Art that dreams are made of

Dear Artist, Readers of this letter frequently ask if I think there’s some sort of malaise in art these days — particularly in Western Art. Some want to know if it’s all to do with the economy. Funnily, this question gets asked in all economies, good and bad. Generally speaking, when economic times are good more art is out there, and some of it gets mighty hard on the eyes. When times are slow, as they are in some areas right now, the collectors left standing seem to be hell-bent for “quality.” My frequent answer to those who are perplexed by recession is to take it as an opportunity to quietly go to work to improve quality. My idea is to be a private malaise fighter. These days I think artists need to dream bigger dreams. North American painters particularly suffer from limited exposure to better work. Isolationist glue and democratic learning systems may be partly to blame. But there’s hope. Psychologists have now determined that changes are taking place in the human brain. Some are able to use search engines as an extension of their brains, and others are not. Knowing how to find things is the new knowledge. Knowing how to perk up your brain makes for a better you. In our game, a properly perked brain may be the key to improved quality. Recently, several readers have drawn my attention to the work of István Sándorfi. He was an early subscriber to this letter, and I was sorry to hear that he had died. István was a Hungarian national born in 1948, who spent much of his working life in Paris. Affected by the violence of the Hungarian Revolution and the problems he saw in political systems, István took early refuge in drawing and painting. Advertising illustrations, portrait commissions and painting sales eventually brought a degree of security. Later, exhibitions of his remarkable oils were held in many countries. Maybe not all of us are using the full extent of our brains. Maybe we need to see that the world of art is a far larger and more wonderful place than we previously thought. Is it possible that Google may help us to realize our dreams? Best regards, Robert PS: “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall unveil.” (James Allen) Esoterica: Some among us have become such media junkies that we never have time for our own evolution. But there’s a big difference between leafing randomly and going on purposeful searches for personal ends. The Internet is the new reality of experiential study. One thing leads to another. Quality can find quality. The ready mind is readily enriched. Creative evolution speeds up. Dreams may be sooner realized.     Fascinating images by Nathan Chilvers, Paris and Berlin   Seeing such work as that of István Sándorfi, while it may not be everybody’s favorite, nevertheless shows that there are still people who know and understand anatomy and yet can get angst and mysterious tension into otherwise readily accessible work. You have to admit, without prejudice, that the work is not only clever but fascinating. I, for one, while I am only a collector of art and not an artist, find the work fascinating. I do not mind that anatomy is missing. After all, the Venus de Milo has no arms. I only wish I had bought Sandorfi before his prices went up. There are 15 comments for Fascinating images by Nathan Chilvers
From: Mandy Buckner — Aug 09, 2011

It’s nice to recognize people but I wouldn’t give awards out to participants in a workshop. Why turn a learning environment into a competitive environment. Even if folks don’t know the awards are coming I would imagine it can change the memory and feeling of the workshop for participants.

From: Ron — Aug 09, 2011

Haven’t heard copacetic,since my Dad died.But I don’t think giving out awards at a workshop is copacetic.

From: Janet — Aug 09, 2011

I have always dreaded the end of a class or workshop where awards or prizes are given, and have even not attended the “last day” of class just to avoid being judged the best or the worst. I think we should all do our best and and not be judged on someone elses standards. No awards or prizes unless participants have entered a show for competition.

From: Susan — Aug 09, 2011

I am not in favor of awards. During a critique it is obvious what is working, done well or is a stroke of brilliance. One does not have to be presented with an award to know this. Having awards tends to put the emphasis on the end result as opposed to learning, which, to my way of thinking is the purpose of workshops. The joy of making art in our competitive world is that it is often a cooperative endeavour where we bask in the glow of each others creativity. Awards can destroy this.

From: Barbara — Aug 09, 2011

I do horribly at workshops. But, some of my best work is a few weeks later when the methods start to “sink in”. Ditch the awards.

From: Lin — Aug 09, 2011

I hate the prizes idea. Ditch it for a draw. I will not show up for a ratings prize, and I hate “participant” prizes, but I will be there for a random draw. Prizes make me feel bad whether I win or lose.

From: Pat Radloff — Aug 09, 2011

I agree with all of the above. Attending a workshop is a learning experience, not a competition. Awards are a bad idea.

From: Mel — Aug 09, 2011

I agree – no awards. Thanks for asking for input on it. I do so enjoy your letters!

From: Lindy….Santa Cruz — Aug 09, 2011

As a former art teacher, I always tried to find positive things to say about everyones work. Save the awards for art shows where awards are expected. It’s amazing how sensitive artist can be!

