Dear Artist, Randy Pausch, a young professor at Carnegie Mellon University, had the same cancer as I do. He wrote a book about his adventure — The Last Lecture. It was on the New York Times Best seller list for months. The book was all about thankfulness and how to cope. He noted that the actual transition was a joyful thing designed to build bridges to the next generation. “I’m having fun,” he said, “and I’m dying.” At age 47 he left a lovely wife and three young children. My 2009 Twice-Weekly letter about Randy Pausch is here.

Randy Pausch and Family

I’m also saying thanks to the sunny hilltops and the marshy fens. To the wide rivers and the high mountain paths. To the patient and forbearing companions who hiked along with me. Funnily, I don’t seem to be angry, at least not yet. Funnily too, things run on quite nicely and evenly around here as long as I’m busy. There’s a lot of comings and goings — we have loose ends to sew up. While distributing a few classic cars and other idiosyncratic collections to willing, soft-headed ones like myself, my job is simplified by an unbelievably supportive family. I’m thinking, if the end was to come sooner rather than later, we’ll still be ready. In the meantime the white-crowned sparrows and towhees are showing up at my studio feeder. Above the estuary, eagles soar and great blue herons return to roost in the cedars at nightfall. Last night, as I was shutting down, a family of raccoons slipped silently by on their way from one local diner to another. This morning, an unfinished painting grins down at me from the easel. In many ways this is like any other day. Except there’s a new element: It’s a profound thankfulness for a lovely life. As friends keep pointing out, I’ve never had a real job and yet I seem to work harder than many of my friends. In art, our jobs are never done. “In order to be happy,” said Winston Churchill, “you need to find a task that requires perfection, is impossible to achieve, and spend the rest of your life trying to achieve it.” That’s something I’ve always believed, and I’m thankful. Best regards, Robert PS: “In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer) Esoterica: If there was one thing that nags me, it’s that I might have done better work. One by one, particularly in the last decade, I’ve never been quite satisfied. Perhaps it has something to do with knowing too much. Perhaps it is only in youth that we hold the keys. Once, when I was about Randy’s age, I did something I thought was just about perfect. But now I think I was wrong even then. Such is the nature of our path. I may not always have climbed to the top, but I’m so thankful to have been on the mountain.   Gratitude for life by Patricia Smith, White Rock, BC, Canada   As I rub the sleep from my eyes, I am prompted to say just a wee bit of what is in my heart. That is where the gratitude for the beauty of truly living is and needs to be opened up to share with other living beings and creatures. The bounty of this glorious life is usually overshadowed by our unawareness. You have opened yourself to reveal the person you are inside and maybe this is the way we can all recognize we are one and the same. There truly is nothing different about any of us deep inside ~ only on the surface. The gratitude for life and all living things that you convey through your words expresses my heart exactly! The connection to this glorious bounty of life that we see and touch in the trees and the breeze, the faces and graces of each creature that walks through our lives and hearts is what sustains us.   More gratitude by Brian Monteith, Vernon, BC, Canada   Thank you for being such a great inspiration. Your artwork and words speak to the great aesthetic experience that life can and should be. Thank you for sharing your vision with us all, for providing such a beautiful lens on the world through your paintings and such caring and wisdom in your letters. The last time I wrote you I shared a remarkable TED talk, ten minute video with you. The message in that video reminds us to be grateful for the gifts that come to us each day, each moment, and your “Thanks” letter this evening has reinforced this message. For me, the art of living and the art of dying are one and the same. Six years ago my best friend was diagnosed with ALS. He never stopped noticing and appreciating the beautiful moments and when he left this world, it was while watching his favourite birds – a pair of evening grosbeaks at the feeder outside his window. He was one of the great souls of the world, and you are, too. I join with the thousands of your supporters who wish you a return to full health.     Winning and losing by Richard Woods, Sparks, NV, USA  

“Lassen NP”
original painting
by Richard Woods

As an arts magazine editor I frequently referenced (with your permission!) some of the ones that were particularly relevant to a local event or issue. I did what I could to spread your wealth around. Thank you. On a personal level, cancer has had its spoon in my world too. My wife is just finishing radiation for breast cancer, this after losing her baby sister a year ago to a brain tumor. Off the top of my head I can think of almost a dozen of our near and dear winning or losing the battle with the big C. Your words give me hope. Thank you again.         Belief in miracles by Mona Youssef, Ottawa, ON, Canada  

“Blue Shadows”
oil painting
by Mona Youssef

It is all about attitude and acceptance for what life brings us and how we face it. Even healthy people do not know what tomorrow will bring them. So best way is to enjoy every moment of each day and make the best out of it. If we worry about tomorrow, it will kill us now. So let us learn from the past and be proud of what we have done to the best of our abilities, enjoy today and show appreciation to our kind supporters. We came with nothing to the world and our parents put on some cloths to cover us and we leave with nothing but our achievement in life. We will leave the kind of reputation we built whether a treasure to be remembered or otherwise. Robert, what you have done greatly for yourself, family, friends and many others has been a treasure. This treasure will always remain as light in the winter dark days. I do believe in miracles and the ability of our body to reverse itself and you can be cancer free.   ‘Letters from Canada’ by Robert Erskine, Harrow, Middlesex, UK  

“Dead blow”
original sculpture
by Robert Erskine

Difficult as it is to fully appreciate how you feel, I wanted to let you know how much I have enjoyed and will continue to enjoy your Letters From Canada, like Alistair Cook’s Letters From America on the other side of the pond. Whilst not every single comment has been agreeable, your dialogues and passion have an honest vibrant resonance I really look forward to, and that is the key. No resonance, no communication that is art that is life, too. Art/sculpture and the mechanical are all related.   Laughter by Lorna Dockstader, Calgary, AB, Canada  

“Tangle Falls”
original painting
by Lorna Dockstader

After reading this morning’s letter, I came across an interesting quote, “A sense of humor… is needed armor. Joy in one’s heart and some laughter on one’s lips is a sign that the person down deep has a pretty good grasp of life.” (Hugh Sidey) Am so grateful for your wry sense of humour that is interwoven in so many of your letters. Humour has the ability to bring us through some of the most difficult times in our lives. I have witnessed someone in much pain, who still had the amazing ability to bring joy to another. And strangely as it seems, I felt grateful to have been there. We relived our funny moments together, and afterwards I realized that it was just the release we needed. “Laughter is not at all a bad beginning for a friendship, and it is far the best ending for one.” (Oscar Wilde)   We are listening by Marie Martin, Fountain Valley, CA, USA  

“Higher Destiny”
original painting
by Marie Martin

The urge is to keep filling the air with words of profound gratitude for all that you’ve given. But I’ll hold off on those heartfelt exhortations for a bit, close my mouth and quietly listen to what you do best … teach. Wouldn’t it be something if, in the end, your twice-weekly letters were not intended to be the main event, but rather has been a vehicle to gather a large body of students who’ve been primed to look to you for guidance, so that you may show us ways to pass through this life with dignity, clarity and intentionality. Today’s letter, filled with glimpses of your new reality, is so valuable. While I don’t feel old at all, at 65 one cannot help realize that this life truly cannot go on forever. It is my wish to travel the final third phase with courage–and with eyes wide open — and learn what I can about moving gracefully toward “the end” without wasting precious moments. That wish cannot be fulfilled simply by wishing — one needs information to create a roadmap. One needs to be practicing the dance steps. So please keep sharing your observations. Take us by the hand and show us. Teach us as you have always done. We are an audience with ears accustomed to your gentle voice. We are, as always, listening. There are 2 comments for We are listening by Marie Martin
From: Ann Osgood — Nov 04, 2013

Thank you for this beautiful sentiment Marie. I think you voiced what many of us feel.

From: Diane Overrmyer — Nov 05, 2013

So well said Marie! I hope Robert that you and Sara both realize that most if not all of us feel this way. We are blessed to have Sara’s willingness to step in and help and we hope you both can feel uplifted as we support you through our prayers and thoughts. We welcome anything, anything at all, that either of you wish to share.

  Ongoing legacy by Camilla Schwarz, Annapolis, MD, USA   I have been receiving and reading your letters for some time now. They never fail to delight and amaze. You have an uncanny ability to describe with clarity some of the thoughts and an ineffable suspicion I have about life and art that swim just beneath the surface of my mind. You make me feel part of a bigger world, you remind me that “alone” is an illusion — we are all connected in the same way that you so eloquently and seemingly effortlessly connect art, philosophy, medicine and life. When I read your letters, I feel like I know you. You’ve been so very generous in sharing your insights and epiphanies. You’ve remained curious and kind and you have passed that legacy on to all who have read your words. I am happy for you — you get to observe and choose how to spend the rest of your life — as if we haven’t been doing that since birth, but, you know what I mean. You are headed out to the biggest adventure of all, there are surprises around every corner. I am grateful to you for your effort and generosity. I wish that I had met you but I feel that I know you. Thank you.   Living with intention by Anita Edwards, Vancouver, BC, Canada  

“The Bullpen”
original painting
by Anita Edwards

As all your friends, pupils and those who briefly pass through your life, I was so sorry to hear of your illness. Through Barb Newton I met you many years ago and again at Hollyhock and had the chance to appreciate your incredible talent and sense of humour. When we met, you passed on to me something I wrote down and framed and have had placed in a special place in all my studios. It reads: Live with intention Walk to the edge Listen hard Practice wellness Play with abandon Laugh Choose with no regret Continue to learn Appreciate your friends Live as if this is all there is Do what you love   Decide to live by Summer Rain, Asheville, NC, USA   The fastest way to die is to believe you are going to die… instead I encourage you to believe you are going to live… we are all going to live as long as we live. Please stop putting so much focus on dying. Live today, forget about dying, it will come when it comes, and you may be very surprised just how long that might be. Animals are lucky since they have no sense of dying; my Golden Retriever was given 3 months at the most to live with her cancer; I put her on a very good organic homemade diet, made special effort to play with her “a lot,” and she lived another 2 1/2 years, dying at the age of 10. I was also given 3 months to live and here I am 26 years later. Doctors, even the best, do not always have the answer as to when or even if we will in fact die… so sure, “clean up your studio,” probably needs it anyway, chuckles, then LIVE! There are 3 comments for Decide to live by Summer Rain
From: Debbie Wilson — Nov 05, 2013

I could not agree more! Well put, my thought exactly! You have too much to live for! We love you and need you in our world.

