About The Painters Keys

Dear Artist,

Thank you for joining The Painters Keys. I sincerely hope you find these letters beneficial. By subscribing, you have connected to a worldwide community of creative people (if you haven’t subscribed, look for the tab on the navigation bar above.) 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.

These Twice-Weekly Letters began in the winter of 1998 when my Dad, artist Robert Genn, was 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 twice a week 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 re-published weekly, one of Dad’s. He calculated that if I re-published all of his previous letters once a week, they would last for almost three decades. You can read more about this in his letter, “The Bomb,” written on October 25, 2013.

The Twice-Weekly Letters are offered free to anyone who wishes to read them. The Premium Artist Listings have always been a means of connecting artist subscribers through their work and as a way to try to make The Letters more self-sufficient. It is my intention to keep The Letters free and accessible to all, hopefully continuing them as a valuable resource for artists. If you are interested in joining the listings, you’ll share your work with our wonderful community, contribute to the survival of The Painter’s Keys and you’ll have my enduring gratitude.

A few other things:

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.

In addition to The Painter’s Keys, our sister site Art Quotes is the world’s largest collection of quotes by artists online or in a book. It’s continued to be the labour of love of Editor-in-Chief Shawn Jackson and is added to 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 of volunteers consisting of Editor-in-Chief Shawn Jackson, Editor Judi Birnberg and me. We also survive four studio dogs: Emily, Dorothy, Stanley and Sophie, who really held things together when they were with us. We miss them and all our historical helpers.

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. Until 2013, these letters were written solely by him, afterwhich I began writing them, too. No letter has ever been contracted to another writer. At this point, for me, it is a writing practice, a means of connection and a continuous monument to our collective creative spirit. Of it, my Dad wrote, “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 saragenn.com.

Thank you for reading and for your friendship. You can reach me at sara@saraphina.com .

Sara Genn

”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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