Robert Genn | The Letters, Vol. 1 and 2  (The Painter's Keys Presents)

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To read these and all The Letters online, visit:

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Spoken Word: Inspirational Spoken Word: Inspirational Moods: Mood: Intellectual
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The Letters, Vol. 1 and 2 (The Painter's Keys Presents)

by Robert Genn

The Twice-Weekly Letters, presented by The Painter's Keys Volumes 1 and 2 : 50 favourite Robert Genn letters, personally selected and read aloud by Dave Genn
Genre: Spoken Word: Inspirational
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. The Creative Bluff
4:22 album only
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2. Gratefulness
3:59 album only
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3. The Holmesian Artist
4:00 album only
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4. The Mother Lode
4:23 album only
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5. The Law of Recent Memory
3:59 album only
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6. The Mother of All Tips
4:30 album only
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7. I'm Not Getting Anywhere
3:49 album only
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8. Creative Foreplay
4:40 album only
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9. In Praise of Days
4:48 album only
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10. The Secret
4:35 album only
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11. A Crazy Woman
4:14 album only
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12. Something About Islands
4:00 album only
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13. Creative Archaeology
4:26 album only
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14. Field Notes on Play
4:45 album only
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15. Captain Otto's Cello
3:46 album only
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16. Mobile Methodologies
4:12 album only
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17. The Zen of Art
4:29 album only
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18. Strong and Wrong
4:03 album only
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19. Immersion
4:10 album only
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20. Working Your Muses
4:12 album only
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21. Four Excellent Questions
4:22 album only
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22. Getting to "Must"
3:36 album only
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23. Spirit and Specificity
4:42 album only
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24. Transartistic Meditation
4:21 album only
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25. The Art Lotto
3:46 album only
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26. A Charmed Life
4:45 album only
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27. A Treasured Mapbook
4:18 album only
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28. Serious Artist
3:59 album only
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29. Art Not for the Faint of Heart
4:07 album only
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30. Tune Up
4:20 album only
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31. What to Expect
4:23 album only
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32. Bay of Plenty
4:23 album only
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33. A Morning Walk
4:10 album only
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34. The Winner Effect
3:44 album only
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35. The Magic of "Hook Hours"
4:06 album only
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36. The Tale of an Island "Desk"
3:48 album only
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37. Prior Disappointment Syndrome
3:59 album only
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38. The Anticipation Response
4:28 album only
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39. The Job of Art
4:07 album only
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40. The Monastic Artist
4:03 album only
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41. What Turns You On?
4:18 album only
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42. Talkers and Doers
3:48 album only
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43. Your Inferior Shadow
4:15 album only
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44. Your Easel, Your Altar
4:27 album only
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45. Monument
3:51 album only
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46. Perfect Happiness
4:07 album only
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47. Those First Few Years
4:23 album only
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48. First Prize
4:09 album only
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49. Studio Dynamics
3:57 album only
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50. The Stress of Relaxation
3:59 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
The Letters, Vol. 1 and 2 :
50 selections narrated by Robert's son, Dave Genn

"The idea of creating spoken-word recordings of Dad’s letters was actually hatched several years before his diagnosis. The first few attempts were in fact Dad’s voice reading his own words, but he was never satisfied with the results. “Too laborious, too much lip-smacking, too much fogeyism” he said. When he fell sick I took the project on myself, taking great pride in the fact that the ability to listen to his own words, read by his own son, and set to his favourite music provided Dad with great comfort as his illness progressed. He had always dreamed of releasing downloadable audiobooks of his writing, but at the time I was producing these recordings solely and exclusively for him.

"I started with his most recent letter and proceeded backward chronologically, reading each one carefully. When I happened upon one that I felt would lend itself to the format I would begin recording, often reading through each paragraph as many as a dozen times in an attempt to get the nuance right. Generally, the criteria I used in picking which letters to record were based on whether I felt there was a visual element that transported me to a specific place that I could imagine, or if there were autobiographical elements that provided little windows into Dad’s nature and experience. I tended to shy away from letters that were overly-technical, attracted instead to those that spoke of the muse, or explorations into the mystery and magic of creativity. Most important, I tried to choose letters that I found inspiring in regard to my own creative life, and that Dad would enjoy.

"After Dad's passing in May 2014, it took me over a year before I was able to pick up the project again. I was raw, and I felt that my grieving process would not allow for me to continue reading through hundreds of his letters and speaking his beautiful words aloud. However, when I did finally feel strong enough to resume I was overwhelmed by the catharsis it provided me. Dad shared his knowledge and insight so selflessly, so generously. To complete his vision of audio recordings of his letters has been an absolute honour. For me, the reading of these letters has truly been a labour of love, just as it was for Dad to write them."

- Dave Genn
Vancouver, Canada, 2016

About The Painter's Keys and The Twice-Weekly Letters:

The Painter's Keys in an online community of artists worldwide and home to The Letters -- twice-weekly letters written to inspire, connect, advise and inform artists of all stripes, stages and disciplines. The letters were started in the winter of 1998 by Canadian artist Robert Genn, while on a family sojourn in Southern Spain. Robert began with five recipients – artists he knew might accept an epistolary studio friend. Soon, requests to be added to the list trickled in, and Robert came to understand the idea of a brotherhood and sisterhood of artists – an expanding community of creative people with many of the same concerns. Of his idea he wrote, “While ours seems a simple business, there’s just so much worth knowing. I’m finding a great deal of it has never been properly expressed before. I hope you’ll stay around for the adventure.” Between 1998 to 2013, Robert wrote twice per week, non-stop for 15 years, with his letter received by over 50,000 direct subscribers, republished by newsletters, blogs and magazines worldwide and translated into French, Spanish and Russian.

In the Fall of 2013, Robert was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given "perhaps" a year to live. Along with painting, writing and organizing his archive, he asked his daughter Sara -- also an artist -- if she would continue the letters for as long as they might be useful. Since then, Sara has republished one of Robert's letters weekly and written one weekly letter of her own. Robert calculated that if Sara ran all of his previous letters, once per week, they would last for almost 3 decades. You can read more about his idea in his letter titled, “The Bomb,” written on October 25, 2013, which is archived on the Painter's Keys website along with every letter written since 2000.

"Most of the material for the Twice-Weekly Letters comes from subscriber input, our own studio concerns, and a life of painting. One of its great values is the tremendous interactive responses we’re seeing in the live comments written by our readers. We’re truly excited to see our Painter’s Keys Community so vibrant and full of valuable insights. Readers offer alternate ideas and systems – information, inspiration, art research, experience, stories and sometimes arguments. The responses are found at the bottom of each letter. ​To the right of the letter is the archive of previous letters and responses, and you can also search for any subject at the top of this column using key words. If you wish to correspond, simply go to the comments area below the letter and add your remarks."

- The Painter's Keys

Artist Robert Genn passed away on May 27, 2014 -- seven months after his diagnosis -- at the age of 78. The Painter's Keys community and its Twice-Weekly Letter remain a vibrant place of inspiration for artists from all over the globe to connect and share insights.

Selections from J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos, Goldberg Variations, and Joseph Haydn’s String Quartets and Symphonies used by permission from Ledbetter Entertainment.

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