Curiouser and curiouser

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Dear Artist,

This morning I was on the phone with a painter I’d Googled. He Googled me as we spoke. We looked at each other’s stuff. Then we mutually Googled the same works of the Spanish painter Joaquin Sorolla. We moved on to Francisco Domingo Marques, a teacher to whom Sorolla gave a lot of credit. This led to the less well-known Bernando Ferrandiz and Munoz Degrain, fellow Valencians who were also influences on Sorolla’s early work. They were great painters we had not previously heard of.

We live in the fastest curve of democratic learning yet to occur. Search engines have the potential to revolutionize traditional systems of education. It is a wave of free thinking and awareness of alternates, a bonanza for the independently curious. Like the “Mind Mapping” concept developed by Tony Buzan, ideas and images flow naturally from one to another and form into an ever-expanding web.

In his remarkable little book, Painting as a Pastime, Winston Churchill said, “I have always had a curious nature; I enjoy learning, but I dislike being taught.” Winston understood one of the basics of learning — self-direction — the way of the autodidact. He would have been proud to announce the triumph of independent curiosity.

The giant online Wikipedia is currently about ten times larger than the tree-based Britannica. And it’s not the largest. That honour goes to the Hudong, founded in 2005 by Dr. Pan Haidong, with over 4 million articles and 2 million registered contributors.

Since its inception in 1967, the American magazine Psychology Today makes a pile of magazines about 20 feet high. You can mouse every one of its mind-benders. If you happen to be thinking about creativity, for example, try Googling any of the following: “What do creative people look like?” “Stimulating imagination through constraints.” “Painting and praying.” “Being nice to yourself increases creativity.” “Get creative, lose weight.” “Hobbies — the personal path to creativity.” “Are conservatives less creative than liberals?” “Can fundamentalists be creative?” And so it goes. On and on. This is the time of the curious. And it all comes through a tiny line or out of thin air to find us in our homes, offices and studios. “Curiouser and curiouser,” cried Alice.

Best regards,

Robert

PS: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” (Arthur C. Clarke)

Esoterica: After talking with my new friend and fellow traveller, I wandered to my easel. It was still early. The cars on the distant highway were tiny lights moving toward the big city. The laptop beside my palette sprang to life when I touched it, producing a sharp image of last summer’s rugged mountain climb. “Is this a dream?” I wondered. Somewhere around 1830, a British Lord, seeing an early steam engine, declared, “This is not good; now the common people will be able to move around at will.” I picked up my brush. “This is good,” I thought, “now the common people can go anywhere their curiosity takes them.”

Learning more than you ever thought possible
by B.J. Adams, Washington, DC, USA

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“Summer Flowers Geranium detail”
mixed media by B.J. Adams

You are so right about this era of technology being close to magic and the wonder at being able to see, read about, and enjoy any subject, finding more on any question than you ever thought possible. My problem is that once you start into any subject on the Internet, as you mentioned with creativity, you end up going on and on, sometimes getting lost, and learning more than you thought possible, which is good for a ‘learner’ but seems to zap the time like nothing has ever before. There goes my drawing time, painting time, my exercise time, and even more mundane parts of life. But when I do call a stop, I always want to see and learn more! Having just returned from Tuscany, I still feel seeing the real thing so much more exciting than the research showed me, but maybe it was the looking at everything in miniature, first, that made the real so very impressive.

Beware — here be dragons!
by Pesach Ben Levi, Fayetteville, NY, USA

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“Red”
original sketch
by Pesach Ben Levi

The Internet is the greatest enemy to personal productivity ever invented. It is a mind stealer and addictive. You go on to look up one tiny thing, and before you know it, POOF! an hour is gone. And creative minds are the most susceptible! They are generally more visual and the Web is nothing if not a visual trap of unending beauty. As we creative types are our own bosses, we don’t have the resources that the corporations have to monitor our ‘usage’ and control it. Many major corporations lock out access to Facebook, YouTube, and Instant Messaging — for good reason. It takes strong self control to not lose easel productivity time to this insidious danger. Beware! Here be dragons!



There are 3 comments for Beware — here be dragons! by Pesach Ben Levi

From: Ron Wilson — Mar 30, 2010

Brilliant “Red” painting. Exotic without any of the sinister overtones usually found with full frontal work. Good taste be our friend. Marvellous.