From: Mac — Aug 10, 2011

I find attending a work shop is competitive enough, don’t add prizes to the mix. My work improves after the learning is applied.

From: Dana Mallany — Aug 10, 2011

I agree no prizes! A learning environment should allow each person the opportunity to explore their own art-making practice, with the added bonus of learning from each other. Instead, a suggestion might be a shared critic with helpful, insightful, non-judgmental feedback from the instructors and the participants if they are able.

From: Anonymous — Aug 11, 2011

I agree about not giving out awards… son tried hard on everything he did, but he never got an award. His only encouragement was MINE….but he always thought he had a chance for Student of the Month at school. It often seems like the same people manage to get awards wherever they go, and the same people always DON’T….so, no awards!

From: Barbara Allen Frost — Aug 11, 2011

Didn’t mean for the previous reply to be from anonymous…it was me…

From: Kodo — Aug 11, 2011

sour grapes

From: Sheryl — Aug 12, 2011

I think Robert’s concern about the prizes has some validity if applied to children or immature adults who are just beginning to explore their artistic sides, but doubt that not being one of the recipients would have a lasting negative impact on more experienced artists. I think mature non-recipients would be envious, but also become more determined, and would examine the “winning” pieces for ideas and techniques they could apply to improving their own work

  Disturbing images by Jackie Knott, Fischer, TX, USA  

“Nell Alford”
oil painting
by Jackie Knott

Mr. Sandorfi was a technically superior artist but I find his images of women particularly disturbing… dismembered, isolated, barren environments, often portrayed in a sacrificial posture, features obliterated… without knowing his mindset I can’t fathom what he is trying to convey. It makes me uncomfortable. As to Western art undergoing malaise, it is suffering from the same chronic condition it was born with… too much sentimentality. Historically accurate work of the West can be painted well. Contemporary Western art doesn’t have to be the same worn images to the point they are repetitive.   There are 4 comments for Disturbing images by Jackie Knott
From: Mike Barr — Aug 09, 2011

I agree.. a very good artist but his mental state is revealed in his works as are many artists with mental issues! It does seem though that the more mentally disturbed an aritst is the more they are recognised.

From: Rose — Aug 09, 2011

Your statement makes me shiver….

From: Ib — Aug 09, 2011

WOW!! So painters of beaches and streetscapes have no mental issues? Hmmm… I see… Tell me more!!!

From: Mike Barr — Aug 11, 2011

On the dark streetscapes reflect the darkness of my mental state compared to the opposite end of the scale in my beachscapes..but even they are becoming dark..

  Business lessons missing by Indigene Gaskin, Ardmore, PA, USA  

“Tree heart”
pastel painting
by Indigene Gaskin

I enjoy reading your letters. They are always thoughtful and informative and I agree with most of your opinions and reflections. But, telling an artist who is not making sales, who depends on art as a livelihood, who may have dependent others, to take these recessive times to go deeper into the art is not enough! I think the artists who are writing to you see you as a successful artist, who may have some tips, words of wisdom or just plain encouragement on how to move forward during these times. Remember, a lot of the over-40 crowd was not taught business lessons in art school. If they’ve made it this far, it has been by hard work, patience and, sometimes, just luck! Those of us who are self-taught strive even harder, because we have to! Sure, we can all get better — that’s what I believe most artists who are a part of your mailing list do and want; that’s a given. There are 2 comments for Business lessons missing by Indigene Gaskin
From: Sharon Knettell — Aug 09, 2011

Art is not how to make a living it is how to live. It IS a great time to go deeper as we have to somehow remove what we want to say from what we want to eat. I have considered working at grocery stores so I could paint what I want- and if the economy goes on like this, I might have to. We have only one life to make the statement we want- if our art sells- fine- if not, find another way to support the habit. It has been and will always be a crapshoot.

From: Darla — Aug 09, 2011

Love your painting! It reminds me of Klimt’s paintings of women.

