Art news and reviews of exhibitions in Canada and worldwide of working contemporary and famous Canadian artists and photographers.

Canadian Painter Robert Genn Dies

canadian artist robert genn

Sad news for lovers of Canadian painter Robert Genn’s twice weekly newsletter. The artist passed away on the 27th of May. Robert mentioned his health issue in an October newsletter last year when he summed up his doctor’s verdict in 5 words: Pancreatic cancer–perhaps a year. I missed that newsletter, so hearing of his passing just now came as a shock. I never met the man in person but after ten years of reading his Painter’s Keys newsletter I’m going to miss him.Continue Reading

Val Nelson at Bau-Xi Vancouver

val nelson in canada

I have a thing for paintings that look like paintings and interiors.. which are really just big still life paintings, so you can see why I would like the work of Val Nelson. Photographs of the same interiors would probably be rather dull and boring but the lovely brushwork and energy of the paintings bring them to life. The images with cars in them are much less appealing but who cares when the rest are so lovely!Continue Reading

Being an Artist is a Privilege

Robert Genn’s latest Painter’s Keys newsletter is an interesting one. He replies to a letter from artist Tom Lockhart talking about how being an artist can be tough. Tom wrote the following to Robert..

“I work 50 to 65 hours per week, teach workshops and serve on the Board of a Local Arts Center. I judge art shows and travel to locations to paint. I earn $75,000.00 to $100,000.00 annually–too much to get a grant. I pay more than my share of taxes, expense out what the law allows and still find it difficult to make ends meet. I’m constantly paying entry fees, dues, advertising, framers, suppliers and travel expenses. I can’t understand why the public insists on buying cheap, crappy art from poorly educated artists who suffer for their craft. Yuk! There are constantly retired lawyers, doctors, architects, dentists and other professionals who decide to become painters. They put their work in galleries and sell to the unsophisticated, taking sales away from deserving, serious artists. And now with the economic bad times, it’s even harder to sell your art. What do you think about this?”Continue Reading

Personal Coach for Artists

In Robert Genn’s latest newsletter he is talking about personal coaches and the value that artists could gain from them. He isn’t about to become a personal coach himself, but he has made a list of things that an artist could do to make progress.Continue Reading

Creative Children – Creative Adults

In one of Robert Genn’s recent newsletters he talks about a study of creative children that grow into creative adults. The psychologist Ellen Winner found that creative people choose their path very early in life and they often have similarities like; scholastic boredom, difficulty making friends, and social problems.Continue Reading

Photoshop Artists

Robert Genn published an interesting newsletter recently about artists creating art digitally, particularly with programs like Photoshop and Painter. A lot of other artists seemed to find it interesting also, as Robert received more than 700 replies from subscribers.Continue Reading

Canadian Artists Online

Continuing on from the Australian artists, here’s some great Canadian artists with an online presence. Share your website in the comments below if you’re a Canadian artist.Continue Reading

Painting with Acrylics

The Canadian artist Robert Genn is discussing the use of acrylic paints in his latest newsletter, and how some people look down on them. He mentions that it is artists that use oils that do most of the criticizing.

I personally wish I did like acrylic paints as they are so much more convenient, but they just don’t excite me. Maybe I just haven’t spent enough time with them, but any acrylic paintings I have done have come out flat and lifeless.
The biggest issue I have with acrylics is that I love texture, but it just doesn’t come out the same as oils. The drying time between layers also suites my way of working, as I like to slowly build up a bunch of paintings at once.
And perhaps the history of oils plays a small part of my love of oils. Even the smell of oils is comforting..Continue Reading