From: Judith Silver — Mar 30, 2010

So true, Pesach! I get stuck online but in such a delightful way, linking around endlessly. It draws you in and won’t let go. Poof, an hour! More like two or three precious hours when I could be painting! The internet is worse than chocolate chip cookies.

From: Anonymous — Mar 30, 2010

The old mapmakers used to say: ‘Beyond this place there are dragons.’

In praise of masters
by Russ Henshall, Pulham Market, Norfolk, UK

It is all very well Winston Churchill ‘hating to be taught’ but if he had not had a good education surrounded by people who had great knowledge, who knows who he might have been? No one really likes to settle down and learn by instruction — least of all artists and those others of a creative nature. Most of us need a reason to ask questions and thereby absorb new information. You may recall that I sent you a letter response recently about all my tools, brushes, planes and spanners, etc. They all have pet names! I remember telling you that I have a ‘personal relationship’ with each and every tool and this helps me to realize all the work I do in my workshop. Winston would be the first to accept that I had to learn from others (my masters) just how to use my tools properly. Ever tried to sharpen a drill bit by hand without prior knowledge? So learning leads to teaching quite naturally. But no one likes to be told — ask a 14-year-old boy.



There is 1 comment for In praise of masters by Russ Henshall

From: Lorraine Khachatourians — Mar 30, 2010

So true on many levels. Many years ago, I remember someone regretting that they hadn’t started piano lessons, because 10 years later, they would now be able to play. That stuck in my head, so when I took early retirement, I started both to paint and to play piano. Now I love to paint, learning new things all the time, and playing the Chopin I love. And that is only 7 years into retirement. So much more to learn and do!

In praise of natural learning
by Ren Allen, Jonesborough, TN, USA

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Ren Allen

I love that you wrote about one of my favorite topics, natural learning. I’m actually speaking at the same conference as Peter Gray who writes for Psychology Today so I couldn’t help but respond today. As an artist and unschooling Mum, I really enjoyed this latest email you sent. One of my best friends and amazing artists was quite damaged by her art education. She’s still recovering. I guess it’s all about knowing when/where and how to seek out knowledge that helps you grow without stifling your own inner voice. Autodidacts never cease to amaze me….my four children show me the way every day.

The creativity of Liberals and Conservatives
by Paul Wolf, The Pas, MB, Canada

For more than 10 years I worked in areas of the Canadian Fed. Government that required enormous creativity. I worked with many highly qualified (often more than I) professionals. At the same time I was close friends with more than a dozen West Coast (Canadian) painters and sculptors, and with my wife operated an art gallery — “Artists West.” I therefore had an unusual opportunity to compare personalities and training and personal values, conservative versus liberal in my day to day experience over a long time. (As you know liberal is not a “dirty” word in Canada – instead it is honoured!) In my experience, the answer is yes. Conservatives are the ones who immediately question and to strenuously check to see if new discoveries in fields like biology etc. are replicable. The creative personalities, liberal to a person, immediately begin to consider and use the new ideas, testing as they go. I haven’t yet looked up “Are conservatives less creative than liberals?” but my bet is the response is YES.



There is 1 comment for The creativity of Liberals and Conservatives by Paul Wolf

From: Jim Oberst — Mar 30, 2010

I’ve become much more liberal in the last six years as I’ve pursued art. So… which comes first? I wonder if there’s cause & effect operating.

The illusion of progress
by Chris Saunders

The last quote about the steam engine is by (the Duke of) Wellington is actually: “It will just encourage the poor to travel needlessly!” Of course, Wikipedia is notoriously full of inaccuracies, having no system of checks and balances, (editorial integrity). Sam Clemons (Mark Twain), said “If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed; if you read it, you’re misinformed.” In this dubious “information age,” one third of Americans are functionally illiterate, and 70% can’t read two editorials and fathom the disparate viewpoints. Ahh, don’t cha just love the illusion of progress?



There is 1 comment for The illusion of progress by Chris Saunders

From: anon — Mar 30, 2010

Actually, there are many levels of ilusion – for example, an assumption that the progress should be measured by information accuracy. Perhaps being able to deal with ambiguous is more valuable? Ask any succesful project manager.

Wikipedia unreliable
by Jacqui Douglas, Australia

I am doing a BFA degree as a student in Australia. We are not able to quote anything off Wikipedia in our essays as the University will not allow it. Wikipedia may be large but it is not classed as academic research.

