A trip of a lifetime

Dear Artist, This coming September we’re planning a unique painting trip: Three days high in the Rocky Mountains. Using a remote lodge as a base, we’re going to have a helicopter at our disposal. I’m doing it together with mountain guide and top-notch painter Liz Wiltzen. We’re taking 10 friends with us. Okay, here’s the rub — it costs about $4000 each — high mountain air doesn’t come cheap.

Safety with accessibility. We will put down with all our equipment in any practical place that inspires the imagination. Up with the gods. And I’ll be there to give a hand to anyone who needs it.

We’ve chosen a spectacular place called “The Bugaboos.” It’s a largely inaccessible area with majestic peaks, alpine meadows and spectacular glaciers. So you can get an idea of the scenery, the lodge, and Liz Wiltzen’s work, as well as further info, we’ve posted a few shots at the bottom of this letter. It was my idea to invite other painters to join in. I will, of course, be on hand to assist, mentor and guide anyone who wants it. I know it’s going to be a life-altering experience. As many painters know, mountain work is an excellent grounding in composition and pictorial design. With subject matter right up to and often beyond the top of a picture, as well as strong patterns of snow and talus, there are “ready-mades” everywhere. Depending on local weather conditions, my idea is to make a couple of sorties a day and be deposited in spots to be determined by our group. Smallish plein air sketches will be in order, and there will be plenty of time for mutual crits back at the lodge. Bugaboo Provincial Park, situated in the Purcell Mountains of southeast British Columbia is a pretty wild spot. It’s possible to grind your way in over 50 km of logging roads. One guidebook says, “It’s recommended that visitors protect their vehicle perimeter with a portable chicken wire fence to deter porcupines and other small animals from chewing on rubber brake lines and tires.” But we’ll be flying over all of that. Everyone will meet in Calgary, Alberta and spend an all-inclusive night in Banff. In the morning we’ll go by a private bus directly to the helipad. While we’re heli-painting, maybe there’ll be some chicken wire to go around the ‘copter.

Bugaboo Lodge. Noted for luxurious comfort, you’ll be treated to the highest level of service. Dinner is served family style, with guests and staff dining together. Cozy mutual crits in the evening.

Best regards, Robert PS: “I have memories of the clearest crystal mountain days imaginable, when we fortunates in the height seemed to be sky people living in light alone.” (J.E.H. MacDonald, 1927) Esoterica: The brilliant Canadian painter J.E.H. MacDonald never got as far as the Bugaboos. But every year from 1924 to 1930 he ventured west from Montreal on the train to paint in the mountains of nearby Yoho Park. Many of my ideas, inspirations and spiritual thoughts have come from him. “One felt that the mountains are not completed. The builders are still at work. Stones come rolling and jumping from the upper scaffolding and often from the chasms one hears the thundering as the gods of the mountains change their minds.” (J.E.H. MacDonald)   Painting in the Bugaboos

Liz Wiltzen painting at Tauck Lake in the Bugaboos, just one of a variety of hidden treasures accessible only by helicopter. A wide range of weather conditions are possible, but early September is usually very fine.


Granite walls of the Howser Towers seen from Kick Off Meadows, Bugaboos. Participants will be invited to display at least one work from the trip at one of Robert’s top galleries – Canada House in Banff, Alberta.


The Bugaboo Spires from Groovy Ridge, just a short hop from the Bugaboo Lodge. The use of hiking and climbing equipment is also included if needed–boots, insulated jacket, wind pants, water bottle, etc. Bring talent and paint.