  Believing in yourself by Rick Rotante, Tujunga, CA, USA  

oil painting
by Rick Rotante

“Maybe we need to see that the world of art is a far larger and more wonderful place than we previously thought.” (Robert Genn) I believe this is at the crux of the matter with art today. It isn’t taken seriously by many of those who do it. If we were to see ourselves as Michelangelo every time we paint, maybe we all would stop making “pictures” and start creating “art.” Greatness is within, if you believe it. The trick is to really believe it.     There is 1 comment for Believing in yourself by Rick Rotante
From: C. elaine Kairis — Aug 08, 2011

Rick, Much insight and appreciation I find in your words. Yet one comment I disagree with is “The trick is to really believe it”. All to often artists believe there is a “Trick” within which inspires. I do know you know the difference. All will take their chosen “path” so to speak. Really we may fumble many times upon the path…pick ourselves up and presevere. Yet the beginning of our perceptions stay with us for Y E A R S, there, here and NOW we Need TO KNOW THE REASONS we paint (You are so right). Only then will our value remain uncompromised by economics, ridicule, or our own doubts. One thing, we really have to RESPECT each Artists choice as to the path they choose, believing as with us…time helps us realize where we want to be as artists….and maybe Robert, smile.

  A cash cow by Mary Susan Vaughn, Charlotte, NC, USA  

oil painting
by Mary Susan Vaughn

I find that when times are tough (and believe me, Robert, they are tough as nails right now here in the US) cows become very popular. Maybe there is something in our brain that tells us we won’t starve if we support cow paintings.     There is 1 comment for A cash cow by Mary Susan Vaughn
From: Janet Blair — Aug 09, 2011

Very enjoyable to look at,food for thought.

  People still buying by Diane Overmyer, Goshen, IN, USA  

“The Gardener’s Shed”
original painting
by Diane Overmyer

I have sold more work consistently this year than in any other year prior to this. I am, however, now devoting more time to creating and marketing my work, rather than just depending on gallery sales. And even though I have sold more paintings, most of those have been 11 x 14 or smaller in size. So, of course, my earnings correlate. But two or three small painting sales are just as thrilling to me as one large painting sale! People are still purchasing art, they are just being more careful about how they spend their money. There is 1 comment for People still buying by Diane Overmyer
From: Anonymous — Aug 09, 2011

I really like your work and its copacetic too.Got to look up your town,I’m down by the Ohio river.

  Pushing the envelope by Sharon Knettell, Woonsocket, RI, USA  

original painting
by Sharon Knettell

Diane Arbus’s teacher, Alexey Brodovitch often said to his students, “If you see something you have seen before, don’t click the shutter.” I was reminded of that one day when my model showed up with green stripes in her hair. I was embarking on what I thought was a new take on pastel ballerinas à la Degas. I realized that I was just regurgitating the past and not adding myself, my life or my era into the equation. I have nothing against the resurgence of classical realism per se; long lost skills and craftsmanship are being reborn and I celebrate it. However, far too often I see many artists rehashing the same shopworn themes, boats at a dock, still-lifes with one flower falling on the tablecloth, Victorian ladies at the seaside. Trite picture after trite picture. I suppose that just learning these painting techniques makes one feel justified in not pushing the envelope. If you can paint like Jacob Collins then you can fly with simple classically-painted figures from life, but you really must learn your craft to do that well — most don’t. Artists like Steven Assael and Nicolas Uribe paint just as beautifully and are pushing the visual envelope and are making exciting and visually powerful images. Often as artists, we must frighten ourselves and take that tightrope over the canyon to the other side. We must allow those ideas to flourish that we damp down because ‘clients’ or ‘galleries’ might not find them pleasing or saleable. The galleries are flooded with these undistinguished paintings. If you must do trite ‘potboilers’ to survive, then sign them with an illegible cartouche, then next time try something you don’t think will sell — just for yourself. There are 4 comments for Pushing the envelope by Sharon Knettell
From: Liz Schamehorn — Aug 09, 2011

I absolutely agree with you! BTW, beautiful figure painting. I believe that if painters want to stick to realism, they should get VERY good at it before they exhibit. Either that or be deliberately “wrong”. Another convention occurs to me: I wonder if a similar pose of a young man would have passed the censors?

From: Sharon Knettell — Aug 09, 2011

Thanks Liz, glad you liked it. I don’t know about passing the censors- but it would have been a really fun painting!

From: Darla — Aug 09, 2011

The point is to look at your painting — why would someone buy that instead of someone else’s work? There has to be something better, extra, or different.

From: Rick Rotante — Aug 10, 2011

You know why what you say is true? Painters are painting only to sell, not to make art. They are trying to satisfy a gallery or get into one. This is a cronic dilemma in (paiting) society as a whole.