(RG note) Thanks, Jacqui. This seems to be changing. Some academics are naturally going to lock themselves into ivory towers and resist a democratically-based, grass roots, learning environment. But many observant academics are finding the wiki’s more up to date than other, more traditional sources. Further, when the facts count, they can be checked by going to sources and other publications that the researcher has tended to trust in the past. As a further note, Wikipedia goes to one heck of a lot of trouble to find and footnote sources, and seems, of late, to be trying to gain credibility by demanding footnoting and sourcing even more.



There is 1 comment for Wikipedia unreliable by Jacqui Douglas

From: Jan Watson — Apr 02, 2010

My husband works for a research company and uses wikipedia all the time. He says you don’t quote wikipedia because in the earu years it was known to be incomplete and people were using their own definitions. there is a place at the bottom of the article that tells you wwwhere to find credible information and on thos articles you can cut and paste to your info pages to rewrite into a very credible research paper.

Curious Minds
by Chris May, Burnley, Lancashire, UK

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Chris May

Hi Robert, I’m an abstract painter based in the North of England and in my ‘spare time’ I run a charity called “Curious Minds.” You’re right about learning — the systems we use need to change radically if our schools are going to keep pace with the world around them. Further, your letters are a regular treat — thank you.

(RG note) Thanks, Chris. Chris is working with schools and educators to develop the creative skills of young people in unique ways. He’s interested in forming partnerships to bring about positive personal and social change through the development of curiosity, creativity and learning. It’s a good idea. For curious minds who might want to take a look, the site is at www.curiousminds.org.uk

Mind mapping one thing to another
by Dave Edwards, Blyth, Northumberland, England

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Stained glass window bunny
mixed media by Dave Edwards

I so agree with you regarding Tony Buzan’s mind-mapping being similar to Googling. I love to find an artist I haven’t heard of before. I will be Googling Joaquin Sorolla for example. It is a pure stream-of-consciousness experience at times. When Googling one artist I get led to other artists who have been an influence and then before I know I have often discovered someone else I was unaware of. I am a member of Redbubble and your name is often mentioned by fellow Redbubblers, many of us who also subscribe to your letters.



There is 1 comment for Mind mapping one thing to another by Dave Edwards

From: Doug Sandland — Mar 30, 2010

Here is but one more example of your mission, Robert, and the use of the net to carry it out. Some time ago you ran an example of my family historical graphite drawings and the back story that went with it.

One of the comments about that came back from Mr.Edwards. He & I have been communicating, sharing samples & experiences since that time. That pleasure,(At least on my part) would not have happened without the “monumental waste of time” of the internet.

And here we are again, with an (un-intended) reminder from Robert Genn on the net that I havn’t written my ‘new long distance friend’ Dave for too long a time.

Thanks for your letters, Robert and thanks Dave for your clever & timely little reminder of Easter.

Sorolla Museum in Madrid
by Susan Viccars, Vancouver, BC, Canada

This morning’s letter brought back a memory of visiting the Sorolla Museum in Madrid about three years ago. It is a small museum, off in a quieter area of the city, housed in what was once the Sorolla family home. Sorolla’s lush and yet understated, mainly figurative, paintings are the feature but the pleasant house with its furnishings and charming garden all give substance to the artist too. If you’re ever in Madrid and you haven’t visited the museum, make it a side trip on a pleasant morning or afternoon ramble.

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World of Art Featured artist Henry Pryke,  

032610_henry-pryke-artwork

Haliburton Marsh

acrylic painting by Henry Pryke

You may be interested to know that artists from every state in the USA, every province in Canada, and at least 115 countries worldwide have visited these pages since January 1, 2013.

That includes Shane Rogers of Victoria, BC, Canada, who wrote, “I always read your letter and feel I have somehow reconnected to the deeper meaning of life, peering a little closer at where I am or what I’m doing at that moment.”

And also Ling Yeung, who wrote, “While the Internet is messy and dirty at times, be thankful that it is largely uncensored in the west, and people can say what they wish — stupid thing, even wrong thing.”

Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for Curiouser and curiouser

 

 

From: Carol Kairis — Mar 25, 2010

True Robert~

The curious can take them anywhere ther mind wants to take them, value is in value. Never a secret..time itself validates worthiness. Always standing firm, beyound expectation…for expectation. Do really the “common people” rely upon those who seemingly excell? No…truely it stands beyound ourselves to trueness. Which is the value passed on.