“Bow Lake”
watercolour painting
14 x 21 inches
by Liz Wiltzen


“Lake O’Hara”
oil painting
8 x 10 inches
by Liz Wiltzen


“Alpine Shoreline”
oil painting
24 x 48 inches
by Liz Wiltzen

            More economical event needed by Colin Bell, Calgary, AB, Canada  

“Bugaboos Viewpoint”
original painting
by Colin Bell

I would love to join you. Over the years I have made several sorties into the Bugaboos, hiking and backpacking, and have painted some scenes there. The cost of your excursion is a bit steep for me at this time, so I’ll have to wait for a more economical event. (RG note) Thanks, Colin. “Waiting for a more economical event” echoed the feelings of some 80 artists who wrote. I can certainly appreciate the problem. Here’s another one but without the helicopters: It’s an all-inclusive 3 days aboard Columbia III out of Campbell River, B.C., Canada on May 24 to 27, 2010. I’m doing a plein air painting workshop in Desolation Sound and other Inside Passage locations. This one’s limited to 7 guests. Sponsored by Mothership Adventures and the Campbell River Art Gallery, we’ve put an ad for it at the very bottom of this clickback. You can talk to me about it at 604 538 9197 or directly to the coordinator Annette Yourke at 250-287-2261. Regarding the Bugaboo trip, we filled the slate for “The Bugaboo Ten” by about 2 pm on Friday afternoon. “The Bugaboo Ten” for September 3 to 7, 2010 are: Don Hodgins Dennis Fairbairn Sinisa Mirkov Tatjana Mirkov-Popovicki Sally Pearson Hormoz Poorooshasb Sharon Stone Jane Storey Louise Swan Bill Johnson Thanks so much for joining us. I’m going to try to make this your trip of a lifetime and a really valuable experience. I’d like to thank Jane Carswell and Audrey Frey of Canadian Mountain Holidays for putting it all together. And of course Liz Wiltzen who had the idea that we do this in the first place. We currently have 9 artists on the waitlist for the Bugaboos. As I’m fully occupied on the dates before and after the Bugaboo trip, I’ve asked Liz Wiltzen to take a group on her own. She and I have frequently worked together and she is well versed in the Bob Genn method of “leave them alone until they ask and then give them a few really valuable suggestions.” The trip with Liz will be slightly less expensive but have all the same benefits as the one with me. Her dates start on August 31, 2010. Please be in contact with Audrey Frey of Canadian Mountain Holidays at or phone me if you want to talk about it.   Bugaboo lore by Jill Bukovnik, Invermere, BC, Canada   I’ve lived close to the Bugaboo area most of my life. At the lodge there is a huge chain link fence area to park your cars to keep your tires safe. However, if you venture out on other roads that have fabulous trails, you will need chicken wire if you are staying over night at the cabin… there is usually extra wire for people to use. If you venture away on other roads and trails be aware that there are bears in the area and it’s not uncommon to see fresh evidence of them. If you’re in a group, stay together as one large group as bears usually stay clear of 5 or more people. Enjoy your visit and don’t forget your cameras!! The Bugaboos are one of the most gorgeous places on earth. Liz Wiltzen’s work always captures nature and mountains beautifully. We as a community admire her paintings, they’re extra special. She has a collection of her works for sale at The Artym Gallery located on the main street of Invermere, B.C.   Three glaciers in one painting by Max Elliott, Banff, AB, Canada  

“Anniversary Peak”
oil painting
by Max Elliott

Precious time spent in the Bugaboos can indeed be the trip of a lifetime. Driving down those logging roads, and hiking over 2500 vertical feet to the hut is an experience in itself. The reward is a view like the one below right out the front door — three amazing glaciers in one painting! I’ll never forget time there with friends, and the wonderful climbers and mountain enthusiasts with whom we shared our living space and stories. Fortunately, our tires survived the porcupines.       Up in the crisp clean air by Odette Nicholson, Saskatoon, SK, Canada  