  Correcting Shakespearian prose by Paul Austin, West Drayton, England  
When quoting from the Bard of Avon; You really ought to check his Sermon; Be sure to use his words succinctly; With accuracy…….distinctly; For he most surely never dream’d; That you’d misquote his prose — esteemed; Especially since, as we all know; One check on Google soon would show; I know you’ll change your quote, Anon; “We are such stuff…….As dreams are made (not of, but) ON.”
There is 1 comment for Correcting Shakespearian prose by Paul Austin
From: jasneskis — Aug 09, 2011

Only those deserving of awards should receive them. When all get awards they are worthless. I held a children’s art show and the first thing I did was stop everyone getting awards. More people started participating realizing the show was worth something and so was the award. Students came to you for instruction, not award or praise. They should get that daily from parents, grandparents and others.


Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for Art that dreams are made of

From: Marvin Humphrey, Napa Valley — Aug 04, 2011

Regardless of the condition of the outside world, the artist constantly strives to improve his work. Doing purposeful research and study is a large part of the process; we’re fortunate to have the internet as a tool to literally provide us with a world of information.

From: Darla — Aug 05, 2011

When the economy is bad, people need things to cheer them up. This is a time to make attractive art that is about the things that make life worth living. I’m not talking about painting kitsch, though that will likely sell, too. Think about showing non-artists what you see that is beautiful or remarkable.

When the economy is good is when things like dark, dismal “canvas tantrums” sell. I never did see the point of them; everybody gets angry, but I don’t want to listen to it.
From: B. J. Adams — Aug 05, 2011

The current clickback with those pictures of Istvan Sandorfi’s art………amazing. His work really moved me for many reasons……..the color, use of fabric, art props for his settings and his almost photographic double image atmosphere. What wonderful painting. I have hopes his work will appear in one of our museums, soon, so I will be able to see it first hand.

From: Edna V. Hildebrandt — Aug 05, 2011

At one time or another we have experienced rejection. We paint dreaming of a beautiful work that perhaps would convey our dreams and aspirations and most of all to be accepted and viewed with admiring eyes that reflect the viewer’s own desires and dreams. You envision your work being displayed with others and that vision is crushed when it is rejected. I have had some work rejected at jury shows and they say they don’t know why it is rejected. It is disappointing and perhaps discouraging but rather than giving up I take it as a challenge to create work better than before. I critique my work and I look at ways to modify or change in my technique. I also take into consideration that people have different ways of looking at things. In the art world we are just one of many and it may happen again. I keep on working and never give up my dreams and aspirations. Push on and find ways to improve.

From: Paula Timpson — Aug 05, 2011

Dreaming, Reality~

Dreams are reality when, ‘thanks is the highest form of thought,’ & dolphins leap for Joy inside pink waters early morning’s dance~…..
From: Kristen Dukat — Aug 05, 2011

Point well taken. I hope others got the underlying message here, I know I did.

From: Daniela, Australia — Aug 05, 2011

The female form with the menstrual pad over one eye really bothers me, then there is: blindfolded,and: no forearms….how many things can you do with a female object….why do female nudes always have to look downtrodden? Is it because artists of the past could only find prostitutes to take their kit off, and they were naturally jaded and despondent, that we think we should keep potraying women as broken objects? Good brush technique, but, to me, wasted.

From: Grace Cowling — Aug 06, 2011

At age 82 I admire and endorse Robert’s wisdom. Google can just about be all things to all people but certainly it brings the world into the studios of those of us who are just short of studio-bound.

From: Alan Krawchuk — Aug 08, 2011

A good example is Lucian Freud who just passed away at age 88. He took the timeworn human figure and portrait subject matter to new heights and sensibilities and made us look once more at the genre. There may be nothing new under the sun, but that which has found value over the ages can be revisited with insightful results.

From: Norman Choi Singapore — Aug 08, 2011

Simply said, learning can be sped up. Guided by our own needs and interests, we sidestep the traditional systems of classroom curricula and professional purveyors of conventional knowledge, no matter how groundbreaking. Today’s scholar conducts his growth with the aid of a computer. It is the lesser part of a greater brain.

From: George Hacking — Aug 08, 2011

The middle class collector in the USA is, for the most part, shut down collecting at the present time. The very rich are still at it. We now have a situation where there are more poor and more rich, and less in the middle. Lose the middle and we are hooped.

From: jan corcoran — Aug 09, 2011

I truly think that the Yamaha school had it right in that every student got a little something for their effort. I always felt like I had somehow failed to do my best if I didn’t receive some sort of recognition and if I had, then felt bad for those that hadn’t in a group situation as you described. When I graduated with Great Distinction from uni I was honoured but not at anyone else’s expense.