From: Ancient Artist — Nov 05, 2013

While I concur wholly with so many of the comments I cannot but pass on these words, chosen by the British SAS as thier motto: Carpe Diem – live for the day ! besides, is this not what you have been telling us, as artists, to do !

From: Gentlehawk — Nov 07, 2013

  The big career move by Don Steele, Vancouver, BC, Canada  

“Working on the East Side”
original painting
by Don Steele

Bob, I know you are committed to your art and the business of your art… but markets come down and markets go up as regularly as toilet seats, so this is entirely too extreme a ploy! Prices will recover, so knock it off or I will personally report you to the authorities for market manipulation! If none of your buddies have laid this on you I would be very surprised.          

Archived Comments

Enjoy the past comments below for Thanks

From: Rosemarie Manson — Oct 31, 2013

We artists never achieve perfection in this life. It’s the journey, Robert. And you’ve taken us all on the most glorious journey.

From: Clyde Steadman — Oct 31, 2013

The world is a better place for you having been here. Thank you. And thank you.

From: Lynda Bates-Zimmer — Oct 31, 2013

I have to agree with Rosemarie, you Robert have been an inspiration to me for a long time both with your letters and your paintings. I first saw your work in my hometown gallery and loved it! You may not think your work is perfect but others like myself do! The journey is just beginning and we are all going to be here with you! Many blessings to you and your family!

From: Warren Thompson — Oct 31, 2013

Thank you for continuing to share…the good, the bad or the ugly. You continue to educate many about art and life. I look to every newsletter.

From: Darleene MacBay — Oct 31, 2013

I am sorry, sorry I never got to meet you in person, I am sorry I never got to see you art in person but I am Thankful for the internet and your letters which I always looked forward to. and I have learned and enjoyed your pictures , your thoughts, your family, your friends and your very precious time. Robert Thank You and stay happy and healthy. Your always welcome for a cup of coffee here and great conversation..

From: JUDY GRIFFITHS — Oct 31, 2013

ROBERT, Glad to see that your spirits are high, and you are still writing to us, but, I must ask, is there no treatment, whatsoever, that can help you?? JG

From: Sonal Panse — Oct 31, 2013

Robert, I’ve been getting your newsletters for a few years now and they have always been very inspiring. You have a beautiful spirit. I’m sorry, like many here, that I’ve never met you, and I so very much hope you stay well. Best Regards.

From: Delores Hamilton — Oct 31, 2013

As I read through all the notes your readers have sent in, it occurs to me that you have a second, equally powerful, legacy: The Painters Key’s. I’m so grateful that I bought your book of newsletters, written long before I discovered you.

From: Angelika Ouellette — Oct 31, 2013

Dear Robert, darn. Can’t imagine being without your weekly letters, they…and you, have been so much my lifeline to art and other artists. Not to mention the thought provoking content, intelligence, wisdom and your humor. Though the passing of a lifetime appears to be inevitable it seems so sad for those of us still immersed in it. Your ability to disperse shadows with your succinct lightness of heart is deeply appreciated. Who knows what gifts your experience will bring to you, your family, and your online family. Perhaps the carrots will work their miracle. From my heart to yours with honor and much love. Angelika

From: Irene Brady Thomas — Oct 31, 2013

I’ve been one of yours since your early newsletter days, and I want to thank you for your giving self. You are directing us through the years and sharing your wonderful life with so many. I love your experimental easels and cars and carts and planes, etc. Such fun. Twenty years ago I had my last surgery for metastatic cancer. I am here by sheer luck and know what you are saying about the other component a “death sentence” gives a life…a special richness. Thanks for sharing so much of that with us, Robert.

From: Brenda Pon — Oct 31, 2013

You have spent your life painting and looking for perfection, maybe that wasn’t really supposed to be your life’s work. Maybe it was supposed to be the perfection in your gift of sharing. I have been touched so deeply by your musings and to me that is perfection. The love you have for family and friends is perfection, just look in the mirror and you may see what others see…the perfection of a dear one.

From: Loreena Lee — Oct 31, 2013

In all the years I’ve known you, I’ve admired your art, your generosity and your dedication. Thank you for your friendship and the colour you have added to my life.

From: Mira Desai — Nov 01, 2013

Thank you for bringing so much color and thought into my life. I’m not even a painter– I write. But so much that you wrote and write resonates, even halfway across the world. Namaste.

From: Sandi Howell — Nov 01, 2013

Love you Robert……you have lived you artist’s journey on the world stage to the benefit of the rest of us…in so many ways. But I am in the angry place with the grief. Angry that it has to be this way. Angry that it seems to ‘cut short’. I feel that having been through this with a spouse and several others I would like to put that element on the table for you and for all of us. And it’s OK.

From: Eileen Casey — Nov 01, 2013

From: Barbara Farren — Nov 01, 2013

Thank you for your inspiring letter — so full of truth and beauty. Really I just wanted to cry because it is so ‘spot on” what it is like to be an artist. But of all of us, you have had a huge influence and made such a difference in SO many peoples lives! We are grateful to you and your continuing uplifting words that keep US going. Hopefully we can keep you going as well!! You are in my thoughts and prayers, please don’t give up. Barbara

From: Tom Semmes — Nov 01, 2013

It was, what, about four years ago that a good friend pointed me to your blog. The Painters Keys has become a trusted friend and mentor as well, riding with me on an up and down journey through art. Sometimes it is a confirmation of what I already knew but couldn’t say as eloquently. And sometimes a reminder that I really could try harder. To be an accomplished artist and teacher is remarkable. To write one of the best blogs on painting on top of those acheivements is awesome. You are a formidable role model Mr. Genn. If there is one message I have taken from you it is this: “keep working”.

From: Regina Calton Burchett — Nov 01, 2013

Thank you, for such an uplifting letter. I too am grateful for many things, my family and friends, and the natural beauty around us. One of the things I’ve come to appreciate is your letters – I most often agree, sometimes not, but it is obvious they are given so much thought. You give me a lot of insight into my own art and attitudes about it. Thank you for your excellent outlook and for sharing that with us. Regina

From: Holly Irwin — Nov 01, 2013

God bless you, Robert. You are a joy and an inspiration to us. My prayers are with you, Holly

From: Judy Newman — Nov 01, 2013

Robert, about two months ago I was reffered to your web site. My first thought was “where have I been?” Then I remembered that I was working for the health authority that you reside in. I retired 3 years ago and finally have time to pursue my passion of drawing, painting and using my creative right hemisphere of my brain finally! Now the disappointing news of your diagnosis. As one of my pathologists said to me when he was diagnosed, “it is nature’s destiny”. The important thing is that you have lived life well and you contribute in a joyous and helpful way. You still have a number of “miles” to put on yet, be positive, stay strong! I’ll look forward to every newsletter and continue to learn from your wonderful web site!

From: James W. Harris — Nov 01, 2013

Every issue of your newsletter is a delight and an inspiration. It lights up my life and inspires me to create, to observe and appreciate the creativity of others, to encourage others to create, and to look at the glorious word we live in with fresh eyes. It is a wonderful blessing and I thank you so much for it.

From: Nadya — Nov 01, 2013

Love your newsletters! Best regards!!

From: Judy Palermo — Nov 01, 2013

It’s amazing how clearly you inform, and inspire us, with your present goals, and outlook. A lifetime in art is emcompassed in your perspective; thank you for sharing this.

From: Robert Sesco — Nov 01, 2013

From: Susan Kellogg, Austin, TX — Nov 01, 2013

If it is not too personal, I was wondering about your wife. I hope that she is as alright as she can be under these circumstances.

From: LeeAnna — Nov 01, 2013

Dear Robert, Like so many of the others I am bewildered and saddened. However, I am also uplifted by your sense of gratitude. I have been following your notes for a few years now and feel as if I do know you. Many a day has started off feeling re-energized and positive because of the thoughts you have shared. Your blog is the only one I have followed continuously. It is always positive and informative. I will miss it and you. Many before me have responded as I would have – you will be missed. Thank you!! Sincerely, LeeAnna

From: Richard Laurent — Nov 01, 2013

Dear Robert, Like you, I am a painter. I confess that I haven’t always had the time to read your blogs, so I’m feeling guilty right now. The thing is, what I have read has always been spot on. I’ve lost several good friends to cancer in recent years and the event always carries with it the same message…life is precious. As an artist, we have the responsibility to create awareness of this. You have accomplished this in very elegant way. Godspeed, Robert, and thank you from the bottom of my heart.

From: Shane Conant — Nov 01, 2013

From: Pamela Bleakney — Nov 01, 2013

Robert, Because of your letters I’m a better artist and a much better person. Thank you. Pamela

From: Marvin Humphrey — Nov 01, 2013

Thanks for those two quotes, Robert. So profoundly true.