“Seeing multiples Series”
original paintings
by Odette Nicholson

I’m not envious of your planned September ‘workathon’ because I’m not a helicopter loving girl, but what a place it is to paint, great views, incredible landscape. I enjoyed the Bugaboos on a weeklong hiking trip, summer 1974 and can still recall the feel of the Bugaboos, funny how that works… maybe one day I will attempt a series of paintings of my Bugaboos memories: loud crackling noises from the ice, clear almost white sunshine, crisp clean air and really cold transparent water springs, deep aching thighs and sore ankles — and yes, we did pack our garbage out with us.     The magic of Banff by Ciara Jayne Hossack, Banff, AB, Canada   I’m a ceramic artist doing a residency at the Banff Centre, an amazing art hub! I’ve been in Banff for 8 years, but have been enjoying the Rocky Mountains since youth. You’ll love the Bugaboos. I have a friend who used to work up there. It’s such a great community, with amazing food and inspiration! While in Banff you should stop by the Whyte Museum. It’s a quaint little art museum that was built by Catherine and Peter Whyte, well known early 1900’s Canadian Rocky Mountain Painters, mostly working en plein air. Catherine Whyte was a Boston debutant who dated a Rockefeller before meeting Peter Whyte at Boston Art College. Upon marrying Peter she moved to Banff and because of their money Banff has started off and always been a tourist town. She sponsored the museum, the Banff Centre (formally known as Banff School of Fine Art), the library, town hall and even had part in the hospital! Not a widely known part of Banff history, but from following your letters for the past couple years I believe that it is something you will enjoy! I am very interested in the work that you and your group makes, I hope you post their work online. (RG note) Thanks, Ciara. We’re calling our gang “The Bugaboo Ten” and I expect great things from them. With a little extra time at the beginning of the adventure I’m going to take them over to the Whyte Museum. Thanks for the reminder.   The fine art of finding a mentor by Karen Baker Thumm, MI, USA  

“Evening Glow”
original painting
by Karen Baker Thumm

For the past several years I haven’t done much artwork for various reasons. Now I’m ready to get back into creating, but I’m feeling a bit lost. I know my work needs improvement, but I don’t know where to start. I’d like to work with a more advanced artist for a while who could help guide me along the way; a mentor; but I have no idea what to expect from this arrangement. Is there a “going rate” for mentorship or does it depend on the mentor? How do these arrangements usually work? Should I tell the artist what I want to learn or should I let him tell me what he thinks I need to learn? (RG note) Thanks, Karen. A connection with the right mentor can be life-changing. A few words from Miss Right may be just what you need to hear — a few words from Mr. Wrong can jinx you interminably. Be alert. Mentors often choose their mentees. Many of the best cost you nothing and serve you well merely because they see potential in you. The first thing you need to find out is if they have ever done anything worthwhile themselves. The jungle is creepy with theoretical mentors. Beware.   Rent-to-own art by Stephanie Quinn, Dallas, TX, USA   A friend from Texas told me about art Co-ops and how he was able to acquire some very nice paintings that way. The idea is to rent the piece for a couple of weeks, then if you wanted to buy, then the amount would be applied to the rest of the balance. I was wondering first what you thought of this and if you thought if this practice was still going on? (RG note) Thanks, Stephanie. It sure is, and not just with co-op galleries. Rent-to-own is popular in Public Gallery art rental programs, and is often seen as a way for people to get the courage to become serious collectors. In galleries, co-op and otherwise, the practice is best suited to government-type people who have lots of time and don’t mind all the bookkeeping and the frequent writing of small cheques. Evolved commercial galleries don’t bother with it. Artists wise up to it after a while because work often does not sell, and comes back after a couple of years with broken frames. Other than that, it’s a fine idea.   Pittance of an honorarium by Barry Kleider, Minneapolis, MN, USA   A few days ago, a reputable summer arts camp invited me to teach a one-week photography residency. I said I was interested, and a couple days later, I got a follow up email asking to chat with me. He had clearly read my CV and knew how much both Minnesota and North Dakota pay teaching artists. I checked out their staff bios and I was suitably impressed. We spoke at some length. And then he mentioned the honorarium (I can only call it that — $500) I was incensed! I’ve been teaching photography for 15 years and working with kids for almost 30. Here I was being offered a CIT”s wages. The thing that bugged me most about it was that this was coming from an arts organization. What message do we send our students? (RG note) Thanks, Barry. I hear ya. It’s always of interest to me that many arts organizations will pay a big fee to a theoretical, pompous, over educated buffoon while at the same time paying peanuts to someone who knows what he’s doing, does it regularly, and is successful doing it. In cases like yours I tell them I’d rather do it for free, but I’m busy.   Finding comfort with galleries by Shelley Mitchell, Halifax, NS, Canada  


