one may have more value to you.

This twice-weekly letter began in the winter of 1998 by my dad, artist Robert Genn, while on a family sojourn in Southern Spain. He started with five recipients – artists he knew might accept an epistolary studio friend. Soon, requests trickled in to be added to the list, and he came to understand the idea of a Brotherhood and Sisterhood of Artists – a worldwide community of creative people with a lot of the same concerns. Of his idea he wrote, “While ours seems a simple business, there’s just so much worth knowing. I’m finding a great deal of it has never been properly expressed before. I hope you’ll stay around for the adventure.” Since then, my Dad wrote a letter to artists twice-weekly, non-stop for 15 years.

In the Fall of 2013, Dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given perhaps a year to live. Along with painting, writing and organizing his archive, he asked if I would continue the letters for as long as they might be useful. Since then, I have written every other letter, and republished weekly one of Dad’s. He calculated that if we ran all his previous letters once a week, they would last for almost 3 decades. You can read more about this in his letter, “The Bomb,” written on October 25, 2013.

Most of the material for the Twice-Weekly Letters comes from subscriber input, our own studio concerns, and a life of painting. One of its great values is the tremendous interactive responses we’re seeing in the live comments written by our readers. In earlier letters, we have called these our “clickbacks.” Recently, we’ve evolved to a more enriched, interactive forum where readers can respond, share, like and reply to one another’s input. We’re truly excited to see our Painter’s Keys Community so vibrant and full of valuable insights. Readers offer alternate ideas and systems – information, inspiration, art research, experience, stories and sometimes arguments. The responses are found at the bottom of each letter. To the right of the letter is the archive of previous letters and responses, and you can also search for any subject at the top of this column using key words. If you wish to correspond, simply go to the comments area below the letter and add your remarks. Or if you wish to add a personal note, you can write to me at sara@painterskeys.com. Time and again artists write to remark on the value, quality and timeliness of these responses.

Also included on The Painter’s Keys site is an Art Show Calendar and a Workshop Calendar. These are inexpensive ways for artists to attract clients and keep others informed.

A page called Bob’s Best is dedicated to DVDs, online tutorials and digital downloads by artists and educators that we personally recommend. People send us material every day, and the ones featured on this page have been studied and determined by us to be the best currently offered. If you want to be added, please email us at bobsbest@painterskeys.com.

Our Premium Artist Listings get very high rankings on search engines. We charge $200 per year for this service. A Premium Listing on The Painter’s Keys site will make thousands of people aware of you and drive more visitors to your own website, if you have one. In comparing ourselves with other art websites, we are far ahead of the pack in attracting the repeat attention of search engines. This is because there are so many artists’ names, constantly new material, and so much non-commercial and valuable content on our site.

In the letters, the only time we put a directive to someone’s commercial site is when it’s thought to be of direct value to other artists.
At no time will we give or sell your name or address to anyone for any purpose. If you forward the letter or any part of our site to a friend or fellow artist, they won’t be automatically subscribed. Subscribing is done voluntarily.

If you change your email address, please don’t forget to re-subscribe to the letter on this website. Your previous address will be automatically deleted.

In addition to The Painter’s Keys, we have a very popular website called Art Quotes. For researchers, or artists just looking for inspiration, this is the world’s largest art quote collection–online or in a book. It’s entirely the work of volunteer subscribers and new quotes are going in almost daily. All entries are searchable by author and subject. Art Quotes also has a Facebook page here.

The Painter’s Keys website has been managed by a terrific team of dedicated creative people over the years, and without them this site would not be possible. Shawn Jackson is steadfast in her role as Editor-in-Chief and Quote-Manager. Marilyn McFadyen Hurd neutralizes the worry of fiscal imbalance. Sam Kaczur is our cheerful social networking coordinator and computer problem-solver. Judi Birnberg is our long-suffering letter editor, who removes our redundant commas and puts crutches under our wonky gerunds. Sarah Garland ships, shops, manages studio business, and keeps us on our toes. We also survive four studio dogs; Emily, Dorothy, Stanley and Sophie. Without this team it would be impossible to make The Painter’s Keys and the Twice-Weekly Letters happen.

About me: My name is Sara Genn, and I’m a full-time, professional painter. I was born and grew up near Vancouver, Canada, but have lived in New York City for the past 12 years. I also compose, record and tour with my eponymous Fender Rhodes trio and, at times, with French orchestral-electro musician Wax Tailor. My Dad, Robert Genn (1936-2014), was a Canadian landscape painter who worked out of a woodland studio beside our family home near Vancouver. He painted full-time and wrote these benevolent letters on art. He offered them for free to anyone who subscribed and invited artists to participate in a worldwide creative community. He published these letters into hard-bound books, and wrote other books on art. From time to time he gave seminars and workshops. These letters were written solely by him before I began writing, and none have ever been contracted out. “The whole thing is a joy. It is an honour to have so many friends with the same concerns.” If you’re interested, you can see examples of our paintings by going to www.robertgenn.com and saraphina.com.

That’s about it. If you have any questions, suggestions, or further input, please don’t hesitate to contact us at theteam@painterskeys.com. We would love to hear from you and thank you for your friendship.

Sara Genn, on behalf of Robert Genn and The Painters Keys team.

​”Art is a form of love. Art is the ultimate gift. Art heals life.” (Robert Genn)​

Robert and Sara Genn Twice-Weekly Letters

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