From: Richard Smith — Mar 25, 2010

I’m a self-confessed information junkie. My wife cannot comprehend why anyone would get pleasure out of sitting around reading the encyclopedia. And yeah, the internet is even worse. So to follow Bob’s image a bit further, when I first hooked up to the net, I would follow information links, like Alice following her rabbit down the hole whichever way they went. Seriously, I couldn’t stop myself, there’s just an incredible pile of neat stuff out there. Nowadays I’ve managed to get some control of myself, but lord help me if I get going on looking at the work of other artists, I’m a gonner. And while I accept responsibility for my own actions, you’ve got to know that this site can suck me right in. Hey! Couldn’t this be that procrastination thing Robert was writing about? If I don’t post this message soon I’ll have wasted another evening.

From: Chris Everest — Mar 26, 2010

In my day job working in a University library I am witnessing this democratization of information from both sides. Whilst I relish the idea of total freedom to find, use and comment on whatever floats your boat I still think that there is a need for the user to interpret what he/she finds with a modicum of care. Like reading a newspaper you go seeking information but you also must be aware of the writer’s position on the subject. You see what he sees through his vision initially.

In my guise as artist however I think of myself AS the interpreter, the presenter of a position and hope that the viewer appreciates that position. It is like the difference between a photograph and a painting. Although the photograph is definitely still an image seen through a different frame it pretends to a reality that the painting doesn’t care about. When each of us sees we see with different eyes, different scenes, in different moods, to capture that moment floats my boat.

From: Rene Wojcik — Mar 26, 2010

This laptop I am using is now my main means of accessing the world. It used to be the public library but that too is becoming a source of information that will soon disappear. Books can now be downloaded and read on a variety of electronic gagets. Videos of art and art instruction can be view on this laptop too. I have always been curious about almost everything I can think of and this laptop has now become my major source for information and locating friends I have not heard from in years. I still have several book shelves of books on art and other subjects. I have to admit I still like to crack the binding on a daily basis. Next to this laptop there are three books. If the electricity fails or the battery goes dead I still have my books.

From: Chris Everest — Mar 26, 2010

“They” have been predicting both “the end of history” and “the death of the book” for years but they both seem to totter along. I accept I can access all these letters online but the feel of the books Robert (and team) put together is special. I’ve seen individuals who sniff the brand new paper of a bound book or stroke the leather binding of a volume. Very few people stick their noses in a computer (not willingly anyway). Art and creativity may very well be more than just a visual medium.

The sensesurround artist : scratch, sniff and spatter.

From: John W — Mar 26, 2010

Curious and ambitious students can get more out of open education. As an instructor in a well known art school, I can attest that many, not all, get more value from a short workshop with a willing professional artist at work outside the mainstream art-education system–particularly if the student needs and wants to go to work in the field. Like surfing the Net in a motivated way, they take what they need and move on.

From: Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki — Mar 26, 2010

On many car rides my husband Sinisa has to suffer listening about things like distribution of lactose intolerance in the world, origins of Slavic tribes and their ancient connection to Swedes, root causes for the Tootsy genocide, mechanism of absorption of iron in human body and why that is especially important for males…just some of my latest topics dug out from Wikipedia.

I think that Sinisa misses the old days in the car when he used to talk and I used not to listen. The way I see it, the more time people spend learning useless information, less time there is to get yourself into any kind of trouble. Maybe internet will eventually heal the humankind from making wars?

From: Lynn Wade — Mar 26, 2010

Your last thought in the Esoterica – and the way you wrote it – gave me one of those chills that starts at the neck and goes down both arms. Just occurred to me that I could let you know that there are SO many people enjoying your good, good letters that you never hear from.

From: Damned Yankee — Mar 26, 2010

Thoreau, Emerson, as well as many signatories of the Declaration of Independence were autodidacts. We have lost touch with what it is like to be curious and turned education over to unions.

From: Helen Leary — Mar 26, 2010

Isn’t it wonderful that we can mutually google one another?

From: R. Fennell — Mar 26, 2010

My family criticizes me for spending so much time on line. My dad thinks I’ll be kicked out of art school because of it. But this is where i get my ideas and it’s where I find out what’s happening. Networking is the new normal.