From: Susan Warner — Nov 01, 2013

From: Lina Jones — Nov 01, 2013

After reading your newsletter this morning I am devastated at the news that you are so ill Robert. I have looked forward to your newsletters and have always been rewarded with insightful, wise, humorous and compassionate reflections. Please know that we all love you and our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Stay strong and positive and find joy in each day. Much love to you and yours.

From: Martha Joffrion — Nov 01, 2013

From: P. Y. Duthie — Nov 01, 2013

Through your letters you model how live a meaningful life with mindfulness, passion, joy and dedication. It’s really the same thing whether you dedicate your time to growing organic vegetables, raising a family, volunteering, or painting pictures. Your letters motivate me to get up in the morning and follow my bliss. Thank you for sharing the gift of your writing. It matters. With love from to you and your family.

From: Kathryn Cramer Brown — Nov 02, 2013

I paint abstractly, now using a graphic platform. I’m not sure how or when I discovered your newsletter, but I’ve followed it because it is more than painting. It’s about spirit and the fullness of life. With this this diagnosis this has not changed. Many blessings on this transition for you and your family.

From: Patty Cucman — Nov 02, 2013

Yesterday we had the pleasure of hearing and seeing our mutual friend Chic Scott preside over a story telling session of local notables. One was Laurie Streslek who was the first Canadian to summit Everest. Chic is a modest and humble man and told two lovely stories – one about his daughter’s first exposure to the generosity of the mountain culture at the age of 5 and the second about his own experience of a magical moment in the mountains. It was a simple story and a relatively “ordinary” day but because he was watching it became spiritual and extraordinary even now decades later. I know you have had some of those experiences of your own. We forget sometimes to watch for those days or moments. Keep an eye out. There are more to come. You would have loved hearing the story.

From: June — Nov 02, 2013

Like everyone else I was shocked by your news. I met you many years ago. You gave a class or demo to my art group; I decided you were pompous and full of yourself! Time moves on and I have since learned what a giving person you are to share your knowledge with all of us “out here”. I wish you the best of outcomes, like most of your on line friends we want you to go on forever. I also heard a story of a woman with a similar illness, somehow she fooled them all and is alive now 11 years plus since her “terminable” diagnosis. I am about the same age as you, which is more than three score and ten! I have diabetes, and COPD and a few other things not worth mentioning. My mantra has always been “carry on regardless”. My painting doesn’t improve much but I keep on trying. J oy is a simple thing, a phone call just told me my bank account has been unlocked. Such frustration yesterday I wanted to pay a bill and could not! As a little girl I wanted to believe in fairies. I never saw one but the joy of searching my mother’s rockery made up for that. So Robert, know there are so many people who love and respect you and have learned lessons from you. Thank you for your letters and we all hope they will be there for us for a long time yet. Love and Best Wishes, June R.

From: Gordon — Nov 02, 2013

Robert, my friend had the same cancer you do and he beat it. it’s been almost 12 years cancer-free.

From: Steve M. — Nov 02, 2013

I’m deeply saddened with the news. I wish I kept in touch as both of us had an Experience at the Art Centre School of Art in L.A. I first met you when you were Art Director [ many moons ago] . …illustrating Newspaper Ads at Studio One [ I think..] I was fresh out of School and needed some kind of Job…I wish I paid more attention to your advice…I became an Art Director for Agencies ….yuk….Painting is my Love and NOW my new Focus….Your Letter was an inspiration and wake-up call for me and hopefully for many others. Regards and God Bless You Robert….

From: Catherine — Nov 02, 2013

From: Jeanne Aisthorpe-Smith — Nov 03, 2013

Gratitude is something I practice every morning and every evening and many times in between…’s the only way to live and it makes our troubles less significant and often eliminates them completely…. You have given so much…..and I AM grateful…..

From: Suzanne Jacobs — Nov 03, 2013

I was shocked , saddened and uplifted by your last three letters. I am so thankful to my friend who introduced me to your twice weekly letters back in 2006 and to you for being present in my life since then through your messages of inspiration, knowledge and humour. I wish you peace, love and know that your influence through your brush and pen have touched so many of us. Thank you

From: linda — Nov 03, 2013

Dear Robert: This has been a ground shaking year for us too….my husband was diagnosed with untreatable devastating disease. We are practising the art of joy so it becomes part of us and it will be there for us when we really need it. Each day as the sun rises we realize we are all “time limited editions” a reminder to get out there and make it happen. We wish you and yours our very best.

From: Marilyn Smith — Nov 04, 2013

I was told I would die by the time I am 40–I am now 61 and on my second “rodeo” of breast cancer. I don’t feel I have fought for my life-I accept all my physical weakneses, do what I can and try to live in the moment. I have gratitude of whatever comes my way or whatever throws me for a loop. Accept and fight your battle in the best way you feel is right for you. I have learned much from you and hope to learn more.

From: Julie — Nov 04, 2013

I have enjoyed the little newletter anecdotes. I am sorry to hear of your struggles with cancer, a horrible word that I hate to say. To have such an attitude of gratitude is probably the real substance, nothing fake about your life. To live in this positivity gives me hope. In the meantime, I sometimes wonder if we don’t give up on hope when we are given a deadly prognosis. It seems futile to pretend we will just wake one morning healed, no longer sick. You know that everything can be found on the internet, and believe me, I believe all of it. My mind changes constantly and I love all the information. It is fun to learn. So I will throw this out there and you can take it or leave it. Negative ions. I recently got back from Colorado, where my sinus allergies went away. While I was there I drank the natural spring waters and spent time in the mountains. Felt so much better. Maybe some truth to the negative ions, mineral water seems to have more of them! Who knows??? Sure wouldn’t hurt, waterfalls are so nice!!!! God bless !!

From: Toni Perrin — Nov 04, 2013

Dear Robert, I have been receiving and treasuring your letters for some time now. Thank you for your sensible, enlightening commentary. You have inspired, encouraged, and sustained many people. Most of my circle of friends are subscribers and devoted followers. People you do not even know, think of you daily. We are sending our love and support. Consider this letter a “verbal hug” and a sincere “thank you”. This world is a better place because of your presence. Your caring dedication has been a great gift to the rest of us. Blessings to you and yours, Toni Perrin

From: Oscar Bearinger, Killaloe ON — Nov 04, 2013

From: Sarah — Nov 04, 2013

The ultimate canvas is this time we are given in this place, on this big, blue/green ball. We are given the medium of our expression of friendship and love and we know we have mastered the medium when we see these -friendship and love, reflected back to us many times over. I think the above letters show that you have done this Robert.. thank you.

From: Marie Martin — Nov 04, 2013

The urge is to keep filling the air with words of profound gratitude for all that you’ve given. But I’ll hold off on those heart felt exhortations for a bit, close my mouth and quietly listen to what you do best … teach. Wouldn’t it be something if, in the end, your art newsletter was not intended to be the main event, but rather has been a vehicle to gather a large body of students who’ve been primed to look to you for guidance, so that you may show us ways to pass through this life with dignity, clarity and intentionality. Today’s post, filled with glimpses of your new reality, is so valuable. While I don’t feel old at all, at 65 one cannot help realize that this life truly cannot go on forever. It is my wish to travel the final third phase with courage–and with eyes wide open — and learn what I can about moving gracefully toward “the end” without wasting precious moments. That wish cannot be fulfilled simply by wishing–one needs information to create a roadmap. One needs to be practicing the dance steps. So please keep sharing your observations. Take us by the hand and show us. Teach us as you have always done. We are an audience with ears accustomed to your gentle voice. We are, as always, listening.

From: Cecille Pearl — Nov 04, 2013

I just found out about your cancer. I am so sorry. I feel like I know you through your letters. I am a woman who took up painting when I retired. You have kept me in perspective of my abilities and I keep on trying because of the encouragement and knowledge you have provided. I hope you understand that you have helped many, many artists. Thank you for being you. Fondly, Cecille Pearl

From: Anna Morales — Nov 04, 2013

Hi Robert, I couldn’t believe my eyes when I read your last letter. I felt deeply sad and sorry for you and your family. Although we have never met in person, your weekly letters throughout these recent years have created a special bond as if we shared some kind of universal friendship. I’m very grateful to you for sharing your thoughts, comments, and wise advice. All my love to you and your family. Don’t give up, Robert! We are there looking forward to your positive news. Lots of love and hugs from Barcelona Anna Morales

From: Ernst Lurker — Nov 04, 2013

From: John Mestres — Nov 04, 2013

From: Peter Gluck — Nov 04, 2013

From: Jim Heumann — Nov 04, 2013

Robert: Thank you for your messages over all these years. You have provided illumination when I needed it, appreciation for the little and great things in art, and never an unkind word. A Gift. Jim Heumann

From: Franke Santos — Nov 04, 2013

Dear Robert, I’ve been getting these letters for a few years now, and just wanted to say I am very sorry about the news — but also happy to hear that it sounds like you are making the best of it. The grace that you’re sharing with me is invaluable; the valuable thoughts you’ve helped provoke in my head prod me every day to make better art, to go deeper, and to think about how I’m progressing artistically. Thank you. Regards, Franke Santos

From: Charles Chapman MD — Nov 04, 2013

Thank you for your many letters and advice to me and others. I am a physician and have had to give the findings that you have received far too many times . You have added a great deal to my understanding of how artists think and how they create. I will be here to see you through the future, you only have to ask if we are needed. Thank you again, Charles Chapman MD