“Under the Wharf”
original painting
by Shelley Mitchell

I have been a professional artist since 1996, by which I mean I make my living from sales of paintings, and at the present time I’m represented by five galleries. The one bad experience I have had in my early career was with a well established gallery which turned out to be quite secretive about sales and payment and continually moaned about their overhead etc. I gave them a choice of paying me or hearing from a lawyer and was lucky enough to get my money and the return of all my work. I learned the valuable lesson that I need to be vigilant about my art business affairs as do all retailers. Every other gallery I’ve been involved with has been a very positive experience and they have furthered my career and found wonderful patrons for my work. These art galleries provide venue space, promotion, advertising, openings, contacts, moral support and much more. Each gallery owner who represents me has become a personal friend whom I trust to have my best interests at heart because if I succeed they do too. That doesn’t mean there have not been times when we had to work out differences as in any long term relationship. There is also a responsibility on the part of the artist to oversee her/his own career and this means choosing galleries based on their philosophy of art and business. If you aren’t comfortable it isn’t going to work. Initially this can mean a certain amount of research and trial and error but later this pays off by letting someone else do the work of promoting and selling your art and allowing you to get in the studio where you belong. If you want to know if a gallery is honest and a good fit just contact any of the artists who show there and you will get a first hand evaluation you can trust. (RG note) Thanks, Shelley. One of our main jobs in life is learning to distinguish between high-maintenance, difficult, problematic folks, and — sweethearts. There are 2 comments for Finding comfort with galleries by Shelley Mitchell
From: Kenneth Flitton — Mar 16, 2010

Shelley: Beautiful painting. What else can I say?

From: Anonymous — Mar 16, 2010

On your note Robert, I think that is a quote that applies to life. One I wish I had been aware of a long time ago.

  How to stay in touch by Adriana Rinaldi, Oakville, ON, Canada   You are out and about quite a lot and you stay connected to everyone via the Internet. Did you once say that you were out in the field painting plein air and you still have a way of being able to connect out there in the middle of nowhere? I would like to know the technology you use to do that as I will soon be retiring and painting full time, but would like to stay connected to family, friends, by blog or by MySpace pages as I paint out in the bush or up at the cottage. Please advise. (RG note) Thanks, Adriana. In the time I write this there will probably be a newer, better way to stay in touch. I currently use a Blackberry Bold, which as well as being an internationally connected cell phone, it also gets all the emails that come into my studio computer at home. I find I can make brief responses on pressing matters on the Blackberry. I have not tried writing a full twice weekly letter on one. For that I use an Apple Mac-Pro (Word for Mac) and send out on Wi-Fi. Most places support Wi-Fi nowadays, although sometimes you have to pay for it. In really remote places I use a satellite phone. Letters I wrote from the Mackenzie River trip in Northern Canada a few years ago were written on a laptop and sent out under the sky by satellite phone. People are always telling me to lighten up from technology and give it a rest. Recently someone found me in a deep dark woods painting while I was talking on a speakerphone. “Nuts” he said.   [fbcomments url=”http://clicks.robertgenn.com/bugaboos.php”]   Featured Workshop: Painting Cruise with Robert Genn

Their World

oil painting by Neil Waldman, USA

  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 Pam Stapleton of Kelowna, BC, Canada, who wrote, “Enjoy… being on the top of a mountain is the most uplifting experience I have ever had. ‘The up knows the down, but the down does not know the up.’ ” And also Gary Gibbens of New Zealand, who wrote, ” We have our own beautiful mountain ranges here in New Zealand and I have had some success in painting their many moods.”    

Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for A trip of a lifetime

From: Rene Wojcik — Mar 12, 2010

This has to be an ultimate painting experience. Painting in such a setting has to be spectacular. The expense for three days and the use of a helicopter really is not too bad. The sale of a couple of paintings should easily cover that. Enjoy the trip.

From: Susan Beatty — Mar 12, 2010

Dear Robert, I’am so happy for you! It sounds wonderful. There is a mountain top place I continue to go back to in my mind [Zion park ,Utah]. I feel it is one of the most beautiful places in the world. You will come back for your trip, refreshed and ready, to see the beauty again in the common place things around you! Susan

From: cora — Mar 12, 2010

Ah wow. It really is a trip of a lifetime. I can see a book from you just based on such a marvelous adventure.

From: Deborah — Mar 12, 2010

That will be an amazing time to go…I went to Mt. Assiniboine, just south of Sunshine, 2 days’ ride by horse south of Banff, in early September, 1981 to spend a week. Just a skiff of snow at the most some mornings, crisp air. The scenery is dynamic. You will enjoy yourself painting it. I only wish I had been at a point in my life that I was painting then.

From: Zanelle — Mar 12, 2010

I guess I am just jealous. Wishing that you had a scholarship for some artist who thinks $4000 is impossible.

From: Bobbi Heath — Mar 12, 2010

Robert, what a fabulous trip. After hearing friends talk about heli ski-ing in the Bugaboss, you’ve come up with an even better idea! And thanks so much for introducing us to Liz Wiltzen’s work.

From: Brenda — Mar 12, 2010

This sounds amazing! I have one concern though …. watch out for the bears (and/or other wild beasts of prey)! I suggest you take, not only a guide, but also an armed guard. The wilderness is beautiful but can be a dangerous place to hang out. HAVE A WONDERFUL PAINTING EXCURSION!

From: Stella Reinwald — Mar 12, 2010

Like the others above, I wish you a safe and “life altering” experience. I guess I will have to get really, really busy so I can afford trips like this. I’m only about $3,900 shy of considering it. . . oh plus the pay I wouldn’t earn if I took 3-4 days off (no benefits whatever). Clearly I am seething with envy. It will be spectacular. How about making some reference photographs available to those of us who can’t even dream of ever doing this and awarding some financial help to the best painting produced based on one of them, for the next trip that is? If everyone who submitted a painting paid an entry fee, maybe it might meet the cost, with a sponsor or two?

From: cassandra — Mar 12, 2010

Sorry to say, Robert, I am quite disappointed that you will be contributing to an immense and unnecessary carbon footprint by helicoptering a group of dabblers into the no longer untamed wilderness for some expensive recreation. The resulting art is not worth the damage. Without some attention given to the abuse of natural resources through noise pollution (disturbs endangered animals and birds) air pollution and needless waste of our fast disappearing fossil fuels we Canadians deserve the failing grade we own as polluters. Just because one has $4,000 per person to waste does not make it right. Your junket is described as life changing but it is not life enhancing in terms of the environmental damage. A disease called affluenza infects our society and invites just such “…gather ye rosebuds while ye may…” attitudes. Your trip may be small potatoes compared to the Olympic orgy of wasted resources just passed but it is still wasteful to no purpose related to the common good. If only someone would publish the real cost of the Olympics in terms of human and natural degradation it might serve as a wake up call but those who try are only derided. As are those of us who speak against the voices that cry, “damn the consequences for the planet let’s party.” We will sit in a sort of social wilderness as the pariahs known as the fringe, negativists, party poopers or doomsayers. And if it turns out we are in the right in the end, no one will be around to care anyway. Might I humbly suggest that those rich enough to spend the $4,000 for your ‘plein air raid’ donate a like amount to a charitable or (shudder to think) an environmental cause to help mitigate the global harm our country does.