New Jersey

From: Jayden Cole — Mar 26, 2010

There are no fundamentalists (that I know of) in my fundamentals class. Does this mean anything?

From: Brigitte Nowak — Mar 27, 2010

A question to R. Fennell re: getting your “ideas” online – aren’t these the ideas that others have had? What do you do to make them your ideas? Is your father concerned that you will be “kicked out of art school” because you are spending too much time online and not enough practising your chosen vocation, or is it because he is concerned that you are plagiarizing (or appropriating, as it is now called) from others who make take offence, or because you are not working hard enough at creating your own ideas? While art school presents a great opportunity to learn from masters, I would suggest that you learn their craft and bring your own ideas, distilled from your experience, insight and imagination, to your work. Just a suggestion.

From: Nancy Yu — Mar 27, 2010

Your vocabulary is a delight to me. I am an autodidact, or dare I say it, a polymath. What fun to have words I can use in expressing my own concept of myself. I don’t do a web page, but if you care to look, see Tivoli Artist Co-op in Tivoli, NY.

From: Asher Chase — Mar 27, 2010

A polymath (Greek polymathēs, πολυμαθής, “having learned much”) [1] is a person, with superior intelligence, whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath (or polymathic person) may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable. Most ancient scientists were polymaths by today’s standards.[2]

The terms Renaissance Man and, less commonly, homo universalis (Latin for “universal man” or “man of the world”) are related and used to describe a person who is well educated or who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields.[3] The idea developed in Renaissance Italy from the notion expressed by one of its most accomplished representatives, Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472): that “a man can do all things if he will.” It embodied the basic tenets of Renaissance humanism, which considered humans empowered, limitless in their capacities for development, and led to the notion that people should embrace all knowledge and develop their capacities as fully as possible. Thus the gifted humans of the Renaissance sought to develop skills in all areas of knowledge, in physical development, in social accomplishments, and in the arts.

(from Wikipedia)

From: R Fennell — Mar 27, 2010

Brigitte: He’s not worried about plagiarism, and I’m not either. He’s thinking waste of time. Ideas breed ideas. On the net they come fast and furious.

From: Faye Richland — Mar 29, 2010

I am so enjoying both books you mailed to me. They are so enriching, nurturing, supportive. I feel as though I am getting my life back each time I read a letter. And I read one or two each day and savor them. I’ll read one in the morning and one before I go to sleep and feel so comforted, I think to myself that Mr. Genn is Heaven sent.

From: Bess — Mar 29, 2010

R Fennell, I agree, that’s exactly the value of internet – sharing of information and building on top of the existing knowledge. Bob Genn once said, or quoted someone who said that all great artists stand on the shoulders of those who came before them, wonderful precious ancestry…otherwise the whole thing of internet, education and other public media would be useless. Don’t let the self-proclaimed ethics police rain on your parade.

From: Ken Taylor — Mar 29, 2010

Arthur C Clarke’s statement is convenient, and as true as a person’s belief in magic. I doubt if Clarke would say of such a “sufficiently advanced technology” that it was magic, but only indistiguishable from our quaint notion of magic, which is invoked when our understanding is overrun. Personally, I don’t believe in magic, and all the various mystery systems (including the religions) that are based in the extra-normal. They have a tendency to cut off learning by positing solutions to question and problems that are often very engaging and terrifically encompassing, but, historically speaking, very often incorrect, falling into a wide variety of logical traps and fallacies.

From: Esther J. Williams — Mar 29, 2010

Who knows what the future holds for the internet on earth or in space. It is a hard core part of our lives now and will only develop and morph into greater things. It is a valid tool, I’ve been on it for several decades, literally. I`ve learned more than any doctor would ever tell me about my ailments and avoided many thousands of dollars in medical bills. I feel so much better, the doctors hate the internet because they are feeling replaced. I have learned so much as an emerging artist from blogs, forums, websites, art associations and contest online than I ever could running around taking workshops. But, I spent way too much time wandering aimlessly from link to link and a little bomb was ticking at the back of my mind after awhile. So, I have begun to portion myself as a result. There must be more time spent painting and just doing things on earth besides sitting with the laptop. The web is a spider`s web, if you jump in, it`s sticky goo can and will trap you.