From: john woochuck — Nov 04, 2013

From: Jackie Birchenough — Nov 04, 2013

Dear Robert, I have been getting your letters for several years now, but have never written to you. Your letters for the most part contained gems of insight that I have found invaluable. To read about your diagnosis, knocked me for a loop. I find that I have a fear of death and that you are so accepting of it, boggles my mind. I, too, have had a good life with the exception of a horrendous childhood. But I find the thought of leaving all of this to be excruciating. Have you any words of wisdom? It’s not that I fear death, itself, but that I can’t handle the thought of leaving all that I hold dear. That includes people, art, physical surroundings, you name it. In the meantime, I struggle and produce work that people say is super and some people even buy. But I know it’s not great art. What is great art??? I see paintings that I’d never hang on my walls or pay two cents for; and those are the ones that are touted by the critics. Help! Have you ever made sense of the art world? I have too many questions here and don’t expect you to answer, but let me end on this note. I have enjoyed your letters. I find your attitude toward your diagnosis is excellent and a model for me to follow. I truly hope things go smoothly for you and that St. Peter meets you at the pearly gates with a paint brush in his hand. Sincerely. Jackie Birchenough

From: Bud Johnson — Nov 04, 2013

Hello Robert I have read your twice weekly’s for the past six years now. You have a blessed life of peace, travel and fun doing what others can only dream of which as I see it, is doing what you love to do and sharing it with others along the way. We have meet a few times Robert. I have watched and talked with you at Painters Lodge, and at the Ferry Building Gallery. You may vaguely remember me best as a guy at the North Van Art festival’s painting contest who had a rather big black tool box, that slides open and closes up into a Cart on wheels. You know Robert, I believe that salvations is the realization that no one has to lose for me to gain. I believe that you live that way Robert and if only we could all live that way in life, wanting win win situations for everyone, we could all meet our maker with the confidence, peace and joy that I am sure you are experiencing. I wish and pray for a remission of your cancer Robert. Your a great man, I know you probably have lots of helping hands Robert but none the less, I live in Surrey and if ever you need a helping hand with anything I am a phone call away and would be available for you. You have been a distant friend Robert, may God continue to bless you and your family.

From: Stephen Denroche — Nov 04, 2013

We are thankful to have you . . . and we are not done with you yet!

From: Fran Wolok — Nov 04, 2013

It is I who should thank you for providing inspiration to a lonely career choice. I have truly enjoyed your 2x weekly notes and share your gratitude to nature and having the ability to record my surroundings. I wish you strength in your journey and inner peace. Thanks for sharing your writings.

From: Corine Beving — Nov 04, 2013

I have looked forward to “letter” each week, only now it occurred to to say thank you for your positive insight. Always enjoyed creating , but farming and raising a family did not leave time for this.

From: Barbara Remley Martin — Nov 04, 2013

Dear Robert, Your letter was stunning. I have enjoyed your thoughts and admired your illustrious pen. Surely medicine will produce an equal response and serve you well. You are in my thoughts for a swift and successful battle with this nasty foe that we all fear. Your bright light will be missed as you turn it in a new direction… illuminating, inspiring and brilliant as ever. I look forward to your generosity, when the literary fountain flows unencumbered sometime down the road. All good health, Remley

From: Lucille Callstrom — Nov 04, 2013

I can’t say how much I ‘look’ forward to hearing from Robert. I look forward to seeing more. Many blessings, and best regards. I send blessings of healing and good health. Lu Callstrom

From: Steven Lawrence — Nov 04, 2013

From: Sharon Cory — Nov 05, 2013

Thanks for being the bridge Sara. And for the wonderful quote from Borges that I think perfectly describes the life of a passionate person.

From: Jude — Nov 05, 2013

I am blanketed in sadness reading about your diagnosis, Robert……I am also watching how deeply this has touched me, as we have never met…and yet because I once lived in the Crescent Beach area, and spent much time there healing from deep life wounds, I feel a special kind of kinship with you! I have been a faithful reader of our wisdom for a number of years now, after a long time friend forwarded one of your letters to me! It was so appropriate for whatever was transpiring I my life @that time, that it turned me into a devotee. I am so done who dabble in s the creative process on many ways and have found your words and slant on the world to be uplifting, inspiring, encouraging and above all so truthful. I sense that you are taking this turn in the road with all of those qualities, and more, I order to ensure the greatest learning and noblest truth of the human journey! May your blessings be ever unfolding….. J. Chaikin

From: Olga de Klein — Nov 05, 2013

Dear Robert, thank you for having be an inspiration to me for a long time. Your words have always hit home to me and when I heard about your diagnosis I felt a grip on my heart. Of course I do not know what goes on in your mind, apart from what you wrote when confronted with this fact. I want to share with you that my mother was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 1975. She lived in Amsterdam. I was living in Mexico at the time and flew back to be with her. “Nine months” was the most the doctors told her. She lived another 10 years. In and out of the hospital yes, but for the longest time she had good quality of life and did exactly what she wanted to do. She travelled, came to meet her two grandsons that were born, and enjoyed every minute of the days she lived. She was a model for me: of courage, of perseverance, and for making me understand that we all have our times on this earth, and that we have to live that time to the fullest. I see you also as a model. You are gracious, you are devoted, you are one heck of a human being! I also believe in miracles. Please know that you are in my heart and that I am sending you healing energy through the Universe. It is strange to think I can write that to someone I have never met. But I did not have to as your writings made very clear who you are, and I always looked forward to opening your emails. Thank you for bringing that spirit to so many people! Olga de Klein, Chattanooga, TN

From: Laurel Anderson-McCallum — Nov 05, 2013

The best image you have given me is you and your Dad walking side by side, in talk, in spirit together. That will stay with me… that love will be in all of my paintings. Great gratitude for you, from me… See you later. We’ll all see you later.

From: Marlene Frechette — Nov 05, 2013

I have never thanked you, and I would like to do that. I am not an artist, but over the years, I have come to develop a great interest in, and appreciation of art. Your weekly letters have helped me understand a bit of your world as an artist, and a lot about life in general. Thank you so much for that! Receiving your letters has been like receiving some heartfelt observations about life from a friend.

From: Elaine Western — Nov 05, 2013

Robert, I have been receiving your newsletters for 7 years. I recently moved back to the U.S. from Saudi Arabia. Just now reading and responding to your news, although I could have written many other times as you always speak to my heart. Your encouraging letters kept me immersed in my art during 6 years of living in the Middle East and during the “Arab Spring”, a time of fear all over the region. Against odds, with the help of a group of other artists, I was able to have a solo art show and teach classes to Saudis and expats. Incidentally, while living in Texas 7 years ago, I spoke to you on the phone to welcome you as an “honorary member” into our art group. I was amazed to reach you by phone and hear your cheerful voice and sense of humor. I want to offer encouragement to you now (as you have encouraged isolated artists all over the world), and wish you a complete recovery.

From: Kathleen Turczyn — Nov 05, 2013

Thank you, Robert, for generously sharing your goodness and wisdom. You have profoundly influenced my life, not only as an artist, but even more so as a spiritual being. I am forever grateful to you.

From: Shirley McKay Britsch — Nov 05, 2013

Dear Robert, I was deeply saddened to learn of your struggles with cancer. Your letters and art have been an inspiration to me and to countless others. It always amazed me how you would find the time to prepare such insightful and meaningful letters as well as produce your beautiful art. I wish you well in this part of the journey of life. May God bless you with peace in your heart and the knowledge that you have lived fully and well, having given so much to others. We will pray for medical miracles to heal you. Thank you for all you have given to me.

From: Jill Badonsky — Nov 05, 2013

Hi Robert, I know everyone in your world is probably there with all different versions of support. My dad left the planet via pancreatic cancer. I hesitated to write this, didn’t want you to think another nut was offering their opinion. And I’m 95% sure you have enough people to talk with so it’s a 95% foolish endeavor. But there is that 5%. And if there was a possibility I could help, I don’t want to miss it. I don’t have any opinions. Just compassion and the knowledge that someone with cancer needs to talk to someone who understands that sympathy and sorrow isn’t what they need. They need the reflection of life and vibrancy, their own and others, or a simple understanding ear. I’ve worked with grief and loss as an art therapist. So if you need someone outside your immediate circle just to talk to, .. I’d be glad to listen. You’ve given so much of yourself over the years, I’d be honored to talk to you.

From: JoAnn Clayton — Nov 05, 2013

Thanks for continuing to share your thoughts with us. I have very serious heart disease, have recently put my family and financial affairs in order, but, of course, I am still not in your position. I admire your big heart and your hutzpah. I wish you a miracle, but want you to know that I (and many others, I’m sure) am thinking of you and wishing you well. Keep writing, please. JoAnn

From: Suzanne and Andre Dansereau — Nov 05, 2013

Dear Bob, words cannot express how sad we are for you to hear your news. As you shared your passion for life, Painting and family you continuously uplifted us on our journey and helped ignite a passion in our own lives for which we are truly grateful. Our love and Prayers to you and yours.