From: Aaron — Mar 13, 2010

Hey Cassandra, you were almost onto something there until you started dumping on the Olympics. Can you think of a better way for nations to compete and tame their raging hormones? Get a life, dear.

From: Anonymous — Mar 13, 2010

She must be a loser.

From: Paol Serret — Mar 13, 2010

What a wonderful trip ! I wish you all a beautiful journey… physically and spiritually.

From: Leah Dunaway — Mar 13, 2010

So, can I apply for stimulus money to pay for this?

From: Jeffrey Hessing — Mar 13, 2010

Several things would have to fall into place for me to make it in September but I hope it is a big success and you will continue doing this in the future. France.

From: Jan Mummery — Mar 13, 2010

You’ve got to be kidding. What real artist has that money right now?

From: Iola Benton — Mar 13, 2010

Congratulations! Liz Wiltzen´s work is extraordinary. She has captured the majesty of the Canadian landscape.

From: cassandra again — Mar 13, 2010
From: Tennessee LD — Mar 13, 2010

I used to enjoy your 2xletters when they seemed to be aimed at letting many artists share and express their experiences and responses to topics applicable to anyone. It seems more of the 2xletters are focused on you, some elite circle, your possessions (cars, etc), advertisement of your publications, and now…offering us a $4000 trip to spend time in your presence… Somehow this has become insulting… where I used to feel part of a GROUP of real artists out there sharing with each other… now I feel somehow inadequate and used…

From: Liz Wltzen — Mar 13, 2010

Cassandra, Thanks for offering your view, the concerns you express are valid and shared by many folks. To suggest this trip is about “helicoptering a group of dabblers into the no longer untamed wilderness for some expensive recreation” suggests to me you may not have considered that there are deeper reasons for embarking on a trip like this. I would like to share with you my observations gained from 10 years of guiding helicopter assisted hiking trips. Yes, without question the helicopter has an impact on the environment. But here is what that is weighed against. Once the helicopter drops a group of people and flies away, they spend 8 hours immersed in the natural world, in a kind of place they may not have been in for a very long time, if ever. In a place, for some of them, it would be impossible to be in without the assistance of a helicopter. And at the end of that time, they have been touched very deeply by the experience. It often reminds them of something they have forgotten in the business of their everyday lives, and they go home changed – in a way that almost certainly serves the common good.

From: Jackie Knott — Mar 14, 2010

I defy anyone to live impact free in this modern world. We all try to be the best stewards of our environment as we possibly can, especially those of us fortunate enough to live in scenic regions. Here in the beautiful Hill Country of South Texas our issue is billboards. Glaring, monstrous, night-lighted billboards in a rural county with mostly two lane roads. Residents tried desperately to gain local authority over the proliferation of these eyesores. The billboard lobby was more powerful and better funded and we lost. Now, criteria is the same as greater Houston, the fourth largest city in the US. Authority is at the state level and we can’t do a thing about it. Criticism is easy. If you feel that strongly about an environmental issue, find one that TRULY is a problem instead of railing against a minimally invasive, somewhat rare activity and devote yourself to solving it. Emotion and envy aren’t part of the solution.

From: anon — Mar 15, 2010

I always wanted to say to Cassandra that Greeks and no better than Trojans. Her message is futile.

From: Judy Lalingo — Mar 15, 2010

Thank you, Liz. I think your work amply demonstrates just how powerful that experience would be! I’m blown away by the beauty of that place, & thanks to your work, I can get a small glimpse of just how sacred that wild place is. To my mind, the prime value of an artist is to inspire others. What better way to raise awareness than to show others just how important these special places are? I hope to get there at some point to see & to paint this incredible place myself; I can see how one short 3 day trip could give an artist a changed perspective, & pay it forward to others.