I really enjoy this blog and Mr. Genn’s thoughtful prose. Thank you.
From: Judy Leasure — Aug 09, 2011

At a workshop, prizes are not necessary. The information you take away from the workshop should be prize enough. I’ve been to workshops where the instructor gives away their demonstration piece based on some arbitrary decision maker like the person with the closest birthday.

From: Rozanna Patane — Aug 09, 2011

If the goal is encouragement, it seems unavoidable that being overlooked for a prize will discourage — it’s never a pleasant feeling to be on the outside looking in. If the goal is recognition of good work, it seems that you can do that with the critiques — especially if you explain why a work is successful, so others can learn from it. Why single anyone out for a prize? What does it accomplish?

I hope you’ll do a workshop in Maine sometime — I promise you we have beauty as spectacular as your own local variety! I greatly enjoy your newsletter and your book. Thanks! Rozanna Patane, York Harbor, Maine
From: — Aug 09, 2011

Robert, in no way should you reward certain students, It would be better to take each student aside and have a crit on there work. I have attended 7 workshops and find I don’t get the point of instruction until a few months or years later. OK give out the goodies, stunt my growth, dash my dreames on the rocks, spit in my face, send me home with my tail between my leges!!!
From: Donna Gallant — Aug 09, 2011

Hi Robert

this is regarding your statement about feeling bad about giving only a few prizes for the best paintings in your recent workshop. Do you really have to give out prizes? Shouldn’t the experience of being taught well be reward enough. I have taught for many years myself and found just giving positive feed back and appreciation is what your students need. When I went to University I had a most wonderful teacher, Pauline McGeorge. She used the sandwich approach in critique. She would start with something positive to say and then would find the mistakes and would always tell you how you could improve them and then end in a positive note. We would always feel that some part of our piece was appreicate or done well. Maybe not a successful piece but we had learnt something. Rewarding someone for excellence is wonderful but all of us have done a good piece once in awhile along plenty of bad ones to boot. I never have expected to receive some kind of award for a taking part in a workshop. Its different in a compettion as you know. If you have to give out awards, maybe only give out one. That way the others wont feel like they are competting when they should be learning. Donna Gallant Lethbridge, AB
From: Doris (Ting) Blessington — Aug 09, 2011

If there is one square inch of beauty in even the worst of paintings, then the world is a better place for it. Maybe competition is not the best solution. Thank you for this wonderful site and insites!

From: jan Yatsko — Aug 09, 2011

I wrestled with giving prizes to participants in my Explore & Create in Costa Rica tours and decided against it. If you can’t give prizes to all participants than don’t give out any at all. What I did instead was color copied an art journal page I created during the tour and on the back of each one I included a positive aspect(s) of the person and thanked them for the opportunity to inspire them.

From: Stella Reinwald — Aug 09, 2011

Dear Robert,

Your kindheartedness is evident but missplaced in worrying that some of your participants went away without some token of recognition for their efforts. These are adults who should by now have grasped the reality that we are not equally gifted and/or lucky (it seems to take some combination of both, plus a heavy dose of practice) and life is rarely rewarding or punishing in any degree of fairness or “deservedness”. Very young children– before they have gained this understanding and have the internal resources to cope with disappointment– should be enouraged in all their sincere efforts but without the added distorting element of “awards”. Older children (10 and up) and adults should have developed the awareness and acceptance of how arbitrary “rewards” can be. (Think of all the “failed Olympic contenders or wonderful movies that went without Oscar recognition). To recognize ALL the adults in your workshop would be patronizing and ultimately meaningless. Perhaps next time, the “awards” should be just random prizes given by drawings from a hat. That removes the element of judgement from a group who should take a professional criticism of their work as all the reward they should expect. I detest the democritization of “awards”, it is perhaps well-intentioned but not only does it NOT reflect life as it really is, but such practices serve only to support egoistic fantasy, not growth or introspection. Most kids get the scent of phony recognition quickly and wisely, stop respecting the process and the source of such easily won praise. Stella Reinwald
From: anon… — Aug 09, 2011

Clothing optional beaches…. not for me. However, I have often thought that painting in the nude would do a world of good for my wardrobe. I tell folks that I have 2 kinds of clothes, those with paint on them and those that will…

From: Halverson Frazier — Aug 09, 2011

In retrospect, your concern about token awards was appropriate and with such a diverse outcome of skill and work, awarding anything other than the gained experience from the event seems fortuitous. However, an award for the best ‘clown’ nose might have sufficed as a best of event souvenir.