From: MaryLou Rockwell — Nov 05, 2013

Dear Robert, Ironically, I have not read my emails for some weeks as I was with my friend, in hospice care, helping her in her journey with pancreatic cancer. From ‘Cabaret’, I often sing “When I go, I’m going like Elsie”. Well, the name is changed. When I go I’m going like Jan did. From the moment of her diagnosis she made the decision to live life to its fullest for as long as possible. She had, following a long marriage and long last illness of her husband, found a cozy apartment in the heart of our town from whence she could walk to all the arts events. Herself an artist, actor, dancer, story teller and writer, she had an insatiable appetite for all things visual, auditory and kinetic. Having realized that she need not save her money for her old age, she bought red shoes, silk scarves and the finest of food. She encouraged friends to call and to come visit if she was strong enough that day. Long talks and raucous laughter rang out often from her living room where tasty nibbles, wine and song were frequently found and heard. She had a ‘foster’ nephew who wrote a daily blog so all her circle could keep up to date with her busy life. She chose to have hospice care in her home and in the last few weeks she had 24/7 nurses or attendants and her palliative care physician visited and spoke frankly with her about the prognosis and progress of her condition, outlining carefully what she might expect at each stage. This was a great comfort to her, and to all of us who cared for her, as the unknown is often the most frightening aspect of any illness. All this to say: many of us know and empathize with what you, your family, friends and acquaintances are facing on this sojourn. Life is fatal. Some of us have the opportunity to have a burn ceremony, as Jan did, to dispose of those papers and works which she did not want to share past her death. (That too was a wonderful event with some 25 of her nearest and dearest, copious quantities of good food and drink, a lovely night under the stars and a fire pit which was fed some marvelous writings, I’m sure). So yes…given the choice I’m going like Jan did. She said often that the last year of her life was the best one of all. She focused on those things which meant the most to her, allowed her friends access to the process (sometimes the hardest thing to do) and, as our foremothers used to say: “She died a good death”, where she wanted to be, with the people she loved, and with dignity. So, go ahead and do all those things. Turf the ‘junk’, sign the good stuff. Write your will, so your family knows what your wishes are, and they know what to do. Reach out to your friends and let them help, do, run errands, bake, transport you/family. We all really do want to help our friends in time of need. Give yours the grace of a task they can perform for you. I shall always remember that Jan preferred my leg massages over all others (or at least that was what she was kind enough to say). My mother died at 97 and left us with an amazing gift – she had planned and bought her funeral and plot some 15 years before her death. We had only to show up and sign the papers. Those anguishing decisions of what, where, who, were all taken care of, right down to the photo she wished to have on the service cover. All her surviving children have since done the same, knowing what a burden it lifts from those who love you. So..’come to the cabaret’. Life’s short, no matter how long. I wish you peace as you journey, comfort of those you love, and joy in the life you have. I have become very pragmatic about this whole journey of life thing. Jan, Mom, Brother Al, friend Rick, friend Liz, buddy Alan, Dad, Gran, friend Gloria, and her husband Don, babies Debbie and John, and on and on…they have all gone, some accidentally, some well before they might have rightly expected, and some far after they wished to be around. We can only hope that the good in us lives on the bad is forgotten or forgiven. Still, hope for the best….I do, on your behalf.

From: Shizue Cooper — Nov 05, 2013

Dear Robert, When I opened your e-mail on Oct 25th, I just gasped with disbelief, tears just filling up my eyes. I have never met you or talked with you before, but I’ve seen your many great paintings on Line and in the “Artist” magazine. When I find out from the magazine that I could subscribe to your Twice Weekly Letter, I applied right away. That was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Not only did I get hard to find advice from you and other artist, I had the feeling of belonging, like I had friends. It’s very important to me. I belong to several art societies, both Pastel and Watercolor, but I never had a chance to talk about artist problem with anyone. I’ve been receiving your twice Weekly Letter since 2012, It has been a “Guiding Light” to my life. Thank you so very much. I asked the Director of Creative Art Center in the Chatham, Massachusetts, to ask you to come here to do a workshop in 2015, It was sad for me to inform her that is now not possible. I hope today’s advanced medical technology will benefit your condition. I send my best wishes to you and your family.

From: Hope Barton — Nov 05, 2013

So sorry to hear your news. It was good to hear from Sara today and know how much comfort she must be to you. A few years ago, after my best friend died from ovarian cancer, I was facing my own thoughts of death and wondered what my family would do with my remaining artwork. I did a total evaluation of what I would leave behind. I totally understand your desire to get rid of anything you don’t want to be out there. I threw away etchings and plates and everything that I that was not up to snuff. I also made the decision to stop printmaking altogether and donated two etching presses to art organizations. I didn’t want my girls to have to deal with that and all of the paraphernalia that goes with printmaking. I will concentrate my last years on doing the best painting I can possibly do. If I am lucky, I will live as long as my dad (92) and hope to be able to share my knowledge and support with my granddaughter who shows ability at 14. Wishing for a miracle cure for you, Hope

From: bluehorsedancer — Nov 05, 2013

Dear Robert, just to add another voice to the choir: Thank you for all you have given and all you will continue to give…yes, I’m praying for your complete and speedy recovery. Stay positive and of the moment. WE LOVE YOU!

From: Wendy Neilson — Nov 05, 2013

From: Steve MacDowall — Nov 05, 2013

From: Rosemarie Manson — Nov 05, 2013

From: Richard and Nora Lea Benson, Powell River, BC — Nov 05, 2013

We read today’s letter twice, not wanting it to say what we were reading. These are hard moments for the sender of such news and for the receivers. This kind of news is all too common. But, there is lots to be done, as you have so positively stated. My husband has been through the cancer journey twice in the past dozen years and is an ongoing miracle, enjoying every day. We wish you and your family joy every day. Our very best wishes.

From: Karen Pierce — Nov 05, 2013

From: Elaine — Nov 05, 2013

You don’t know me, but I’ve subscribed to your letter for a few years. They have been beneficial not only with my very slow development as an artist, but on a personal level and in my business as an executive director of a nonprofit association. Thank you for sharing so much of yourself, and I know you will face this greatest challenge with great courage, and at times, your sense of humor will help. Thank you for all you have given, and never give up.

From: Michael Malzone — Nov 05, 2013

I imagine your e-mailbox is overflowing so forgive me for adding to the pile. I am very sorry to hear of your diagnosis and will certainly keep you in my prayers. As a professional painter and owner of an art school, I’m a huge fan of your newsletter and highly recommend it to every art enthusiast I know. We owe you an immense debt of gratitude for your words of wisdom, anecdotes, and wonderful art information. I apologize for waiting this long and for news like this to move me to write you, but as you work through this new challenge in your life, know that there are more people than you know rooting for you. I look forward to Robert Genn newsletters for many years to come, God bless you and your family.

From: Mary M Hart — Nov 05, 2013

You are so much more than a painter, though that might well be the highest satisfaction for any one of us. You are the Lighthouse in the fog of creativity for so many. You are a man who emits a standard of true feminine/masculine balance in your written words. You are one who has created a true community opportunity for striving artists. You are a Grand Master of the Art of Conversation, for you create an assembly of living works on the pages of your letters, and there also create a space for us to hear and respond to one another. You are thought of for Who you are, perhaps more than what you paint. You are a gift, a gift wrapped with the elementals of nature, and tied all up with a rain”bow” of pigments. Thank you, Thank you for being you.

From: Faye Richland — Nov 05, 2013

Robert, I pray that you live until 120. To all of the artists who have written these letters from their deepest hearts, I want to send my love and hugs to all of you because you all became my extended family. Every letter from you, Robert has raised me up in every way And helped animate each new day. These friends of yours are the most beautiful people. Robert, you are the person whom everyone wants and needs in their family. Love to your family for allowing that by sharing your life with us through your letters. Love to you and your awesome family. Thinking of you every day. You and Sara are a blessing in my life. Thank you. Faye Richland

From: Diane Clapp Bartz — Nov 06, 2013

Dear Sara, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You

From: Sally Giray — Nov 06, 2013

YOU have always been an inspiration, a guide and although never met face to face, a true friend. Thank you for all you give and may this year be one of the good years for you.. Love from all those who care for you will always Light the Way. My gratitude for your Presence is heart felt.

From: Sharon Knettell — Nov 06, 2013

Oh dear. My first thought was selfish. What shall I do without that gentle chronicle, your bi- weekly newsletter, that gives pace to my mornings and weeks? My prayers, thoughts and yes, tears are with you.

From: Donna Delsnyder — Nov 06, 2013

I’m extremely saddened by your last letter. Your letters have always been a lifeline for me. I have enjoyed reading them throughout the years. They have been insightful as well as thought provoking. You are in my prayers.

From: Dan Kent — Nov 06, 2013

The explosion of your bomb is felt here in Miami, Florida, USA. I have never written to you before. I have just enjoyed the wisdom and knowledge that has dropped in my mailbox twice-weekly. But I’d like you to know, for what it is worth, that I admire you, not just for your painting skill and writing skill, but also for your willingness to share and your good humor and empathy. Now the empathy shifts your way. And I am so sorry it has to be so. I have also had friends and relatives with cancer. It is an epidemic – that always seems to hit the best among us. Yet your tongue is firmly in cheek with the title of your letter, and despite everything happening to you, the focus of your letter is outward towards us. You even use the opportunity to give us professional tips. Hang in there. Focus on yourself – do everything you have to do. Don’t worry about us, except to the extent that the joy of giving helps you over this terrible bump. I hope and believe you will make it through. Doctors are often wrong. The events when they are, are called “miracles”. My thoughts, and the thoughts of many many other artists, will be with you through it all until the day when your friend Dr. Cheyne is sitting beside you, shaking his head in astonishment and smiling ear-to-ear. I hope and trust it will be so. All the best.