From: Dayle Ann Stratton — Mar 16, 2010

“Cassandra” made an important and truthful observation. I agree with it. Those who are offended perhaps could take the opportunity to think deeply and honestly about it. There are “life-changing” opportunities for making art all around us that do not involve this kind of conspicuous (and dare I say, irresponsible) consumption. And Robert, how sad it makes me to hear that you intrude your speaker cellphone in a place that should be free of such things, except in true emergencies. “Oh, nuts” is the least of it.

From: Leah — Mar 16, 2010

Dayle Ann, your home is built in a place that was once pristine as those places where you now don’t want people to go – what hypocrisy.

From: Karen Martin Sampson — Mar 17, 2010

Is it necessary to be brow beating each other into seeing “our” point of view? Human beings have a right to be here, just like the seas, the mountains, prairies, forest, marshes, rivers and all creatures that are sustained by the planet. However, we do not have the right to use it all up without thought for future generations…use, reuse, replenish. Enjoy the benefits of our increasing technological know how without overuse to the point of planet degradation. There needs to be balance and it is possible if we all stop pointing fingers at one another. Use only what you truly need, give back, if you can, also, join local or international groups working for sustainability, and be kind to each other. We are artists. It can be our mission to mirror the questions as well as the answers and hope others get the message without promoting a lot of guilt and blame.

From: garnet — Mar 17, 2010

Thank you Karen Sampson — for a logical response to the finger pointing angry over the top environmentalists. Yes, we belong here also. Use, reuse, recycle, replace, never waste, and be nice to one another. Perfect.

From: Patsy, Northern Ireland — Mar 18, 2010

Here Robert and Liz offer a trip of a lifetime to ten lucky people, and someone has to spoil it by denouncing them for the minuscule amount of pollution their little helicopter might produce. Jackie, I agree with you: “Criticism is easy. If you feel that strongly about an environmental issue, find one that TRULY is a problem instead of railing against a minimally invasive, somewhat rare activity and devote yourself to solving it.” And if that is not enough, Robert is insulted for using his phone in the wilderness, and for being a successful artist. So what? I’ve never detected a hint of self-aggrandisement; in fact, the opposite. He doesn’t NEED to send us these wonderful letters so faithfully – I for one can’t wait for Tuesdays and Fridays, and go back to older letters and read them again and again, and gaze admiringly at the paintings so many of you send in. Because of the job I do, I haven’t had the time or the space to paint for more than two years now, and Robert’s letters keep me sane. I am eternally grateful to my friend Carol for introducing me to them. Tennessee LD, if you feel inadequate and used, there’s a very easy solution: unsubscribe.

From: Curious — Mar 18, 2010

Jan Mummery please enlighten us. What makes you more of a “real” artist than any of the Bugaboo 10? Do you know any of them? Have you seen any of their work? For that matter what is a “real” artist? Just curious.

From: Tennessee LD — Mar 19, 2010

To Patsy,N Ireland How kind of you to arrive at such a solution. Sort of the “Let them eat cake” mentality… You seem to have all the answers for those of us who found this letter somewhat unsettling in its “self interest”. I will stick around just for the “visiting artists” sharing real world thoughts and experiences and of course to view “their” art.

From: Leah — Mar 19, 2010

I just want to add that siding with one point of view, then scolding others for fingerprinting”, and then asking everyone to play nice, doesn’t cut it for me. This is a panel to express interesting views and only the owner of this site has the right to cut someone off. Anyone who tries to make people do anything that isn’t written in the law is not going to get their way with me…plus I think that they have a screw loose. I like to hear everyone out, but I do as I please, and I think that everyone should as long as they don’t break any government laws. So, I will drive my car, use vehicles in the nature, use plastic bags, spray my lawn, buy bottled water, and do anything that is not against the law. Once it is, I won’t — period. Those who have a proof that any of this is wrong, better get busy and make the government change the laws.