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, students and educators, as well as curators, collectors, art dealers and others who are just interested.

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, Dad wrote a letter twice-weekly to artists, non-stop for 15 years.

In the Fall of 2013, my dad was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told he had 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.

If you’re interested in listing with our Premium Artists, these listings get very high rankings on search engines. We charge $200 per year for this service, which helps fund the production of The Painter’s Keys. With over 50,000 direct subscribers reading the letters, a Premium Artist Listing on The Painter’s Keys site is a great way to share your work with others and direct visitors to your own artist website. 

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 has been managed by a team of dedicated creative people over the years, and without them this site would not be possible. At the present time, we are a streamlined crew consisting of Editor-in-Chief Shawn Jackson, Editor Judi Birnberg, Technical and Marketing Strategist Peter Bray and me. We also survive four studio dogs: Emily, Dorothy, Stanley and Sophie, who really held things together when they were with us.

About me: My name is Sara Genn and I’m a full-time, professional painter. I was born and grew up near Vancouver, Canada, lived in New York City for 14 years and recently moved to California. 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. These letters were written solely by him before I too 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 find out more by visiting our websites www.robertgenn.com and saraphina.com.

We would love to hear from you and thank you for your friendship. You can reach me at sara@saraphina.com

Sincerely,
Sara Genn
2018

​”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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