From: Laura Berman — Nov 06, 2013

From: Dennis Fairbairn — Nov 06, 2013

From: Nina Freeman — Nov 06, 2013

From: Perry Haddock — Nov 06, 2013

It`s hard to know how to react when an artistic hero tells you, “perhaps a year”. You won’t know how many artists like myself have leaned on you and considered you a mentor in our search to become professional and authentic. I haven’t written before to tell you what a huge role you have played in my art. So now I’m doing that. It’s my turn to lend you the support you’ve provided for me with your wisdom, candour and humour. I don’t have the slightest idea how to do that, other than for you to know that there are many thousands of us–I for one, for sure–who put a Genn yardstick up to our canvases. What would Robert do with this ugly patch of green? What the hell is wrong with this painting, and what piece of advice has Robert given me that I can now apply? People do beat cancer, even the pancreatic kind. Your instinct to worry about how to continue to support the rest of us is typical of you, but unnecessary. It’s time to be selfish, and to focus on beating this sonofabitch. I’ll be thinking of you whenever I squeeze out some paint. Best wishes, Perry Haddock

From: Norah Bolton — Nov 06, 2013

Like many of your readers, I am doing so. Since you are so grateful for creation, you are also being remembered in a parish church in Toronto. We’re not a gang that tries to pray in a silly way – just ones that want you to know that people care. I was held up by the same gang when my husband was dying of cancer and we were living on beautiful Vancouver Island and looking at sea. It was an extraordinary and beautiful stage in both our lives. As he said, every day is a gift. And who knows – the most awesome paintings may be still ahead!

From: Shelley Brown, Toronto ON, Canada — Nov 06, 2013

I have been quietly reading your letters for years. A few years back I purchased a couple of your collected letters. One a gift for my sister, the other for me. I hadn’t realized how deep my respect, friendship and love were for you, until i read your letter just now, and wept. You are one of a kind! A generous, kind, humorous, brilliant human being. You’ve done more for artists around the globe than anyone ever has. I will be sending you good vibrations and prayers and i fervently hope that you will defy your doctor’s verdict! With love, Shelley Brown

From: Sandy Brownscombe, Melbourne, Austraulia — Nov 06, 2013

We haven’t met but I feel that I know you from your letters, and I am sad to hear news of your ill health. I enjoy your letters so much, and am amused, enlightened, entertained, and challenged by them. Whether you continue writing them or not, I will continue to think of you with affection and gratitude. All my best wishes

From: Sherri Donlon — Nov 06, 2013

You don’t know me. However, I’ve been reading you for a long time, and feel like you’re an old friend. When I read “The bomb” I felt the repercussions all the way in California. Not particularly a religious person, I’ll be thinking and praying for you. Take care, ‘old friend’, sometimes that ‘second chance’ is right around the corner! Much love, -s

From: Tricia Reichert — Nov 06, 2013

My thoughts are with you. Your letters have been a great comfort to me (and I’m sure to many, many others) over the years. I feel fortunate to be among the recipients of your thoughts. I can’t thank you enough, for being willing to voice so eloquently the trials and tribulations of being an artist. When you are no longer able to write to us, (and I sincerely hope that day is a lot farther away than you think right now) you will surely be remembered with great affection for your continuous courage, intelligence, humor and candor.

From: Francie Bingham, Carpe ON — Nov 06, 2013

I feel compelled to write to you at this very trying time in your life. Not that I have anything to offer really but I can somewhat feel the angst of your family having just gone through the experience with my sister. I did want to say though, that I am not a typical artist at all. I learned to draw (better) in design school and then went on to take many courses in water – ugh, oils – favorite, and now acrylics and encaustics from many instructors. Mostly it was for fun – I have actually sold a couple – and of course my kids homes are full of my stuff! I love painting, but I am also running a pretty successful Design practise and so have little time for the wonderful act of painting – alas! What I really wanted to say to you is that I found your site maybe 3 or 4 years ago and I can’t possibly tell you how much I have enjoyed reading your twice weekly messages. Yes, sometimes I actually felt like they were messages to me… Mostly I felt like you gave me a little peek at what it might have been like to be a real artist and I’ve loved every minute of it! So, Thank you Robert! All the Best to you and your family on this journey – I can’t say enough about being positive even when it’s not seemingly a positive situation. My sister was a master at it – sometimes to a fault – I thought, but she got through it, I think better than I would have being “Mrs. Realist”. Kind Regards, Francie Francie L. Bingham, IDC-NCIDQ REGISTERED INTERIOR DESIGNER

From: Faye Sullivan — Nov 06, 2013

Although I have never met you, I feel as if we have been old friends since your first letter arrived. Your wit, knowledge and humor alway amaze me. You immediately made me feel as if you knew the real me and that we shared so much in common. You are talented in so many areas. Please know that the whole Genn Nation is praying for you and going through this difficult time with you. Thank you for teaching me so much about painting, making me laugh at myself and putting things in perspective. You know we all adore you, Faye P.S. I still believe in miracles

From: Sandy Garvin — Nov 06, 2013

From: Julie Ricketts, Columbus, Ohio — Nov 06, 2013

Robert, I have never written in before, but wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your letters. They have given me inspiration, instruction, challenge and even a few laughs. Thank you so much for sharing your insights and experience with so many artists like me, who need a little push and encouragement! I don’t know what you believe about God, but I will pray that He will overwhelm you with His love and the love of others.

From: Brenda Hofreiter — Nov 06, 2013

Since I have never met you, I am surprised by the depth of emotion elicited by your news. I am sure that you will get millions of responses, but that does not deter me from wanting to add my voice to the mix. I know we cannot live forever, but your news was very sad and I feel for you and your family in this perhaps final life battle. From your letters I know you have lived your life fully and have gained much insight and wisdom along the way. I thank you for sharing your journey with us, your fellow artists. I have grown to fully enjoy our little “fireside chats” each week and looked forward to your musings and advise. They have caused me to pause, examine and contemplate my own experiences a little deeper than I perhaps would have on my own. Your letters and the responses to them have illustrated, through many voices, the breath of the artistic journey. Some of them are familiar to me, and some so foreign that I might not have considered them without access to this forum. Without your voice, this would not have happened, at least not for me and all that you reach. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the courage, time and energy it took to begin and maintain this labor of love for the world of art that you have undertaken. You have made a difference, not only in the world of art, but in the lives of other artists who traveled with you. May God bless you and your family for the remainder of your journey. Brenda <a target=_blank href=”” title=”Brenda Hofreiter website”></a>

From: Sue Barr, South Australia — Nov 06, 2013

I have been enjoying your twice weekly letters for some time now. I am not an artist but appreciate art and greatly admire those who can capture images to last a lifetime and more… I was very moved by this, your current letter. Pancreatic cancer has struck my family (my father) many years ago and can understand the rollercoaster of emotions you would be having… I live in the Adelaide Hills in South Australia…….I have never visited Canada, but have always admired it from afar as a strong and vibrant country. May this long distance quick email wish you strength, a fighting spirit, improved health, continued creativity and many moments of peace and love and joy along the way. You are such a talented artist. Thankyou for sharing your stories along the way….I have learnt so much from reading them and I’ve enjoyed the laugh, the provocation, the beauty etc from what you relay to us all. I hope to read many, many more letters in the future. With my very best wishes during this challenging chapter of your life, Take care.

From: Jennifer Snyman — Nov 06, 2013

From: Stella Falconer, Somerset, UK — Nov 06, 2013

I have loved your letters more than almost everything in my inbox and would like to thank you for your quiet encouragement and inspiration over the years. Your latest letter has moved me to tears. I wish you and your family hope and courage over the coming difficult times and I am sure you know that you are a source of great joy to your many readers. Very kind regards, Stella Watercolour painter

From: Jody Ahrens — Nov 06, 2013

From: Jil Ashton-Leigh — Nov 06, 2013

The other day, I was looking at the print of the autumn trees in the snow and thought of you. I remember when I found that print in the recycling bin at my condo. I picked it up and put it in my car where ….it stayed for several weeks. Then, I brought it upstairs and placed it upon my shelf. If it is true that art can speak to a person, then I guess that old and faded print spoke to me. The vivid contrast of the yellow leaves against the snow made me think of Tom Thomson’s work in the Algonquin woods. That was the moment I decided I wanted to paint so you see, how much one person can influence another and make a difference….all in one brief, chance encounter? Upon hearing your latest news, I just wanted to take a moment to write and let you know once again how much my visit with you meant to me. I still remember with great fondness visiting you in your studio with Barb Newton last April. As we drove home on the freeway, I told Barb how special that time was for me and that it was one of the greatest moments I had experienced. I want you to know that I carry the photos of you holding my paintings on my iPhone with me all the time. Thanks again and take care my friend.

From: Pamela duLong Williams, South Berwick, Maine — Nov 06, 2013

From: Catherine Colsher — Nov 07, 2013

Dear Robert, I have been a follower for a number of years and have shared your newsletters with many artist friends over the years. The subject line of your recent Email announcement gave me a sinking feeling and I am so saddened by the news, but as with all of your writings, I will continue to be inspired and learn from newsletters yet to come. As proven by the thousands of responses, you are in the hearts and thoughts of so many, mine included. Although I’ve never personally met you, the sharing of your thoughts and knowledge intertwined with your wonderful (and sometimes self-deprecating) sense of humor, make me feel as though I know you. I am grateful for your generosity and the opportunity to know you (albeit cybernetically), and although the topic of your future newsletters may stray from the subject of art, I will continue to be inspired and learn through your life’s journey. Having lost many to cancer, my husband included, I know there are no words that can change the journey of something so personal . . . everyone seems to deal with life’s curves differently. Although it seems so inadequate for all of the inspiration you’ve given this artist, I want to wish you and all those close to you all the best in the days ahead. Thank You, Catherine Colsher

From: Sharon Urdahl — Nov 07, 2013

From: Scott Adams, Marin County, Californa — Nov 07, 2013

I have enjoyed your letters for a long time and found them to be encouraging to an artist, former architect, that has yet to come out into the world. I wish you well and that you get well. I believe in alternative medicines, as well as acupuncture, as they give one hope and cures where others thought not possible.