From: Shayla Markham — Mar 29, 2010

Hi, Robert!

I’ve enjoyed receiving your e-newletter so much! However, you’ve really outdone yourself with the photos (with commentary) of you and your granddaughter Zoe painting together! Thanks so much for these great fun photos!!

Now, what will her teachers think when she is able to produce a phenominal painting, far beyond her years, on kindergarten paper with poster paints!?! I wish I could witness that surprise! I love it! :) Shayla in Southern California, U.S.A.

From: Diane Morgan — Mar 29, 2010

Zoe’s abstract is as good as any I’ve seen. Will you be my grampa?

From: Karen R. Phinney — Mar 30, 2010

So many wonderful, juicy ideas today! I too love Robert’s distilled wisdom, and the thoughts that it brings out. When I read these blog notes, I feel there is hope for the future. I laughed at Tatjana’s comments re her husband (kindred spirits, I do the same to mine!!), and as far as the student in art school online a lot of the time, I disagree that seeing what others are doing, is a waste of time, or plagiarism: the Impressionists borrowed from each other and observed the world in their group way, and all benefited from the “cross-pollination” as I like to think of it ………. It’s not copying, but inspiration and priming the pump. Nothing happens in a vacuum. And, I loved Zoe painting with her granpa! That is wonderful, and she is learning from the best and experiencing creativity at a tender age! All uplifting and makes me want to get my brushes out right now!

From: Kirsten Barton — Mar 30, 2010

How did you keep little Zoe from sticking the paintbrush in her mouth? I’ve done this with my niece Ella, and she was quite determined to sample a brush loaded with paint.

From: Sue Johnson — Mar 30, 2010

My husband and I, grandparents too, loved reading your comments about painting with Zoe. We think that it has the potential to become the beginning of a series called “Painting With Zoe”. How fun that would be. Check with Zoe and see what she thinks. Have a wonderful day. Thanks for sharing so many facets of your artist life with all of us.

From: Laurel Alanna McBrine — Mar 30, 2010

Oh, that is so adorable and such a great idea – I wish I had thought of it when my kids were using high chairs, I might have gotten more painting done! It would be fun to hang those side by side!

From: Kathleen Sauerbrei — Mar 30, 2010

Zoe is a wonderful looking little girl. But, then again, we all have the best, most talented grandchildren in the world, don’t we?

My favorite work of art is a painting my grandson did for me when he was two! Once matted and framed it became my bestest, ’cause it was painted with passion!.

~~Kathleen

From: angie — Mar 30, 2010

what a wonderful grandfather tks for the sharing robert

From: Judith Silver — Mar 30, 2010

A light came on when I saw the photos of you and Zoe painting together. I, too, have a grandchild in a high chair and can’t wait to hand him a brush! Thanks, Robert.

From: Dave C — Mar 30, 2010

Zoe looks like an artist genius just waiting to bust loose. And they all thought Michelangelo was a genius because he started when he was seven or eight. Pshaw! Zoe has him beat by a mile.

From: Kate Jackson — Mar 30, 2010

What a lovely site, grandparent and child painting side by side! I always tell parents who ask me about giving art lessons to their children, no…just give ’em the materials, lots and lots of materials, and let them go to it. They will “teach” themselves, rather than somebody imposing on them, or unteaching them!

Thanks for sharing these personal moments with us Robert! You are a GEM, and so is Zoe!!!

From: Helen Horn Musser — Mar 31, 2010

Dear Robert, What a beautiful granddaughter you have and I was going to name my daughter Zoe, love that name, but, I was blessed with two wonderful sons. I know you will have many painting sessions with her. I started my own grandchildren about that age with painting. I see an outstanding abstract she has already painted. You are a very proud Grandfather and we share your joy.

From: Liz Reday — Mar 31, 2010

Telling an artist not to use the internet and come up with their own ideas is like telling a child not to go to school, not to learn to read. Would you tell a student not to use the encylopedia to do research? I don’t see how the internet is not just another vast repository of knowledge which artists can use to bounce ideas off ideas. Check out the paintings of Julie Mehta who was just in The New Yorker. She researched thousands of architectural sites which she used as an underlying grid for her large paintings. Where do you think originality comes from? It doesn’t appear in a vacuum. The more ideas we have bouncing around in our little heads, the greater the muse will whisper. Go R. Fennell. go!

 

 

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