From: Jenny Hunter Groat — Aug 09, 2011

I don’t favor giving any workshop prizes to anyone at all. It would freeze me up forever if, as either a beginning student or an experienced one, I received no prize. In face, it would freeze me up even to know in advance or during the workshop that there would be prizes. Just let the experience itself be the prize, and learning.

From: Lisa Whitener — Aug 09, 2011

I have been painting for several years on and off – in between school, work, raising kids, etc. – and now try desperately to get in front of the easel every single day at least for a while (after work). I get really excited yet nervous before a workshop, and I am sky-high after leaving them. I agree completely with Jenny Groat that it would would likely freeze me up to not win a prize, and on the other hand, it may likely give me a false sense of myself should I have been the recipient of one. As somewhat of a beginner, I’m already intimidated by the knowledge and ability of the teachers and all of the fabulously talented students around me, so to have to “compete” at a workshop is not something I would look forward to. I know it was well intended, but as you said in you letter – everyone DID pay the same fees, traveled, and most likely tried their hardest. The information, motivation, and inspiration I receive from workshops is why I go – not to be rewarded otherwise.

From: L Diamond — Aug 09, 2011
From: Kathy Mayerson — Aug 09, 2011

Awards……you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t! A mature well adjusted student would get the premise of the whole “award thing” and be happy for the recipients.

From: Chris MacLeod — Aug 09, 2011

I was surprised to hear that you offered awards. It somehow seemed an unRobert thing to do. Isn’t the art and the doing of it intrinsically the reward itself? But I do have to agree with the comment above you are damned if you do and damned if you don’t once you start? Where do you begin and where do you end? How do judge and when do you stop? Poor Robert.

From: Juan — Aug 10, 2011

It was of merit and joy that I noticed the group consisted of females; if there were any males they retreated from the camera’s lense. What does that say for our creative endeavours, as males?

From: Rick Rotante — Aug 10, 2011

Robert- How can you get anything done demonstrating for a bunch of clowns? I love the first picture. I try and inject humor into my demo’s. It cut’s through the BS when it gets too serious. Nice job. Just wanted to add – never heard of awards being given in a workshop atmosphere?? The reward should have been being there and participating.

From: Bill McEnroe — Aug 10, 2011

Shoot – I was looking for some paintings of people in the buff ! About “Prizes for Everyone:” . . . that, sadly, seems to be today`s measure for accomplishing anything, which of course, diminishes the value of the prize. Did you take out the trash today ? – GOOD, here`s a prize; Did you stop scratching in public ? – here`s a Non-Scratching prize. Oi ve, where does it end ?

From: Bill McEnroe — Aug 10, 2011

I noticed that some of the artists are painting with the sun shining on their easels — Rule #1: Find shade first,THEN find something to paint. Also, a few were wearing dark glasses. Are they prepared to hand out dark glasses to viewers of their paintings ?

From: Ed Rosser — Aug 10, 2011

Drop the prizes. A personal comment to each participant about how to improve their technique would be more in line with what the class is about … learning.

From: Jim Oberst — Aug 11, 2011

When I attend workshops, I want to learn and try new things. When I teach workshops, I want my students to learn and try new things. Why spend time and money on a workshop and paint the same old way? I think that giving awards for “best paintings” would encourage students to paint the way they are already good at, and discourage learning new approaches.

From: mark littlejohn — Sep 19, 2011

my favorite quotes about dreams are from theater. from the bloody mary character in south pacific”if you don’t have dream you will never have a dream come true” and from shirley valentine”dreams: they are never where you expect them to be.”

     Featured Workshop: Hollyhock (Cortes Island) with Robert and Sara Genn
080911_robert-genn13 Hollyhock (Cortes Island) Workshop with Robert and Sara Genn, 2011   The Workshop Calendar provides up-to-date selected workshops and seminars arranged in chronological order.

Ready, Willing and Able

oil painting, 15 x 30 inches by Lesley White, Kamloops, BC, Canada

  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 Catherine Stock of France, who wrote, “Tretchikoff meets Dali. Not my cup of tea.” And also Susan Holland of Seattle, WA, USA, who wrote, “I cannot think of a better tribute to art and the breadth of its reach than your presentation of István Sándorfi’s chillingly powerful works. I am still mesmerized by image after image of magnificently painted humans transmitting the realities of a world most of us are not aware of. There is no rebuttal to such evidence of the benefits of visual technology to the artist in us all.”    

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