From: John Crater, McKinleyville, CA — Nov 07, 2013

I like the idea of repeating your letters forever, twice a week… feeling great love and admiration for you and your world. Keep up the good work.

From: Jackie Birchenough — Nov 07, 2013

Your letters for the most part contained gems of insight that I have found invaluable. To read about your diagnosis, knocked me for a loop. I find that I have a fear of death and that you are so accepting of it, boggles my mind. I, too, have had a good life with the exception of a horrendous childhood. But I find the thought of leaving all of this to be excruciating. Have you any words of wisdom? It’s not that I fear death, itself, but that I can’t handle the thought of leaving all that I hold dear. That includes people, art, physical surroundings, you name it. In the meantime, I struggle and produce work that people say is super and some people even buy. But I know it’s not great art. What is great art??? I see paintings that I’d never hang on my walls or pay two cents for; and those are the ones that are touted by the critics. Help! Have you ever made sense of the art world? I have too many questions here and don’t expect you to answer, but let me end on this note. I have enjoyed your letters. I find your attitude toward your diagnosis is excellent and a model for me to follow. I truly hope things go smoothly for you and that St. Peter meets you at the pearly gates with a paint brush in his hand.

From: Jude Lobe, Mebane, NC, USA — Nov 07, 2013

From: Chris Moore — Nov 08, 2013

your comment….”Last night, as I was shutting down, a family of raccoons slipped silently by on their way from one local diner to another” That is the heart of it really……..moving from one painting to another is a necessity for an artist. It is nice of you to share your insights into the best and worst moments of that process. Although I am not a racoon, my creative drive has me doing a lot scrounging around. Thank you again.

From: BethAnn Lubert — Nov 08, 2013

Robert, I thank you for sharing your artistic insights with us…as an artist that at times “has lost her way” I signed up a while ago to get your newsletter, which I read, reflect and try to incorporate some of what you have said in my daily life in my attempt to find my way back to art…..I wish you peace and sincerely Thank you for sharing “You” it has made an impact..

From: Coral Greant , Calgary AB — Nov 08, 2013

First of all, I am to hear about your diagnosis, please remember, there is always hope and I shall continue to place you and your wife and family in my thoughts and prayers! You are a wonderful artist and a fine man and I want to thank you for sending me your newsletters for so many years – they have given me tremendous insight and so much enjoyment

From: Laleah Adams — Nov 08, 2013

At your current stage of life, you are making a huge difference in mine. I have great respect for the way you think and choose to share. I’m devouring your letters.

From: Jean McDavitt NZ — Nov 08, 2013

The very first time I sold a painting I rushed home, wildly excited, grabbed the telephone to call my Dad. At that moment I realised he had died only a few weeks earlier. But he was still there, in my heart, as he ever has been, 48 years on.

From: John Crump — Nov 09, 2013

I hope Robert that your quotes at the bottom of your letters might be true for you that life will give you a second chance. That with the right treatment, guidance, etc, you might find healing. If not, then I feel that you can look back on your life and your pal relationship with so many people around the world with great satisfaction as no doubt, your bulging mailbox demonstrates!

From: Vicki Carruthers — Nov 09, 2013

In life you never know what the future brings… but being an artist, it is truly what you leave behind. Your work is and has always been an inspiration to me.

From: Bruce Morrison — Nov 09, 2013

From your weekly letters, your books and your paintings, I just want to say how grateful I am for this association! I shall treasure it as the blessing it is and has been. As I paint and as I go through my life, I hope to pass on the spirit of the gift you have given all of us.

From: Paige Axelrood — Nov 09, 2013

You’ve enriched my life and you will continue to do so as I re-read your letters – I know I will continue to gain inspiration. I feel lucky to have attended your recent presentation in West Vancouver on October 8th. The discussion that came from your lists of words and phrases was thought-provoking and really struck a chord with me.

From: Bill Schwarz — Nov 09, 2013

I wrote you [Robert] about a year ago about coming to BC to paint and asking for locations. You took the trouble to respond by asking me to call you when I arrived and you’d help. You also provided me with gratuitous and flattering comments about my painting style and design. I was really touched by your response. It makes me proud of the two paintings of yours that we bought at least forty years ago!

From: Jack and Heather Waters — Nov 09, 2013

You are probably aware that you and I are the same age, and this really brings home the necessity to live each day to the fullest, as it may be your last. Had a few medical issues in the last few years, but most have been resolved successfully, and am now enjoying reasonable health. Living on the other side of the pond means we don’t see you as often as we might like, but do stay in loose touch through your blogs. Should there be a need from our side, anything I might do to ease the burden, please get in touch directly. Great that Carol and the kids are so supportive, it must be a blow to them also.

From: Heather Entrekin — Nov 09, 2013

My sister, Heidi, a regular reader, has shared your letters from time to time, and I have always found them meaningful, encouraging, and wise for the artist in everyone, not to mention beautifully written. I am a pastor; each morning I will be holding you in prayer.

From: Sally MacGregor — Nov 09, 2013

I just wanted to share a moment my husband and I had in France. We were on a tour from Paris to Giverny to see Monet’s garden. We had both studied the impressionists in university but it is not until we saw their work that we finally realized the magic of light that they produced, especially with the paints that were available to them. Monet’s garden was so inspirational to me. He understood the idea of an ever changing pallet of color and texture that a garden provides and was able to capture the light and reflections of the sky and plants so well. Monet was a truly exceptional inspiration to the art world. I am also a gardener and was so enlightened by his vision in both his garden and his work. I also understand how he found the vision of a fairyland in his ponds. It is through Monet’s spiritual connection with nature that he created his landscapes or dreamscape in his case that elevated his work. I hope to return to his garden, hopefully in the spring to see it in full bloom but for now I am in my studio working from the photo’s I took while there.

From: Angela Treat Lyon — Nov 09, 2013

From: Julie Eliason — Nov 09, 2013

From: Cathy Fields — Nov 09, 2013

I didn’t send a any details of my husband’s dietary cancer treatment as I felt that you may be overwhelmed with outside advise, but then I saw that you seemed to welcome the input on carrot juice and I read the line in yesterdays letter: “I’m thinking, if the end was to come sooner rather than later, we’ll still be ready.” and I have decided to send some details anyway, and if you don’t want it, hit delete. This is an abbreviated outline of the high points: My husband has a type of lymphoma that isn’t common, hence doesn’t have specific treatments. So our naturopath suggested a diet where he DOESN’T eat these items: sugar, (he replaces this with stevia), alcohol, (with the exception of a small glass of red wine once a week or on a special occasion), wheat and other gluten containing grains, (I make him rice and almond flour muffins), tropical fruits and red meat. He DOES eat fish, poultry and non-tropical fruits with a particular emphasis on eating lots of raspberries, (they are tough on cancer), and blue berries. He also uses a few homeopathic drops, and a detoxification tea and was able to reduce the size of masses in his body for almost three years using just the naturopath’s game plan. He also switched over from coffee to green tea. I realize that his cancer is different from yours, but this diet is supposed to help for all types of cancer. The naturopath is very good to supplement your health care.

From: Maureen Lyttle, Calgary, Alberta — Nov 09, 2013

From: Eileen Harder — Nov 09, 2013

I am not religious but I do study metaphysics and I have studied near death experiences for the last 15 years or so. I have experienced many intuitive things, premonitions and contact from others that have passed. I know it sounds flaky but I am a very sensitive artist and I am not crazy…. I have books by doctors that I can also suggest. Dr. Eben Alexander who is a neurosurgeon (a brain surgeon) who taught at Harvard U for 25 years, He has written a book titled “Proof of Heaven” and another book is “Life after Life” by Dr. Raymond Moody. I just thought you might want to consider this research.

From: Judy Brown, RN — Nov 09, 2013

Please try hemp oil capsules. I also use hemp milk. The research is promising.

From: Angela Walsh, Horseshoe Bay, BC. — Nov 09, 2013

I have came across Chris’s website and if you haven’t had a chance to look at alternative treatments, I’d take some time to look at what this cancer survivor has to say!! Pretty compelling stuff to think about, and it sounds like you’ve already got a juicer! It must be incredibly scary, and I want you to know I’m thinking of you and sending healing thoughts – as so many of us are!

From: Deborah Hedgepath — Nov 09, 2013

I feel compelled to respond with great sympathy and sadness to hear of the “bomb” affecting your life. May peace be with you and your family as you sort through the necessary processes of this coming year. I really like the idea of Sara continuing on with the newsletters ….this would be an appreciated and serviceful legacy to leave behind, not to mention taking it forward. I have only been receiving your newsletters for about 3 years, so I’m sure I would benefit from “reruns” if you will. It’s just like the good old shows on TV that were so wholesome and one never grew tired of it. Or a favorite painting hanging in a gallery that you want to see over and over again. Thanks for sharing your passions and adventures…… your journey continues to inspire.

From: Marilia Costa, Teresina Piaui, Brazil — Nov 09, 2013

From: Judith Berman — Nov 09, 2013

You have become the friend who calls me twice a week for a quick chat. If I cry now it is because I hate a future without it. I am very sad to learn of your illness but I am also happy to learn that you are having fun. People will tell you they love you more often, they will hug you more. Keep yourself as healthy as possible so that you have more time to enjoy their love. There is something you must investigate called coriolus, it is a mushroom that can help. Stay strong.

From: Leonard MacKenzie — Nov 09, 2013

From: Polly — Nov 09, 2013

May the Divine Light flood the cells of your body and heal you.

From: Marilynn Markham — Nov 09, 2013

Thank you for your insightful writing. It is so profound, and more importantly, of deep meaning to me. I had learned of your illness only the day before you sent me your email; through an artist who was showing some of her paintings at the Elgin Hall near Crescent Beach, BC. I mentioned to her that I had met you at Hollyhock on Cortes Island last summer during your “plein air” sessions. I enjoyed your discussion about your life work, and your deep fondness for Sara, your daughter. I enjoyed your stories of your amazing life journey, a truly unique “esoterical” experience.

From: Christopher Pierce — Nov 09, 2013

I have never written to you before, but I need you to know that you have been a solace and steady companion for years now. About seven years ago I met another artist, Michael Abraham, from Canada. he came to NYC to draw and we met at the well-known Spring Studio. One day I was telling him how lonely I felt when I was painting, and since my studio was way in the country in upstate New York, he told me about your letters. Robert, they have helped me so very, very much. THANK YOU! I have spread the work since and other artists have thanked me for that. Fortunately for me I have kept most of your letters and will always refer to them. In peace and admiration.

From: Linda Anderson, FCA Victoria Chapter — Nov 09, 2013

The ultimate gift a parent can give their children is to allow them to share your thoughts and desires for the dignity of closure. I have gained so much from your workshops and twice-weekly letters.

From: Alec Hall — Nov 10, 2013

In 2004 a good friend and colleague introduced me your Letters. Of the many kind things this friend did for me, connecting me to you was certainly in the top 5. In turn, I have passed along your letters and contact info to all of my students over the last 9 years. There is no better gift in the world of art than to be connected with like-minded colleagues and freely sharing information with them. You have brought the art world into my home like no other artist that I know, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

From: Wyn Easton — Nov 10, 2013

Your newsletter evoked a multitude of thoughts and emotions. Most of all it evoked a feeling of bravery. During a recent visit to Virginia, I visited the battlefield of Bull Run. Being there, standing where soldiers faced cannons and rifles, I could not imagine walking forward, as they did, to face what they would face. Your words were not those of fear; not of sorrow, but those of pure courage. “How shall I be remembered? How can I put my best foot forward?”

From: Megan McLean — Nov 10, 2013

I hear your words of advice when I’m working and your words of encouragement when I’m feeling stuck. They’ve become a part of who I am as an artist. I stand taller upon your broad shoulders and am better for having had your positive influence in my life.

From: Glynis Mary McManamon, RGS — Nov 10, 2013

From: Didi Foster — Nov 10, 2013

Along with sending my good thoughts and prayers, I also wanted to mention the Gerson Miracle; and that my friend’s mother also had 4th stage uterine cancer and is cancer free 14 years later. She did chemo and radiation, organic diet, essiac tea and prayer. I’m sure you are getting many letters from readers, so I’ll just leave it and say my thoughts are with you and your family. And your letters have made a huge difference in my and many other artists’ lives. My boyfriend’s daughter is battling bone cancer right now. I wish you both second chances.

From: Leslie Hancock — Nov 10, 2013

I want to wish you the very best in your process with cancer. Being a cancer survivor, myself, I can easily understand what you may be going through now. No matter how this situation unfolds for you, I hope that you are able to be open to all the emotions that you feel, and all the people whom you encounter, trusting that you can do this and that this process will take you just where you need to go for your own personal growth. Remember that who you really are is not your body, not the cancer and is not defined by this illness. Who you really are is so much more. Do not be afraid to often tell your family and friends how much you love them. It may help to know that true health is inner peace, and true healing is letting go of fear.

From: Karen de Vries, Ottawa, ON — Nov 10, 2013

I have also lived with cancer and was blessed to be able to continue my life despite this illness. I hope that the oncologists will find a treatment and plan that allows you to continue your work. Regardless of the outcome of this disease, I hope that knowing you are leaving a legacy through both your words and images brings you a deep contentment and peace on this life journey.

From: Mary Kay Bristol — Nov 10, 2013

From: Charles S. Pyle — Nov 10, 2013

From: Laura Power Davies, Australia — Nov 10, 2013

From: Katrin Smith — Nov 10, 2013

From: Joan — Nov 10, 2013

You are an inspiration to me and many others. I have a friend who had his pancreas removed in 1996 and has had to take special medicine but he is still doing well. He and his wife even purchased a boat and went sailing in the Adriatic, they now live in New Mx. Miracles do happen.

From: Lori Snider — Nov 10, 2013

From: Irene Chaikin, Jerusalem Israel — Nov 10, 2013

Attached to this email, is the prayer for your recovery that will be put in the Western Wall, for G-d to read. Let’s hope this will make you well.

From: Jackie Fyers — Nov 10, 2013

The news of your illness has caused me to review the celebrated “bigger picture”. Your unique ability to communicate with so many yet each of us feel you are writing to us personally is the greatest gift. You have had a considerable impact on my painting life and I thank you for this. Your wisdom and in particular, your humour are part of my studio, my painting and my artistic life. I haven’t translated ‘go to your room’ into Latin as yet, but it is my mantra when I waver. One of the greatest gifts I have received from you is mental stimulus. Your writing, whether light of touch or on a more serious level is like a really good conversation, rare and priceless.

From: Maureen Smith — Nov 10, 2013

I too, adopted your approach and touch the lives of many aspiring artists; I encourage them through their struggles. Through you I have connected with many other artists and made another family. I love the idea of Sara writing and also your earlier work before I got to know you.

From: Florence Nicholson — Nov 10, 2013

I am sending all my Zen vibes to help you through this difficult time.

From: Carol Connaughton — Nov 10, 2013

I, too, have taken many high mountain paths, and when the time comes for me to follow the path that you are on, I hope I will proceed with the same dignity and grace.

From: Lois Isaacs, New Zealand — Nov 10, 2013

You may not think you have climbed to the top Robert, but for people like me you are totally tops. I have so appreciated you thoughts and studies and comments about all manner of things pertaining to arts and life. With every letter you widen my view of art and how it happens, this encourages me to try again and again even though I have been painting 47 years and I am probably not much younger than you. I agree with you thoughts about discontentment over the last decade – what is it? I tend to agree too that it may well be the conundrum of knowing too much. I know the saying, “A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.” Now I suspect too much knowledge is also a dangerous thing. Your letters have been a wonderful source of fresh thought and I have many times quoted from them to my students and also put my students in contact with your newsletter. I look forward to receiving them and reading what you have been up to – your travels and adventures are so interesting. I hold a hope that somehow the letters may be able to continue with your daughter at the helm.

From: marty atwell — Nov 12, 2013

Thank you, Sara, for this lovely blog. You are indeed walking in your father’s footsteps. My prayers go out to your father and all of you daily.

From: Robert Templin — Nov 13, 2013

One of my art instructors told me that I must subscribe to your posts as you share so much wisdom. I found that indeed you do… And not only about art, but life. I have learned much and have so much more that I need to experience about life. My humble thanks for getting me started down the right path.

From: Gary — Nov 13, 2013

Cancer has visited my family many times over the last ten years. It appears to have a genetic base with some families affected by it especially families of Celtic origins. Although cancer has taken several close family members; other family members have fought back and won the battle. Never give up on yourself. May our LORD give you the strength for the very personal battle you have ahead. Normally I sign off <em>Kai pai tou ra</em> (have a great day). But this email is special so I will sign off with: <em>Aroha</em> (love)

  Featured Workshop: Robert Masla
110513_robert-genn John MacDonald Workshops Held near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at Robert Masla’s B&B.   The Workshop Calendar provides up-to-date selected workshops and seminars arranged in chronological order.

Clouds and shadows

oil on canvas, 6 x 6 inches by Nancy Romanovsky, Phoenix, AZ, 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 Mary Burkhardt of Ridgefield, CT, USA, who wrote, “Life is never long enough. It wouldn’t matter if you lived to be 125, it would still be too short. They say that we regret what we didn’t do more than what we did do in life. You’ve done an awful lot. You’ve shared and been generous with both your knowledge and your time. Thank you.” And also Yvonne Moyerof Miami, FL, USA, who wrote, “You have contributed so much richness to so many by your beautiful letters and art work. Giving opens the door to abundance and you have certainly done this. You are one of the richest people in what I think is important.” And also Luc Poitras of Montreal, QC, Canada, who wrote, “As to making it perfect, we must always remember that happiness is a moving target. We hit one target, we aim for the next; such is the quest for perfection. It’s in the quest, in the striving, that happiness lives and welcomes us. Life should be lived ‘Pedal-to-the-metal.’ Take your meds, take the carrot juice, and keep that foot on the pedal.” And also Ken Campbell of Victoria, BC, Canada, who wrote, “I have watched as you shaped your painter’s voice and ‘songs’ over the years in the presence of the Canadian Masters. I have always enjoyed and learned from your wonderful and unique examples. And I think I have become a better art thinker and teacher through your example… a modern Canadian master.” And also Robert Dobie of Vancouver, BC, Canada, who wrote, “I was taught a very good lesson by my Grandfather over 30 years ago about positive thinking in regard to medical disorders. He bought my medical problem at the time for a nickel and said he now owned it. My condition disappeared within 10 days of the 5 cent purchase and I have never been sick since.”